Together we can help families live safe, healthy lives.
Our PeaceMaker Program trains local women to counsel and empower other women, men and communities to protect their futures and break the cycle of abuse through education, awareness and challenging deeply entrenched social attitudes.
It also provides support for women to leave abusive situations.
Our Safe Village Program provides grassroots training in high-risk villages about warning signs of human trafficking, empowering ‘guardian girls’ and ‘informed mothers’ to become agents of change and encouraging men and boys to protect women and girls in their community. It is tackling issues of trafficking, and preventing exploitation of children.
As of December 2021, we've reached
who have benefited from our safety programs in India.
Kushi* was a carefree 16-year-old girl whose life took an unexpected turn when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Cut off from her friends at school and others in her village, her situation became dangerous when her father lost work and had no means to provide for the family. Not only were Kushi and her mother suffering daily beatings, when a distant relative approached the family about selling her into marriage, Kushi was forcibly taken from her home to be the wife of an unknown man.
Her saving grace was that Kushi had attended Opportunity International Australia’s Safe Village Program where she became aware of the risk of children being deceived and exploited by human traffickers – even family friends or relatives.
Before her phone was confiscated, she managed to send a message about her situation to our anti-trafficking helpline. Her cry for help activated an immediate response with the local rescue team and police launching a search for her. It was hard to track Kushi as she had been moved from place to place to avoid detection.
Eventually, the relentless efforts of our support team led to a midnight raid at the location where Kushi was being held. Following her rescue, she was transferred to the care of social workers and a support team at a girl’s shelter.
Without the awareness of her rights gained through our Safe Village Program, and a response team available to step up and rescue girls like Kushi, not all stories end like this.
*names changed for privacy
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).