Women's Interlink Foundation
Women's Interlink Foundation runs 80 (!) different programs in West Bengal, India for trafficking survivors and extremely high risk populations such as border villages, tribal minorities, and children living on the railroad tracks. WIF runs numerous drop-in centers in the evenings for children growing up in the Sonagachi red light area of Calcutta. At the age of 9 or 10, girls from these centers are often transferred to WIF's long term shelters, because they are so vulnerable to being trafficked alongside their mothers. WIF even runs a program for elderly ladies who were trafficked and exploited their entire lives, and would otherwise be literally dying alone on the pavement outside a brothel area.
Made by Survivors' pilot Jewely Program is housed at WIF's Calcutta Child Care Home, and we offer therapeutic arts as part of our semi-annual volunteer trips at their Nijuloy Shelter one hour outside Calcutta. We are now planning the opening a third jewelry center in the Darjeeling area (near the borders of Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh) at WIF's Jalpaigiri shelter home. We also sponsor 15 WIF girls for school.
Another exciting aspect of this partnership is the Made by Survivors Shelter Wing, which we are constructing (summer 2011) at the Nijuloy shelter. This wing will house an additional 25 survivors a year - many from the Sonagachil red light area - and will save at least 200 children from trafficking and slavery over the course of the building's life.
What we love about Women's Interlink Foundation, is not just the enormous scope of their programming, but the heroic example of Founder and Chairperson Aloka Mitra. Aloka has been working in the anti-trafficking field for 40 years, and she still has seemingly boundless energy - and innovation - constantly pioneering new ways to prevent girls from being exploited or to restore survivors to wholeness after rescue.
You can support survivors at WIF through Made By Survivors' School Sponsorship or by buying the survivors' jewelry, leather or stained glass products. Learn more about Womens Interlink Foundation at their website.