Made by Survivors partners with local agencies in Asia to build, expand and maintain shelters for rescued girls. This is the first and crucial step in a survivor's journey to recovery and freedom..
In 2014 we partnered with Women's Interlink Foundation to construct a 15,000 shelter for 125 survivors in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, India. This shelter serves up to 100 survivors 365 days a year. Jalpaiguri is a hot spot for human trafficking and other human rights violations. The reasons for this are the region’s proximity to many borders (India, Nepal, Bangladesh), the scarcity of shelters and services (ours was the first in the area for trafficking survivors), and the lack of economic alternatives for women.
In addition to the Jalpaiguri shelter, Made by Survivors has expanded shelters in Calcutta and Mumbai, India, providing more space for girls to live, play. study and learn a trade. We provide ongoing support for survivors at our partner shelters to pay for food, clothing and school supplies.
The girls’ stories are heartbreaking. Jyonti was raped by an uncle, then sent to work as a domestic laborer, where she was abused by members of the family. She ran away to a neighboring state in search of a better job, and from there was trafficked to a brothel. Asha’s family in Bihar forced her into marriage to an adult man when she was just 11. Nilisha was rescued with her mother from a roadside hotel, where she and mother were trafficked as cleaners and for sexual abuse. Kali and Meenu were rescued from the railway station, where they survived by begging and sweeping trains, sleeping by day near the tracks.
Despite their tragic backgrounds, the girls are thriving at the shelter home. The younger kids are all in school, or if rescued very recently, are receiving remedial education and counseling to prepare them for school. We are adding a third floor to the shelter in 2017, so we can offer vocational training for the older girls.