Rescue Foundation is the largest rescue agency in India. Their investigations and rescue team pulls over a thousand girls out of brothels in Mumbai and Pune every year. These rescues are initiated based on leads from trusted contacts in the red light areas, from compaints filed by parents of missing girls through partners such as Maiti Nepal, or from clients who realized the girls were underage or being forced into prostitution against their will.
The survivors, who come from Nepal, Bangladesh, and rural India, are first housed in one of Rescue Foundation's three shelter homes while legal proceedings are undertaken by RF's legal team. If the girls' family can be found, RF social workers investigate whether it is safe for her to return home. Many girls are repatriated and either reunited with their families, or sent to shelter homes in their home state or country. Others need long term aftercare in the shelter homes: because their families were involved in selling the girls into slavery, because the family cannot be found, or because the family is so destitute, the girl would continue to be at high risk, and needs education and employment options to safeguard her own future before returning home.
Made by Survivors' enjoys a very close partnership with Rescue Foundation: we run our Mumbai jewelry program at one of their shelters, and we helped to fund construction of both a new vocational training and school building in 2011, and a renewable energy biodiesel facility in 2009.
What makes Rescue Foundation so special is the love and personal care that founder and Director Triveni Acharya offers each of the girls, offering many options and opportunities - the survivors are busy all day with schooling, volleyball, karate, yoga, the jewelry program and more. Everyone helps a little with the organic farm and the food is home-grown, healthy and vegetarian. According to our Jewelry Program Director Dianna Badalament, who lived at RF for 5 months this past winter "The sports programs are amazing for the survivors, developing leadership and self-discipline and contributing enormously to their recovery. It seems that the girls who excel at karate are also my best jewelers. Keeping busy all day with enriching activities keeps these survivors from dwelling too much in the past or getting depressed, which can sometimes be a problem for survivors in shelters". Dianna was recruited as RF's volleyball coach during her time at the shelter.
For survivors who wish to reintegrate through marriage, Triveni goes to great lengths to help the girls find a safe, supportive relationship in which their past exploitation will not be held against them. The fact that these survivors have been given some education, and know their own human rights, ensures that they will never again be victims. RF organizes beautiful traditional wedding ceremonies for survivors who marry. It is a dream day for the girls, and the whole shelter home gets to participate.