Since 2005, Made by Survivors has provided jobs, education and shelter to over a thousand survivors of slavery, child marriage, and other human rights abuses in India, Nepal, Cambodia and Thailand, where human trafficking is a huge problem.
We train survivors and create jobs in highly respected professions, with high wages that develop business and entrepreneurial skills. One of our most successful programs is our Jewelry Program. In India, metalsmithing is traditionally a male-only profession. Our survivor-metalsmiths are breaking gender barriers, earning a middle class wage, rescuing others, and uplifting their families and communities.
Modern day slavery is a huge human rights problem. According to the United Nations, over 27 million people in the world are enslaved. Even when they are rescued, trafficking victims face huge challenges. Without job opportunities or even basic education, many are trafficked again, or fall back into exploitative situations because they have no other options for survival. We find this unacceptable.
Priyanka was born into extreme poverty in a Calcutta red light district. She was raised in a brothel where she was exposed to constant danger and outcast by society. Eventually, her mother sent her to a shelter to keep her from being trafficked and forced into prostitution,.
At age 18, Priyanka joined the Made By Survivors jewelry team. She worked hard during the intensive year of training, becoming one of our most accomplished goldsmiths and designers. The training and the loving atmosphere of the jewelry center were healing for Priyanka and helped build up her damaged self-esteem.
Priyanka takes pride in having several designs in our new Relevee Jewelry collection and in being one of the top producers and earners in her studio. Her dream is to become a jewelry trainer so she can share this gift with other women in need.
Priyanka is now ready to move out of the shelter and support herself independently. She is also pulling her mom out of the red light district so they can both live in safety and dignity. Priyanka is a hero to all of us for transforming not only her own life, but also the lives of others.