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Freedom from slavery in a foreign land

dignify freedom hope opportunity trafficking training work

Freedom from slavery in a foreign land

In Bangladesh, everyone wants to work abroad. We’ve all seen people come back with savings, set up their own business, and their status in the community is completely changed. I was so excited to find someone who was able to help me get a job in Saudi Arabia working as a house helper. In Bangladesh, this is a low job, but working abroad, I was sure I’d make money. I’d be able to help my family, marry well, have a bright future. I boarded the plane with so much excitement. I’d never left Bangladesh before. I’d never thought I could...

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Are we ready for disaster?

Are we ready for disaster?

A couple of weeks ago, mothers suddenly were rushing in from Basha’s jewellery department to snatch their children. It wasn’t time to go yet and they seem panicked. It turns out they had felt a tiny earthquake located in another part of Asia and were grabbing their children to try to run out of the building. Instead of following the practiced emergency plan, they reverted to panic and mayhem.   If they reacted like this, after months of being taught a more orderly and safe response, what would happen in a real disaster? I suppose none of us know exactly...

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Seeing hope first hand - A volunteer perspective

Seeing hope first hand - A volunteer perspective

I honestly did not know what to expect of my time in Bangladesh. It was one of those countries I had to look up on the map when I realized I would be spending a month in the small country. Of those the four weeks there, I spent 19 days north of Dhaka in the girls’ home. Before coming, I had seen a picture of the girls in their school clothes and hoped that my time with them would be helpful and well spent. Upon arrival to the girl's home, I quickly realized that I would be spending my time...

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Embracing a new life with a pledge

Embracing a new life with a pledge

‘We live like dogs, we can’t even afford to eat. It’s really hard, we’re just breathing now. Sometimes I can’t even find one client a week.’ Parvin told photo journalist Allison Joyce in an article published in the Daily Mail following the demolition of the Tangail brothel last year. She went on to say that four girls were murdered when they went to client calls, leaving her terrified to take any clients. “The townspeople have threatened to burn us alive if we show our faces in town.” When Allison made a plea for someone to help, we knew we had...

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How this house of hope came to be

How this house of hope came to be

Bangladesh’s transport stations and railways. This is where you go when you have absolutely nothing. You can sleep on the platform with your blanket and meagre possessions. Or you may even have a tent like structure that you fiercely claim as your own. It’s a place where everyone knows that life is cheap and flesh can be purchased. On a July night in 2010, two adolescent girls were preparing their beds on the train platform. “They’ll be in prostitution soon,” Razia, who had lived there most of her life herself, told me. A mother sheltered her four day old infant...

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