HopeNow will from now on send out four times a year, a newsletter from HopeNow. We hope this will give you all an insight, into some of our main activities.
Here are the highlights from this year’s first quarter.
Hot soup in a cold time
16-year-old Josephine Dyrmose from Erik Memorial School in Odder on her own initiative, collected money for Hopenow by selling hot soup. One cold January day she made a Nigerian soup, which she sold in Horsens walking street. People were asked to decide themselves how much they would give. Many showed interest in the soup and others wanted to talk about human trafficking. Josephine had also made a flyer about human trafficking and in two hours, she sold soup for nearly 1,000 kroner. She has donated the entire sum to Hopenow. Josephine Dyrmose got the idea after she had been inspired by a talk given by Elisabeth Berg a volunteer for HopeNow, at the Erik Memorial School. Elisabeth’s school lectures about human trafficking in 2010 have resulted in donations of more than DKK 100,000 to HopeNow. What is unique about these donations is that the pupils themselves have raised half the amount, through various activities and events.
Michelle Mildwaters trip to Nigeria
In January Michelle Mildwater spent three weeks in Nigeria. She had been invited to assist Siddharth Kara, author and researcher at Harvard University’s Kara Center for Human Rights, where he lectures on human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Mr Kara has travelled around the world and spoken with over 500 slaves and studied human trafficking and contributed to an economic analysis and new proposals for how slavery can be fought. He invited Michelle to Nigeria so she could show him around in Lagos and Benin city in the Edo state. HopeNow was able to introduce him to some trafficked persons, persons practicing African traditional medicine and organizations working with human trafficking. Michelle Mildwater and Siddharth Kara also visited several of HopeNows partners in Nigeria so the researcher had an opportunity to learn more about the trafficked women’s background.
Restaurant helps an entire family
When Michelle was in Nigeria, she met a poor family with a mother and six children. Three of the children had been lured by traffickers, who had promised them education and good work in Scandinavia. In order to provide the family with an alternative, Michelle found out what resources the family possessed. It turned out that one of the daughters was trained as a chef, but it was impossible for the family even to start a restaurant. Therefore, financial support was provided by Hopenow, from private donations given by people in Denmark, so the family could establish a small restaurant. The three youngest children also got their schooling paid by Hopenow and the family also received some help in how to start up a restaurant from a local N.G.O. Give a family some fish and they will eat for one day; give them a fishing rod and hopefully they will be able to feed themselves for life.
“Witch Child” has got a new life
After Mr Kara returned home, HopeNow stayed on in Benin City, where we had a number of trafficked women to meet. We also met a 10-year-old girl who had been accused of witch craft and her life was threatened, as the family thought she was the cause, of all their misfortune. Hopenow paid for the girl to go to boarding school, where she can receive an education and shelter. This project has also only been possible, thanks to HopeNow private sponsors.
58,045 signatures against human trafficking
On 10 February 2011 the president of Hopenow Anne Brandt Christensen and Mariane handed in 58,045 signatures suggesting four concrete proposals against human trafficking to the minister of Gender Equality Lykke Friis. The four proposals were written to encourage a better treatment for trafficked persons in Denmark and were collected throughout the campaign “Stop sex trafficking of children and adolescents”. Hopenow had for over a year cooperated closely with the The Body Shop. The 58,045 signatures will hopefully have a positive effect on the wording and priorities, of the 2011 Danish action plan to combat human trafficking.
Cultural and religious aspects
On 23 February 2011, HopeNow participated in a conference organized by the Center Against Human Trafficking. The conference had the theme: “Cultural and religious aspects in working with Human trafficking.”Michelle Mildwater gave a presentation about religion, faith and social work, where she drew from her seven year experience in working with trafficked people. Special attention was paid to African traditional religion and Christian congregations and also included talking about her work in Copenhagen with Nigerian women in Christian churches.
Donation of Odd Fellows of DKK 25,000
Hopenow received a donation of 25,000 kroner from the Greater Copenhagen Odd Fellow lodge Humanitarian Fund. We did not seek the fund but were nominated by members of the lodges.
The donation was presented on Saturday 12 March at the Odd Fellow Palace in a spectacular event with a wonderful opera singer and where lodge members were dressed in black and white. HopeNows foreman Anne Brandt Christensen received the donation on behalf HopeNow and gave a short speech, in which she drew attention to the association’s work.
Michelle Mildwater been nominated for the 8th Wonder Award
Each year, the Elizabeth Arden and Femina donate £ 25,000 to charity work for a woman who had done some important humanitarian work. Michelle Mildwater is among this year’s three candidates and HopeNow and Michelle regard this in itself as a great honour. The three candidates will be presented in Femina a popular Danish womens magazine in Week 19 (published May 12) The readers will be able to vote for the nominee of their choice until the 29th May. The winner will be presented in Femina in week 27.So, cross your fingers for Michelle and vote for her in femina.dk/8wonder in good time.
Membership of Hopenow for 2011
If you have been a member of Hopenow in 2010 – your support and encouragement have helped HopeNow to empower victims of trafficking both in Denmark and Africa. You, have made a difference. We hope you will renew your membership and continue to support us, or if you are not a member, please join now, so we can continue to work with and for victims of trafficking. You can pay 150 Danish kroner, which is about 20 euro for a support membership, or 300 kroner about €40 , – for a full membership.
Large donations are great but small donations of kr. 50 are also well received; each 50 kroner donation with the name and address of the person helps us to have enough small donations to be able to seek funding through certain donors. Please pay at:
Bank: Danish Bank.
Account no.: 4250097875
IMPORTANT: Remember to include name, address and e-mail in the payment and mail to firstname.lastname@example.org