ONGOING PROJECT SINCE 2011
In 2011 HopeNow for the first time got a contract with the Department of Social Affairs (today under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and therefore got a mandate to do outreach in the streets, in prisons and asylum centers. Ever since 2011 HopeNow has been and still is an ongoing and respected partner under The Danish Actio Pplan to combat Human Trafficking. The projects are each running for a period of three years, which means that HopeNow right now is in the midst of the third project period.
The aim is now as it was back in the beginning to find and identify persons, who are/have been victims of human trafficking to ensure that the target group has correct information and knows about the help and support given to them by the Danish State. In the current contract running from 2019-2021 it is stated that HopeNow is obliged to a greater focus on male victims.
According to the contract HopeNow each year submit a status report to the ministry, and by the end of each project HopeNow submit a final and larger report with conclusive goals and results.
Between 2014 and 2018 HopeNow completed two projects funded by CISU together with the Kenyan anti trafficking NGO called HAART.
The projects ware inspired by the fact that HopeNow already in 2008 had found, identified and provided services for a large number of women trafficked to Denmark from East Africa. Some of these women motivated HopeNow to make a project in Kenya, which would train previously trafficked women to be spokespeople to talk to the local people about human trafficking.
HopeNow made a field trip to Nairobi, and this was followed by the first pilot project with HAART launched in 2014. It included a group of 6 trafficked women who were trained in how to tell their narrative stories. HAART staff trained in communication, and social workers acompanied the women out to the villages, schools and slums to increase awareness about human trafficking.
Two psychologists also joined the project to empower and support the trafficked women.
Between 2016 –2018 HopeNow continued the collaboration with HAART and further developed the project. The aim was to engage in targeted work with the local authorities in Kenya, develop information and awareness campaigns in local communities and build capacity among the people working in this field in Kenya. There was also placed focus on developing best practices to rehabilitate and empower survivors of trafficking.
HopeNow are very happy that HAART has continued to grow and now have a shelter and are instrumental in campaigning against human trafficking in Kenya – also improving the lives of victims of trafficking in the country through their legal work.
ESCORT AND PRIVATE PROSTITUTION PROJECT
In 2016-2018 HopeNow carried out a 3-year outreach project funded by the Department of Gender and Equality under the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project focused on human trafficking in the area of escort and private prostitution. HopeNow also explored the use of the internet in these areas of prostitution and addressed the challenges at the national level. Our aim was to develop new methods to reach this hidden group of trafficked women.
As well as using technical solutions such as web scraping in our outreach work, HopeNow employed a peer group worker (a previously trafficked woman). HopeNow trained this person to work closely together with HopeNow’s cultural mediator, who has 13 years experience of providing social services and trauma therapy to trafficked people with ethnic origins in Africa.
In January 2019 HopeNow held a small conference in order to further share and disseminate knowledge regarding different methods and approaches also presented by other organizations .
The project was evaluated by COWI.
During the project HopeNow found and identified 69 women, whom HopeNow referred to healthcare, provided with trauma therapy and legal counseling often in close cooperation with partners here in Denmark.
Two of the trafficked people in the project returned to their country of origin with a voluntary return.
Many of the women HopeNow had met through the project HopeNow remained in contact with and continued to provide with various forms of support .
HopeNow’s aim being for them to become empowered enough to rebuild their lives.
The following is a comment from a woman trafficked into escort work:
‘I met HopeNow staff in 2017, when I was doing escort work. At the time I just accepted my terrible life in forced sex work. When I first met HopeNow, I did not know what trafficking was. I was so sad, I had bad dreams, and I was confused. But ongoing trauma therapy and good counseling allowed me to get a hold on my life, finish with my traffickers and find solutions, so I could rebuild my life’.