Riding the bus with confidence, opening and understanding your mail with ease, taking your child to the cinema, going for a coffee with a friend, explaining ailments to the doctor… these are all things that we can take for granted as people who have access to a reasonable income. For a survivor of human trafficking, these day to day activities can be distressing or could be missing from their daily routine all together.
Snowdrop offers a range of services which can help survivors to gain control and confidence in their lives as well as to integrate well into their local community. Community activities, education and employment services such as: weekly English classes; a partnership with the Co-op Bright Futures’ work experience programme; a befriending service and creative and skill-based classes, aim to support survivors during their journey to recovery.
But have you ever thought about your ability to celebrate your religion or culture with ease and jollity?
How this festivity relies heavily on your financial capacity and relations within a close-knit community with whom you can celebrate, be it your place of worship, your friends or your family?
Periods of celebration, when the general public’s well-being is often brimming with good-feeling, can be the most isolating and depressing times for those who already find themselves in adversity, far from their families and loved ones.
At the Snowdrop Project, we believe that everyone should have access to religious and cultural celebration. We believe that this celebration has hugely beneficial effects on survivors and on the children of survivors in terms of their mental health, reducing social isolation and restoring strength in faith and hope for their bright futures.
Cooking and sharing food with a group of people with whom you feel comfortable and by whom you feel valued, not only fulfils the basic physical needs of nutrition for survivors struggling to feed themselves and their children, but also the physiological need of community for those who feel lonely.
Snowdrop service users are from lots of different religious and cultural backgrounds but all are always welcome at our seasonal events. Cultural enrichment is one of the many rewards the city of Sheffield reaps as it strives to welcome migrants and refugees into its society.
Neelam, one of our senior Case Workers who helped organise this year’s celebration of Eid says:
‘Many of our clients who celebrate Eid al-Fitr are away from their homes and their families, this can be a very hard time. The party was a way to allow people to come together, enjoy good food and music. My personal highlight was the sound of laughter in the room and seeing the smiles on our clients’ faces, oh yes, and the dancing!’
While Robyn*, a survivor at Snowdrop, beamed during our Christmas party last year:
‘It felt very warm, I got the feeling I was amongst my own family members and… it was extraordinary during Christmas and the New Year.’
Snowdrop can only continue to help survivors celebrate what is important to them through kind donations, if you would like to support Snowdrop you can donate here.
If this blog post has inspired you to get involved with the Snowdrop Project to support survivors of human trafficking and help them to integrate into their local community you can find out more about our Befriending Volunteer role at our Get Involved page here. We will be recruiting new volunteers at the end of August.