A survivor leader's recollection of the Azadi launch on 30th July 2021.
We all have survived something in life that we sincerely felt would be the end of us or even our whole existence at some point, but here you are reading this blog recalling the encounter. As someone who has had lows and highs in life, it is only normal to celebrate Azadi Kenya's launch on the 30th of July 2021.
Azadi Kenya is an organisation that was founded on listening and giving human trafficking survivors a platform to thrive from their psychological to economic areas. Azadi means freedom or liberty, and this is such a powerful tool to give to a survivor of human trafficking.
We have countless non-governmental organisations in Kenya, but I question whether they look out for the survivor's needs? Is paying the bills for the survivor helpful enough? What if we had more organisations that would show the survivor how to fish instead of giving them the fish? Wondered why a human trafficking survivor is at a higher chance of being re-trafficked?.
Well, a human trafficking survivor is at a higher risk of being trafficked if not empowered economically because we all have to make a living to live.Iwith the culture that we all found running the world which is capitalism. Most survivors are a This makes them a very easy target when their vulnerabilities are not addressed.
To clarify, no survivor got trafficked because of greed or carelessness, and the fact that there is so much stigma from society is just too painful for survivors. Everyone has the ability to choose to go for greener pastures when the opportunity arises, we have to imagine that we are doing the same thing because we all desire to have better, comfortable lifestyles. Please keep in mind that human trafficking is not a joke, and you should never for once feel like it is a topic to play with as so many lives have been lost as a result. Even the ones rescued take years, if not forever, to heal completely, especially psychologically.
Azadi Kenya is not just another non-governmental organisation for human trafficking survivors that is added to the list of statistics. Azadi Kenya is here to impact by ensuring that the survivors are safeguarded, given opportunities suitable for their passions, and empowers their voices to be heard. I can guarantee that it will make such a big difference in the long run because, as a country, we will be able to record low cases, if not none, of human trafficking.
The fact that this organisation is letting the survivor speak out their emotions and what they expect makes it so unique because, in other organisations, everything is scripted from the imagination of someone who has read or heard about human trafficking, unlike in Azadi Kenya, where it's a survivor sharing from experience.
The launch was such a success as people from different parts of the world availed themselves. It was a mixture of emotions, mainly because there was an exhibition where survivors of human trafficking wrote their stories and took pictures to detail their experiences when trafficked. It is unreal to see how cold the world can be, but again, with people like Sophie Otiende, the founder and CEO of the organisation existing, there's a lot of hope in humanity, and all is not lost.
Azadi Kenya did not come to exploit survivors by making them their assets; instead, it came to empower them.
Never forget that survivors are not voiceless.