Would you give $5 to help support a survivor of modern slavery?
Official estimates state that 15,000 people currently live in circumstances of slavery within Australia - including victims of human trafficking, forced labour, forced marriage and forced sexual exploitation - but Sally Irwin, founder of Freedom Hub, said actual figures could be higher.
On the second annual Fivers for Survivors Day today, October 16, the call is out for businesses, schools, clubs and individuals to give $5 to help survivors of slavery in Australia rebuild their lives.
One hundred percent of donations from Fivers for Survivors Day will go to survivors of modern slavery through Freedom Hub, a for-purpose business and charity that runs Survivor School, providing free, personalised classes that help survivors recover from trauma plus community-engagement programs, as well as practical work-ready courses.
"Thousands of people in Australia are effectively ghosts in the system," Sally said. "Official statistics often can't capture them because they essentially don't exist; their identities have been stolen from them, passports taken, all means of communication cut off. Without the ability to get assistance or services they're trapped in slavery living in abhorrent circumstances."
Sally's organisation, Freedom Hub, works to provide after-care services for survivors of modern slavery in Australia.
"Once the survivor is removed from the situation of slavery there's still so much more that needs to be done for them. Our Survivor School helps them reintegrate into society, build a life for themselves and overcome their trauma to really thrive."
Freedom Hub's Survivor School has helped more than 70 survivors, a process which can take years and cost up to $20,000 per person. Survivor School provides work-ready courses, including basic employment and office skills, practical applications for success and paid work experience. The school also provides peer support and long-term support, including outings, workshops, employment help and tutoring.
"This Fivers for Survivors Day we're asking people to come together to give a small donation so that jointly we can make a massive difference. Whether it's a morning tea in the office, drinks after work or a collection among your friends, mobilise your network and help make an impact in the lives of modern slavery survivors for as little as $5."
Fivers for Survivors Day seeks to raise awareness of the issue and occurrence of modern slavery in Australia, as well as much-needed funds to support survivors. Fivers for SurvivorsDay is on October 16 and asks businesses, clubs, schools, groups and anyone who would like to be part of the day to donate just $5.
- Donations (tax-deductible): thefreedomhub.org/fivers-for-survivors.