Tuesday 21 April 2015

Women At Risk - their Vision of Success, and life in the meantime

I’ve written about the CRED partner Ellita Women At Risk (E-WAR) several times before – an incredibly inspiring and humbling organization based in Addis Ababa, that works with and for prostitutes, bringing the light of hope to ladies trapped in very dark places.

One of the items on my agenda in Ethiopia this time round is working with some of the senior management team of E-WAR on some project development and capacity building work, and also visiting another of their project bases in Nazret to consider the possibility of taking a team there next year.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing. And from it have come many thoughts, and conversations; dreaming, visioning – imagining what the world would need to look like to enable E-WAR to cease to exist.

And from that has come Women At Risk’s Vision of Success statement, which is so courageous in its hopefulness that I wanted to share it with you.

Success for Women At Risk will exist when they live in ‘a society where girls and women are free from the pressures and factors that force them into prostitution and increased risk of HIV infection, where the demand for prostitution from the male sex is no more, and where those who have been in prostitution are able to access the full range of services required to live a fulfilled life.’

Such an inspiring statement, and how amazing to be working with an organization that even dares to dream of such a day when this could be a possibility.

Unfortunately, we all know that due to the depravity and inhumanity of some of the human race, that day is a long long way off. And so in the meantime, this wonderful organization is spending each day giving of themselves over and again to show love, acceptance and support to women who feel as though they have lost everything.

And as a result, when you go to a Women At Risk office, you see scenes like I observed today – of young women sitting together, laughing, knitting, playing with their children, chatting, coming back from work placements to collect the children from the day-care provision, having hugs when they feel vulnerable, giving hugs to others. And you can’t always tell who are the workers and who are the clients, as they are such a close-knit group, who are so supportive of each other, and so accepting of each other, that they all just blend together – a beautiful mass of positive humanity.

We are hoping to have three teams coming out to work with Women At Risk next summer – let me know if you’d like to be part of it. And if that isn’t your thing but you’d like to show your love and support to them in a one-off or ongoing way then again let me know. With a vision statement like theirs, you can definitely be sure that any support you give is going to be used in a very positive, life-transforming way.

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