“It is S4F School which had developed and taught me such a way so that I might be able to study in a Private School.”
Villagers freed from slavery
Vulnerable people empowered to avoid the slavery trap
Government programs accessed by the community
Forests and hillocks surround the community of Preetpur village. Most of the community members, even the children, were held in bonded labor slavery, forced to work 14-15 hours a day at nearby brick kilns, stone quarries, and agricultural fields. Not a single child was attending school and no adult was literate. They depended on their slave owners for meals. At first fearful of any outsiders, the Preetpur community slowly grew to trust the Schools4Freedom team.
Came to Freedom:
The Weiss Family
Realizing the importance of unity, the community of Preetpur started to get organized. Community members trapped in debt-bondage slavery were successfully rescued, received full wages, and learned their rights. The community members started to benefit from government services and facilities. Working together with Schools4Freedom, the community gained ownership of the land they’d been living on in the forest, thus opening the door to many new community operatives including the installation of a solar light, a bank account, health services, and, of course, one of our Schools4Freedom.
It took time for the community members to believe in education. When the children trapped working in Gujarat were rescued, the community members started to have faith that their children could exchange school for slavery. Manjhari used to work at a brick kiln along with her parents. After being rescued from the kiln, Manjhari was enrolled in Schools4Freedom. At first she was hesitant and scared while talking with teachers and peers. But she quickly overcame her fears and developed a keen interest in her studies. Now enrolled in class four of the nearby government school, she has assumed the role of monitoring her classmates and their collective studies. Her peers look to her for guidance on how to excel in their studies. A natural leader, she is always bringing other children from the community to school with her. Manjhari often says that education is the only means for development, and she believes it.
No trafficker can touch this empowered community since they’ve found freedom; they can now be seen taking initiative and asserting their rights. Whenever any traffickers come by, the people of Preetpur ask them to leave, saying their community won’t be tempted and misguided by them anymore.
The Weiss family jumped in to fund the first village (against the advice of people who loved them) before V4F even had non-profit status. They tell everyone they know about slavery and help V4F figure out how to do more and better. The Weiss family has funded three villages.
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