Corporate Mission Focus
As an additional strand to the church’s mission strategy, we have adopted a corporate focus for united, whole-church mission. The theme of people-trafficking has been chosen and we have undertaken to develop partnerships and support projects which make a stand against the exploitation and enslavement of people, and work to minister to those affected by it.
The first of these projects is Cambodian Hope Organisation, which we are supporting in partnership with Tearfund.
- People-trafficking is the fastest growing international crime, and one of the largest sources of income for organised crime.
- The majority of trafficked victims arguably come from the poorest countries and poorest strata of the national population.
- It is estimated that 1.2 million children are trafficked every year. (UN estimate)
Cambodia is still living with the legacy of the civil war and genocide of the 1970s, which devastated the economy, education and healthcare. CHO is a Christian NGO based in Poipet in the North West. They work with rural communities along the border with Thailand, where poverty and lack of employment make people, particularly young people and children, vulnerable to trafficking into forced labour and the sex trade. Their vision is to see a network of strong, hope-filled communities, where mental, physical and spiritual needs are met, in line with Matthew 22:39, where Jesus commands us to ‘love our neighbours as ourselves’. CHO’s practical help and training provides alternatives, offers a way out of the cycle of poverty and reduces the risk of trafficking. Their outreach is truly holistic, centred around church planting and focused on education and empowerment. Over the last 5 years SBC has provided financial support for CHO’s anti-trafficking and anti-poverty programmes, and a number of different teams have visited Cambodia to offer support and encouragement. This has included delivering training to CHO staff in primary education, English language teaching, training and mentoring pastors, and health education.
Our second corporate mission focus is Freeset. Freeset began in Sonagachi, one of India’s largest red-light areas, with approximately 10,000 sex workers, many of whom were taken from homes in villages and communities across West Bengal. The factory was set up to give women jobs and to help them to reach their full potential. Working for Freeset and earning a fair wage means that women can support their families and escape a life of slavery. In doing this, they can provide an education and better nutrition for their children as well as receive healthcare for themselves.
In 2014, the women employed in Kolkata wanted the business to expand into their own rural communities. Providing employment and reducing poverty would ensure that young women would be less at risk of being trafficked.
Freeset Fabrics was set up,” Freeset Fabrics’ passion is manufacturing beautifully designed hand woven scarves for a growing global market. Our future plans go beyond scarves, combining traditional and contemporary weaving techniques to produce fabrics by the metre as well as home and fashion accessories. By adding more value through printing, dyeing, embroidery and sewing techniques, we will create jobs for an increasing number of women from vulnerable communities”
Thanks to the generous giving from SBC, we are providing looms and training in the new factories.