Global Africans Against Slavery (GLAAS) , a multi-sectoral partnership of relevant stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking and migrant smuggling announced plans for a free mental health therapy session, for victims and survivors of human trafficking early this month. And is still building on relationship among its coalition members to see the project to fruition.
GLAAS as a Coalition was formed to eliminate the complex problems of Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants(HTMS), by deconstructing the inter-connectedness of the diverse underlying issues influencing its rise in our communities, synergizing efforts and bringing together diverse understandings of the issue of Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling in different nations of Africa and communities ,thereby forging a path that will unify policy efforts with field engagements, hinged on the resonances of diverse demography of the socio-cultural and political realities of the scourge, and create pathways hat shall be extremely effective in demobilizing this menace totally.
In line with its ethos of inclusivity and respect, GLAAS has delegated its Assistant Programs Director Survivors Network of Cameroun, founded by Francisca Awah Mbuli a globally renowned human trafficking survivor, to act as an advisor and supervisor for the free mental health therapy session initiative, underscoring the importance of survivor perspectives in shaping effective interventions.
Awah Francisca Mbuli is a survivor of sex and labor trafficking and almost a victim of organ trafficking, and the founding director of Survivors’ Network, a female-led Cameroonian NGO comprised of trafficking survivors that raises awareness, helps victims escape their trafficking situations, and offers temporary housing, vocational training, and other essential services that survivors need for successful reintegration.
As a survivor, she uses her experience to educate and prevent others in Cameroon from experiencing human trafficking. Since 2015, her organization has helped over 50 women from West and Central Africa free themselves from their situations of forced labor, including debt bondage, in the Middle East. Under her leadership, Survivors’ Network has built a unique approach to survivor empowerment by focusing on economic independence and fostering entrepreneurship among women and girls.
She has provided guidance to more than 2000 victims of trafficking, and her organization has helped create economic opportunities for more than 400 survivors and internally displaced persons (women) across Cameroon, by providing micro financing to small businesses and income-generating projects as well as job and small business training.
Due to her hard work she has earned many recognition; including,
Trafficking in Persons Hero award 2018
– Obama Africa Leader, 2018 inaugural class.
– Global Freedom Exchange Fellow 2018
– Mo Ibrahim Governance weekend Fellow, 2019
– Obama Foundation Summit 2019 Chicago (On a Panel With President Obama)
The free mental Health therapy session initiative exemplifies GLAAS commitment against human trafficking and migrant smuggling by addressing the victim’s needs holistically, going beyond rescue and rehabilitation, to address the critical aspect of mental health recovery. And has reached out to mental health professionals that has volunteered to embark on this noble initiative with them at no cost.
Data protection remains a priority for GLAAS, so extra efforts and consultation are on-going between the coalition and the professionals that will handle the therapy session towards ensuring that survivors’ private information are safeguarded per legal requirements. The virtual sessions will be conducted in private, restricted to participants, mental health professionals, and GLAAS executive board and working committee members.
And with survivors Network which was founded to cater to economic and social needs of survivors of human trafficking taking a central position in the event affairs,survivors of trafficking and migrant smuggling are assured of their rights being protected.
In embarking on this journey of healing, GLAAS extends an invitation to survivors of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, taking a significant stride towards a future where slavery, in all its forms, is eradicated once and for all. Through their tireless efforts, GLAAS continues to prove that the fight against human trafficking and migrant smuggling requires collective action – and healing, a collective responsibility.