Friday, March 4, 2011

Declare freedom for the captives (Isaiah 61)

BOMBAY TEEN CHALLENGE (The organization I'll be working with in India):

”A family like no other." –  The Bombay Teen Challenge group has been consistently making a difference to the lives of those who society prefers to ignore; drug addicts, victims of forced prostitution and AIDS-infected orphans.” This is how we were described in an article that appeared in The Times of India. Since 1990, Bombay Teen Challenge has worked to rescue and rehabilitate destitute and desperate people living on the streets and in the red light district of Mumbai. These people include women trapped in prostitution, their at-risk daughters and other girls vulnerable to the sex industry, street children who are in danger of being abused and exploited, abandoned and orphaned by AIDs and HIV positive orphans and those addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Our approach: This is a 24×7 ministry and our goal is to produce fruit that remains. Our greatest strength is that our ministry is geared towards bringing total healing to the person, in every aspect of life – spirit, emotions, mind and body. The relationships they form with us are enduring and life-changing and gives them the emotional security they need to thrive and become mature well-adjusted human beings.

Bombay Teen Challenge's Village of Hope, Ashagram, houses 75 women and teens, offering hope through holistic programs, warm meals and safe housing in a rehabilitative environment.  Sixteen residents are provided life-saving HIV treatment.  Every woman at Ashagram has the chance to excel in a vocational program of her choice: sewing, jewelry, leather-making, bag-weaving, painting, Henna designing, and embroidery.  Through these training programs, BTC is teaching women how to regain their independence, survive in a competitive market, earn a living, budget, and save money for sound investments.  Their retail products have been recognized by US-based Target as having a high quality and value, a major accomplishment for our partners.  So far, they have been producing items such as silk/cotton pajamas, cushion covers, wallets, frames, bedspreads, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and much more.  Women are able to earn wages and establish savings accounts, a feat that creates newfound financial security.  Additionally, these training programs have improved the skills, confidence, and competence of each woman.

Nineteen women passed the Indian Open School exam this year, equivalent to an 8th grade level, a huge accomplishment for many women who were never taught to read as children.  As BTC focuses on the goal of reintegration, these skills are essential for independence, both financially and psychologically.   In the spring, BTC helped a resident and her daughter in confronting her family and village community regarding her victimization through trafficking.  BTC sent several staff with her to reinforce this survivor's message and show that the entire Ashagram community supported and admired her strength.  Her willingness to confront and discredit the stigma that was assigned to her dismantled the community's ability to cling to misconceptions of her trafficking situation.  Subsequently, they accepted her back into the community with open arms - an unheard of step.  After aiding her in reconnecting with her family, BTC invited the entrie family to join the efforts at Ashagram, providing them with jobs and housing.  This model of reconciliation will empower other survivors in facing their families and communitites as a part of the healing process.

Another amazing success this year is that Neelam recently finished her first year of bible college.  It was during this first year that she began to hear the whisper of God saying "Uganda, Uganda."  Through faith and action, Neelam is now serving with YWAM in Uganda.  She's the FIRST missionary graduate of Ashagram - an amazing testimony to the healing power of God!

In 2010, the BTC medical team in Mumbai saw over 3400 patients through its street outreach efforts, hosted more than 2400 patients at the clinic, and served over 3800 meals.  They provided life-saving treatment to an average of 13 victims of HIV on a weekly basis.  A particular highlight was when BTC rescued five women during their outreach efforts, who began the process of rehabilitation and have joined the outreach in Bhandup's red light district.

This year at Ashagram Village of Hope:
  • 75 women and teens were given safe housing
  • Regular life-saving treatment was offering to 16 ladies with HIV
  • 59 women are enrolled in educational programs, several of whom are obtaining college credit
  • Neelam is serving with YWAM in Uganda
  • 8 women are learning leather-making
  • 38 women are learning tailoring
  • 9 women are learning to make jewelry

No comments:

Post a Comment