A Great Write up in the Berea Mail

NPO spreads hope among human trafficking victims

She said the initiative was started by Vashti Toms 14 years ago because no one was caring for the women and girls.

Read the story here.

By Thobile Zwane
August 28, 2021

EXPOSE Hope, a non-profit organisation fuelled by love, faith, stamina and dedication to help Durban victims trapped in the sex and human trafficking industry, has been making an invaluable impact for the past two years.

This Women’s Month, Berea Mail places the issues of sex and human trafficking in the spotlight and chats to Expose Hope who says anyone is at risk of becoming a victim.

Liza Moroney, the NPO’s administrator, said the organisation serves as a support system for victims.

“Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labour or commercial sex act. Traffickers lure their victims and force them into labour or commercial sexual exploitation,” she said.

When asked who is at risk of becoming a victim of sex trafficking, she said it was people who were financially, emotionally, spiritually and physically vulnerable. According to the victims, they found themselves in the industry after they were manipulated by adults they trusted. They were told they had a job but were then sold to a pimp.

She said the initiative was started by Vashti Toms 14 years ago because no one was caring for the women and girls.

“They were the most judged and abused of all marginalised people. The mindset of government and general public needs to change, the narrative needs to change, stereotypes need to be demolished, judgement and hatred needs to be laid aside, assumptions need to stop. Sex workers need to have the same human rights as everyone else,” said Moroney.

In regards to the help the organisation provides, she said they help by offering emotional and contact support, counselling, helps reconnect them with family members, attend clinic and hospital appointments with them and assist with family planning. With the help of the TBHIV mobile clinic medical support is given to those in need as and when they highlight the issues, they also provide weekly hot meals toiletries, clothing, and basic medical supplies.

When asked what has been one of her highlights in this journey, she recalled helping reunite a woman with her family after she was trafficked from Mozambique.

“The most traumatic experience was spending at least two hours on Esther Roberts Road in Umbilo trying to get a half-naked lady into our car who had an absolute psychotic break down and had been there since 07:00. Around 20:00pm, we eventually got her in the car and took her to King Edward Hospital where she was admitted. The saddest part was people just drove past her all day long and while she stood on the road naked talking to nothing.” she said.

She added, “We are currently going through three amazing highlights, got three beautiful ladies out of an awful brothel and they are slowly building their lives all over again. Their journey will be long, they will need our love and support along the way as they have been in the industry for many years. So far we can see amazing changes happening and we are so proud of them.”

You can contact the organisation on email exposehopesa@gmail.com or visit www.exposehope.co.za.

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