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Senior School news

Norwich School Amnesty Group raise funds for NGO YouCanFreeUs

01 November 2018

Norwich School Amnesty Group were busy last academic year raising awareness of modern slavery. 

Following a talk by anti-slavery activist Mark Little, Norwich School Amnesty Group decided to lend a hand at combating this crime, which is estimated to result in some 40 million people being enslaved worldwide.

The school’s Amnesty Group organised a variety musical evening, with the hope to raise the balance of funds required to help an anti-slavery organisation called 'YouCanFreeUs' operating in Mumbai, India, to acquire a bus. The bus was needed to help with the rehabilitation of the women and girls rescued from sexual exploitation in the Indian State of Maharashtra.

The NGO 'YouCanFreeUs' maintains 3 safe houses in Mumbai, which provides care and accommodation for 40 survivors from this type of forced labour. The organisation also operate a rehabilitation training centre in another part of the city. However, one of the biggest frustrations for the NGO is the fact that their training centre (on lease) is 5 miles away from their safe houses and they only possessed one vehicle, a six seater Toyota Innova. Consequently the car had to make multiple trips from the safe houses to the training centre, resulting in delays in classes and loss of efficiency.

As a solution to the problem, a 26 seater bus was identified by 'YouCanFreeUs' at a cost of 1750000 Indian rupees or £19,500. Norwich St Edmund Rotary Club agreed to raise the funds with the help of other rotary clubs in the region. By July 2018 a little over £18,000 had been collected from various sources giving a shortfall of over £1,000 for the bus. The shortfall was achieved when a cheque for £1,100 was received from Norwich School. With the funds secured, the NGO was able to order and pay for the bus, which was acquired in the first week of October.

Mark Little who is member of the Rotary Club of Norwich St Edmund will be flying to Mumbai on 4th December with the objective of seeing the new bus in operation, visiting the NGO’s safe houses and training centre and discuss with the latter the proposal for his club to help fund a new Training Centre nearer to the existing safe houses in Mumbai.   

Thank you to all who helped contribute to the Norwich School Amnesty Group fundraising efforts.