Made by Survivors Club – International Mindedness in Action

By Robin Singer, Faculty Advisor to the Made By Survivors Club

MBS Members Donated $1,100 to ‘Her Future Coalition’ in Spring of 2017

Helping support human trafficking survivors in many countries where large pockets of slavery exist today is a natural fit for students participating in the I.B. program.  Supporting survivors, mostly children, who have suffered forced servitude in brothels, factories, or domestic labor, combines the IB Learner Profile traits of Caring, Knowledgeable, and Principled.  

For the past 12 years, students and faculty at Sturgis have been supporting an organization called Her Future Coalition (formerly called Made By Survivors) which was started by a local Cape Cod woman and now helps many hundreds of victims of human trafficking around the world.  Founder Sarah Symons had seen a documentary on modern slavery and set about finding how she could make a difference in the lives of these child victims.

Residents at ‘Her Future Coalition’ Shelter Homes receive letters sent by Sturgis students

When she traveled to the organizations which help free the victims, she was told that the best way for her to contribute was to find ways for the survivors to make a living once they are freed.  So many would find themselves back in the places from which they escaped, since they had no other skills to rely on to support themselves. She established a program to teach them trades like jewelry making and to supply scholarships for academic training.

Sturgis students have been helping sell survivors’ jewelry locally for all 12 of the years the program has existed.  When the program followed faculty advisor Robin Singer from Sturgis East to Sturgis West in 2013, the sale of pizza on a weekly basis also enabled the club to make donations for scholarships and shelter improvements, as well as buying the products made by the survivors for raffles and to resell.  The club is more active today than it has ever been.

2nd International Banquet Fundraiser hosted by West MBS, May 2018

The latest fundraising activity by the MBS club (the club kept the Made By Survivors name) has been an International Banquet.  Volunteer students and faculty make food from around the world which is sold to appreciative students and faculty, with the proceeds going toward scholarships and shelter support.  The first banquet was a huge success – there was food and drink from India, Vietnam, Italy, France, Germany, the Middle East, Mexico, and more.  This time food sign-ups already include items from Pakistan, Africa, Jamaica, and Poland.  

Club members have written letters to shelter homes and have had opportunities to hear firsthand about the trips by ‘Her Future Coalition’ staff, in which they are meeting and working with former victims of human trafficking.  The club has had a lot of fun raising money through individual events such as Valentine’s friend-grams, selling pens, co-hosting a coffee house, sales of snacks, and beaded bracelet sales.

Residents at ‘Her Future Coalition’ Shelter Homes receive letters sent by Sturgis students

The students in the club are trying to find a way to generate similar clubs at other IB schools as part of the CAS program.  They are proud to have given thousands of dollars to this cause ($3,000 in the past two years alone) and bought thousands of dollars of merchandise (“give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime”).  They would love to multiply this assistance by many times by spreading the word throughout the IB and encouraging more clubs to form to play a role in this very important cause.  If you’re interested in getting involved in the Made By Survivors Club at Sturgis, please reach out to Robin Singer at rsinger@sturgischarterschool.org.  To learn more about “Her Future Coalition”, visit their website ~ https://www.herfuturecoalition.org/

 

 

 

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