Mid-September, Freeset celebrated its eleventh birthday, which is truly an amazing thing - for 11 years, this business has been working for the freedom of women who have been trafficked, exploited, and sold into the sex trade.
11 years of community.
11 years of providing women with a choice.
11 years of returning dignity to those who have been abused.
11 years of working towards breaking the cycle of the roles passing from grandmother, to mother, to daughter.
11 years of a reason to smile.
Daily I remind myself just how lucky I am, that I have been given this opportunity to work alongside the most incredible people, both the women Freeset hires, and the close-knit group of international staff.
To be around a group of people who have been called from the corners of the earth by God, who have sacrificed years of their time, money, and skills, is really quite inspirational.
Not only am I blessed to be here, but when I have lived in an environment that is an assault to the senses, I really begin to be thankful for the privileges I have back home in New Zealand... I could list the differences in the quality of life back home in comparison to here, but each is on a completely separate scale. It is easier to just acknowledge these differences, and understand that the society of the life we all live today is the way it is, and there is no immediate 'fix'... which is why we are working towards freedom, for a greater quality and equality of life, and for His love to enter the homes of the oppressed and voiceless.
This is why Freeset is still 11 years young, and will continue to fight for the freedom of the women our hearts have been captured by.
Here are some photos of the celebrations that took place at Freeset - colours, sarees, music, dancing, and plenty of food! Initially the music + dancing side of things wasn't going to happen as we felt that it might be too soon after Shanti's sudden death (two weeks), but in the end it was decided that the women needed something to enjoy and be happy about - a chance to celebrate their freedom.