Embrace Befriender Testimony #2

Further to the post shared on Wednesday, here is the testimony of another of our Embrace befrienders:

Q. Befriender Interview Questions

A. What made you want to get involved in Embrace?
When I read the flyer about the role I was so excited! I thought this is just the sort of thing I have been looking for. I had been looking at volunteer roles to support women in Cardiff as I really wanted to do something practical to help women but didn’t know how to go about it. Then I spotted the Embrace advert via Twitter and thought yes! What an opportunity! I had no idea if I would be accepted but thought I would pray about it, apply and see if the door opened. The issue of trafficking has been on my mind for some time and the issue is so huge and overwhelming. This project is wonderfully simple in that we can just offer friendship and time to someone, to show them they are loved and cared for. Just doing something small but hopefully making a big difference.

Q. How has the experience been thus far (be honest about the easy and hard bits!)?

A. So far it honestly has been a pleasure to get to know my friend. It has been nice to show her things in Cardiff locally that she didn’t know were there, practise bus routes together, take her for tea and cake and enjoy talking about our shared interest of cooking and shared experience of child birth! It has also been good to help her with things such as attending hospital appointments with her or calling GP or housing when there have been some things she has been worried about. Sometimes conversation can be tricky and some issues we have talked about such as family have brought her to tears and I have felt helpless but honoured that she has shared some things of her past. Currently she is quite low and the last few meetings have been more difficult. It is difficult to offer hope when you do not know what will be able to change about her situation as things rest with the home office and this is causing her a lot of stress. 

Q. How do you see that Jesus is using this Befriending relationship for both you and your new friend?

A. This relationship is making me rely on Jesus more and call on him for help. Every time I am driving to meet her I pray Lord what should we do today and ask for wisdom for the right thing for how she is feeling that day. Its amazing that every time He answers that prayer! Also, as my friend is on my mind a lot I am praying for her throughout the day. This friendship is also opening my eyes to others in need in the city. It is changing my attitude and opening my eyes to asylum seekers who are in the city and local services trying to help. I feel perhaps Jesus is asking me what more could I do in the future. 

Q. Why would you suggest others to get involved in Embrace?

A. I would say the training is great, the support is great and you are really able to make a great difference to someone by just doing something small. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know someone who really has absolutely no one they can call on. 

Q. What would you like prayer for?

A. I would like prayer for the home office to process my friends application urgently. To call her for second interview and for her to be granted to make Cardiff her home. For a home to be found that is secure for her and located centrally with access to all the services she needs. Prayer for her mental health, for strength, for healing of her mind and body and for her children that they will have peace and a happy life here. That one day she will be able to fulfil her dream of being a nurse.

Embrace Update - Summer 2017

Our Embrace coordinator, Lauren, shares the latest update on how things are developing with the Embrace project:

SPONSORSHIP

1. Who has been financially supported? 

  • 18 women
  • All 18 women are from countries outside of the UK

2. How have they used the financial support?

  • Interpreters
  • Clothing for themselves and their children
  • Counselling
  • Household Items
  • Education Courses
  • Personal Hygiene products
  • Prams and other baby items

3. How much money has been given from Embrace thus far?

  • £2005.00 since November 2016

BEFRIENDING

1. How many befrienders have been DBS checked and trained?

  • 15 volunteers
  • We will host another training in September 2017 and are hoping for more befrienders so that we can accept more applications from agencies. 

2. How many befriending relationships are currently in progress through Embrace?

  • 10 friendships 

3. What have befrienders been up to with their Embrace friends?

  • Acting as the birth partner for an expectant mother and being able to cut the cord at the birth
  • Teaching a mother of two children how to use the bus and access the library
  • Attending a birthday party for the 1-year old child of their Embrace friend
  • Going for LOTS of coffees! 
  • Walking around Tredegar House
  • Attending Toddler Groups 
  • Playing at parks 
  • Helping with English skills
  • Shopping together
  • AND LOTS MORE!!!!

We are so pleased with how this project is going thus far! Thanks to everyone who has played a part in making this possible!

If you would like to be a part of Embrace in any capacity (financial giving, praying, befriending), please get in touch with Lauren at Lauren@redcommunity.co.uk.

Manumit Website now live

The Manumit coffee project is now up and running with 2 survivors of modern slavery roasting specialty coffee at the Roastery each week. The good news is that the Manumit website is now LIVE giving you information about the project, introducing you to the roasters and enabling you to purchase their coffee. Why not go and check it out and order yourself some excellent coffee that tastes of freedom!

www.manumitcoffee.co.uk

Embrace Befriender Testimony #1

As the Embrace project continues to expand and develop we thought it would be helpful to post a few articles on the blog this week that will help to provide a glimpse into what is going on. In this first post one of our befrienders shares her testimony of how her befriending relationship is working out:

Q. What made you want to get involved in Embrace?

A. I have always had a passion to come alongside and support  women and families who have been trafficked and this has been something that has been on my heart for many years so when I received the e-mail from Red Community about Embrace I knew I just had to get involved.  

Q. How has the experience been thus far?

A. I met my befriendee roughly four months ago and see her weekly for a few hours. ‘G’ is from Eastern Europe and speaks little to no English. My involvement initially was to simply support ‘G’ with her English and for the first few months this is what we did with help from google translate. We would head out for coffee and I’d help her with her English. It was great to see ‘G’ develop in her language skills although it wasn’t easy using a phone every time I wanted to say something to her and vice versa, however we muddled through and it’s now just part of how we communicate together. During our support sessions, it came to light that ‘G’ who was pregnant had no one to support her when she was giving birth and this literally broke my heart. I spoke to her support worker and it was agreed, if ‘G’ was happy, that I would be available to support her when her baby was born, what better way to show the love of Jesus and be his hands and feet! It was with such a joy and with great emotion that ‘G’ recently had her baby girl and I was there supporting her during her delivery, I even got to cut the cord. This was such a great honour and something I will never forget.

Q. How do you see that Jesus is using this Befriending relationship for both you and your new friend?

A. Even though ‘G’ speaks little English, I really feel she knows she is loved by me, her friend. She may not always be able to understand my words but she understands my actions and I am excited to continue befriending ‘G’ and her family.  I would say that befriending has shown me what it means to love like Jesus, love without expectations and agenda.

Q. Why would you suggest others to get involved in Embrace?

A. It is a pleasure to be involved with Embrace and I would recommend it to anyone who has a few hours a week to support someone who simply needs a friend, and isn’t that who Jesus is, our friend?

Manumit Coffee Roasters

Several months ago the Red Community trustees met and discussed various ways that we could offer practical help to survivors of slavery in Wales as they seek to rebuild their lives. One of the dreams we had was to see a coffee roasting company set up that could provide training and employment to those who have suffered horrendous exploitation at the hands of traffickers and modern slave traders. The coffee would be ethically sourced, profits could be donated to various anti-slavery projects and the coffee itself could be used as a means of raising awareness about the issue of slavery.

Long story short...the dream came true!

Manumit Coffee Roasters was established separately from Red Community as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee in January 2017. The team have obtained an industrial unit in Cardiff and established a great working partnership with wonderful local roasters - the Plug. The Roastery is now very almost finished and so, incredibly, the first employees will soon be roasting great coffee that's all about freedom and hope. 

If you'd like to follow the adventure Manumit already has Twitter and Instagram accounts set up and a website will soon be available with information about the coffee and details about how it can be purchased. Facebook will also be coming online soon.

Please pray for Manumit and, if you like coffee, support the initiative by buying some when it is available.

#FreedomThroughCoffee
#doyoumanumit