This is the story of Olivia* who has been supported by our charity project partner, HERA UK. It shows the incredible progress and wider social impact which can be made when survivors of modern slavery have access to education, training and long term support.
Olivia was a HERA student in 2008, having recently moved to the UK. Olivia wanted to gain confidence and to make friends. Through HERA workshops, Olivia gained knowledge and skills that gave her the confidence to begin pursuing her business goals. Olivia notes that “those were big things. I built a lot of rapport with people. It still plays a big part in my life. It gave me confidence and made me a better leader.”
Now, Olivia is using her leadership skills, developed throughout the HERA workshops, as a store manager at one of the largest H&M locations in the world. She was able to work with a company that encourages entrepreneurship and creativity. Olivia is excited to be using her experience and working her way towards bigger goals, “I am happy where I am but not satisfied. I would love to look for something bigger…The only way is up!” She has recently received job offers from Selfridges, Nike, and other major retailers outside the UK.
Olivia tells us that the connections she made through HERA continue to have a very positive impact on her life. “There were other people who were like myself who had very interesting stories”, Olivia said. She wants more people to know about HERA’s mission and be able to hear the stories of people like herself so that they may be impacted by them as well. “It would be super amazing to have people to help share our stories.”
In 2021, the TRIBE community are supporting HERA to develop their Survivor Education, Entrepreneurship & Business Training. This year, HERA UK will also launch a new online learning platform, alongside the existing Summer Training Programme which will be delivered to survivors this July. Follow this link for more information.