Dear Friends of Offspring,
It has taken me a while to reflect back on 2017. Not because I don’t want to, maybe it’s just the craziness of life that one year can somehow seamlessly roll into the next so quickly! As always, over the course of the year we have had our variety of ‘high, low and interesting’ moments, however through it all I feel like we (I’m speaking of a group much bigger than just myself) have built a momentum for great things to come throughout 2018.
Here are some of my favourite highlights from 2017 for you:
First Birthday Celebration – After 2 years of getting Offspring to a place where we welcomed our first trafficked survivors, it was then such an honour to celebrate one year in full operation – both in India and Australia. We had our partners, trainees, volunteers, donors and many other significant people in the life of Offspring come together, pat each other on the back and say ‘well done’.
Trauma Training – We have every desire to be the best-informed Trauma Centre! We exist because of trauma victims, so we want to make sure we’re doing our best to support them. Our Case Workers had extensive training throughout the year and we had our favourite Psychologist, Caitlin, back in Kolkata mid-year to run some training for all our staff.
Two New Staff Members – One of the biggest challenges from the very beginning has been finding the right staff – someone not just wanting a job, but wanting to invest in people through their job. At the beginning of the year we employed a Case Worker and towards the end of the year we employed our Operations Manager. Both are local women who are passionate about seeing change in Kolkata and in our trainees.
Trainees – No doubt this will be a highlight every year but seeing these beautiful young women grow through our program is….well….I don’t think I have the words to describe it. Our partners are commenting on their growth, the trainees themselves are making comment on their achievements, and our staff are seeing daily improvement in behaviour, education, skill and self-belief. Throughout 2017 we spent…
- 48 hours of teaching Life Skills (that’s one hour a week of practical activities helping them learn life-lessons they may have missed out on growing up)
- 285 hours teaching numeracy and literacy
- 125 hours of one-on-one sessions between our Case Workers and Trainees
- And countless hours of Vocational Training
Our Product – People are still loving the product we’re making using recycled and ethical materials, and we were able to meet our sales target for the year.
I could keep going on about new systems being developed, educational programs designed, a new events team emerging in Melbourne and other exciting things that have happened throughout the year. Of course, amongst all these highlights we’ve also had the lowlights – times that have brought us to our knees, moments of sadness and loss, frustration and states of being totally overwhelmed. But it is in these moments we’ve grown, learned and made changes to be better.
So thank you! Thank you for supporting Offspring in whatever way that looks like. We are who we are because of a FAMILY of people working together, believing that EVERY LIFE is worth fighting for. I’ll leave you with this statement from one of our trainees who transitioned throughout 2017…
“This was my first job experience, so everything was new. I was nervous to begin with but I learnt many things during my time at Offspring. 10/10 – I loved everything.”