Project #238 | Aftercare, Relief, and Support for Survivors and their Families during COVID-19

Our partnership with Willow International

2020 brought lengthy government lockdowns due to COVID-19 in Uganda, leaving many of the trafficking survivors in Willow’s care not only even more economically vulnerable but also at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their poor health status and compromised immune systems. The risks of re-victimization, exploitation, and severe food insecurity, were imminent. Willow’s program ensured that survivors and graduates of the program were safe, had reliable food and shelter, were not at risk of physical harm, and were following protocols to avoid COVID-19 infection. Beginning in early 2020, Willow continually adapted its comprehensive response to the crisis by providing consistent resources and support to survivors including in-kind and cash programming for emergency needs.

One Day’s Wages partnered with Willow International to provide aftercare services, rehabilitative care, relief supplies, and economic support for trafficking survivors and their dependents. One Day’s Wages has been a central partner in Willow’s work since 2019. Generous support from One Day’s Wages has been instrumental in Willow’s success in combatting the cycle of human trafficking in Uganda. Willow has impacted over 60,500 lives since its inception, through rescue, education and prevention activities. Willow has directly facilitated the rescue, rehabilitation, and restoration of over 878 women and girls who were targeted and victimized.

Our Collective Impact

People Received Trauma-Informed Care

People Received Relief Supplies

People Received Vocation Training

Meet Birungi

While she worked at her mini supermarket, Birungi’s* neighbor kept telling her about opportunities to go abroad and get a better paying job. With that income, her neighbor encouraged, Birungi could expand their mini supermarket. Birungi finally decided she wanted to take the opportunity, and shared the idea with her husband. Both agreed that she would go to India where she was promised work in a supermarket to earn a monthly salary of about 3 million Uganda shillings (UGX). She and her husband used their savings that was used to pay for a visa and an air ticket.   

On arrival to India, Birungi’s expectations and dreams were shattered when she was taken to a strange room in an apartment where she found a number of one-inch mattresses on the floor. For the next month, she along with several other women were sexually exploited by clients of the man who was holding them. Eventually, one woman was able to escape and find the police. Their repatriation to their countries of origin was arranged; Willow facilitated Birungi’s return to Uganda and she was reunited with her children. Her husband had passed away under the stress of his wife’s situation leaving their children with no parents until Birungi’s return. While under Willow’s program, Birungi has been able to access medication, intensive psychosocial support, and financial support. She is receiving capital from Willow which she plans to inject into her boutique for expansion.  

“Through Willow, I have gotten a second chance to live,” says Birungi. 

*pseudonym used

Thank you for making this possible!

Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.

If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to the fund below.

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One Day's Wages is a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty

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