The country we considered the most stable of all our project locations, Kazakhstan, started the year 2022 with riots, demonstrations, military shooting, and demonstrations.
Our team went into lock down. Once more there was fear and worry about what was happening, and where this would leave our women's groups, the anti trafficking work etc.
But only three weeks later, the groups were meeting again, and in the women's empowerment groups we saw trust, and through that hope and life, restored like never before.
Recently a new women walked into the women's empowerment group. After listening to the others for some time, she said, "I have heard about you and that I can trust you not to judge or gossip. I need to tell someone something I have never told anyone before. " Then she shared a story of abuse she had experienced as a girl. This is something that in this "shame and honour" culture was not permitted to happen, or to be confronted. This is something for which society blames the girls, never the perpetrator.
For the first time in her life, this woman was able to unburden herself, find comfort and listening ears and hearts in this group of women who all have gone through hardship in life. Together they show and build resilience and hope in each other, through which they can find life.