Welcome to the SA Foundation's program exchange centre!
This blog was created with the intent to be a place for those serving in the front lines to share their experiences, strengths and hopes with each other as we deliver programs and services to sexually exploited and trafficked youth, women and their children.
Each of your organizations started out with the same seed: the SA program model was brought to your city by the founder of your organization through the SA Foundation. Your organizations, especially the ones that have been around the longest, have gone through leadership changes and much growth, as have we at the SA Foundation, particularly as we grew and learned more about how to disseminate the program model and how to train new leadership! The one thing that has remained constant though is our love for the young women coming into the programs, and it is on this common ground we are hoping to continue connecting with each of you.
Here in Vancouver, in addition to running the World Services Division which trains international leaders, we have a small front-line program that provides housing and the ASK Learning Centre day program to 4 or 5 young women and their children at a time. Our intent is to keep the program small (maximum 2 houses at some point, or 8 women) because we do have the international mission of planting the program model, and so having a large front-line program would simply be too much of an undertaking. However, the smaller version of the program provides excellent training ground for new leaders!
I have previously been the program coordinator in the first SA pilot program in Calgary, waayyy back in the 90's :-), and now have returned to running the project here in Vancouver, after a 12 year break from front-line program delivery. Here are the things that I have found are different in this time span:
1.) When I was program coordinator in the 90's, I'd estimate about 60% of the women were drug addicted and 40% were not. Now the addiction rate is 100% across the board, with younger and younger girls using drugs intravenously - something you never would of seen except in hard-core, middle age users back in the 90's.
2.) In Vancouver at least, there are SO many girls giving birth to drug addicted babies that they have started a special hospital ward for them, one that doesn't even require them to stay drug free to be on it because the girls won't stay if they have to be clean! Shocking.
3.) Very little of the prostitution is street level. 90% of it is online or in massage parlours so nobody thinks it goes on and the girls are harder to reach.
Does anyone else have any insights about how things have changed in your city/globally over the last 10 years?
How does this affect your program delivery decisions?
I very much look forward to sharing on this forum - I'm certain our combined insights are going to further our program delivery efforts and help us unite to fight this incredible social injustice!
Yours in service,
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