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From 2008–2010, Miryam Cherpillod co-directed JusticeACTs in vigorously rolling out a trafficking prevention campaign across the nation, impacting tens of thousands of people. Through the prevention program, many unassisted victims of human trafficking were discovered. It had always been in Miryam’s heart to assist and empower victims rescued out of human trafficking, but the question at that time was, “How?”
During this time, Miryam began working with a group of trafficked prostitutes who were wanting to leave their PIMPS/traffickers. However, there did not seem to be a suitable home or shelter to assist these women in their rehabilitation process. The same problem arose when JusticeACTs came across other victims of human trafficking during the prevention and awareness work. Miryam, along with JusticeACTs, found it nearly impossible to find suitable shelters or safe houses with beds available and the expertise to deal with the complex needs of a victim of human trafficking and a the trauma they have experienced.
Upon further investigation, JusticeACTs, together with government, law enforcement and other NGOs, realized that there was no safe house specifically providing safety and rehabilitative services to victims of human trafficking in the Western Cape. At a national level, there were almost no services available for victims of human trafficking.
By this time, the groundwork for S-CAPE was well underway. Miryam had developed a strong network of professionals and volunteers, recruited and equipped a team, and had begun raising funds. By January 2011, Miryam was able to secure a facility and by March they opened its doors to welcome S-CAPE’s first residents. In January 2013, S-CAPE was offered a small building on a big plot from the municipality and moved. Since that time, the safe house which is not that spacious has often been at full capacity and at times unable to receive new residents.
To offer a safe place which specializes in restoring young women rescued from trafficking and sexual exploitation by providing shelter and food, health care, skills development, discipleship, counseling, legal and migration assistance and future orientation.
To see victims of human trafficking free and safe from exploitation, healed, and restored, empowered with life skills, and restored to a normal and sustainable life.