Yoga brings empowerment: empowerment in your body, in your mind, in your health. Many of us, in the ‘western’ world, practice to enrich our day-to-day lives, fortunate enough to have the basic freedom to act and practice as we wish. For millions around the world this basic freedom is a fantasy, as human trafficking has become one of the fastest growing criminal activities. People of all ages and gender can find themselves taken from their homes, though figures show that the most common reason for human trafficking is sexual exploitation, putting young girls and women at by far the greatest risk.
We at Cork Yogis do not take our freedom for granted and that we use our privilege to create change. We want to see past the materialism that so often blinds us in the western world and ensure our products stand for more, and create real change to real people, which is why we have teamed up with Destiny Reflection.
There are nearly 200,000 women and children currently missing in India. It is estimated that in 2015 over 73,000 women went missing, equating to 270 women disappearing every day. In the highly patriarchal society, trafficking is not the sole perpetrator, but with India’s ever-growing economy there sadly comes an ever-growing demand for sex workers.
Amongst these alarming statistics however there is some hope. A small number of girls and women are rescued or manage to escape the trade. They are placed in Shelter homes that ensure their safety until they come of age. Some are able to return to their families, though due to traditional beliefs regarding ‘honour’ and ‘virtue’ many are forced to start anew and create their own way of life. This is where Destiny comes in; the charity wants to ensure no woman rescued has to return to the trade. They therefore conduct training programmes at many of the shelters to equip girls with basic literacy and numeracy, as well as skills in sewing and crafts, which will allow them to gain an income.
Destiny Reflection also employs the girls into a formal work environment where they produce the stunning yoga bags you can receive from us.
Destiny Reflection is currently supporting around 75 women and children through their programme. Against the scary statistics listed above, phrase “a drop in the ocean” springs to mind concerning our cause. However, we must remember that these women are not simply the statistics and numbers we see in the papers. Destiny has given 75 women a second chance. They can now live life on their own terms and earn a wage for themselves that is based on their skills, not their bodies. With your help, we hope to help many more do the same.