provided shelter and education to survivors of human trafficking in Indonesia

Ruth donated $2,117!

This paid for:

Food, medical costs, education and repatriation for women staying at a shelter for survivors of human trafficking in Batam, Indonesia

Ruth's Motivation

"When I read about Anita's story, and spoke to Just Peoples about the work that the shelter was doing, I knew I wanted to do something to help. I can't fathom what it must be like to be at your most vulnerable: no home, no job, and with a small child, and with noone to turn to for support. I know that I'm in a lucky position, and wanted to be able to do something for those who aren't. I wasn't sure what I could do to fundraise, but I had just received a bonus at work and so it made sense to use it for something good."

Ruth's Feedback


Ruth received this video from some of the women she supported

Anita's Story

Anita is a former resident at the shelter Ruth supported.

On the small Indonesian island of Batam, 40 minutes’ ferry ride from Singapore, there is a shelter and rehabilitation centre dedicated to women and their babies who find themselves in circumstances that many of us would consider unfathomable.

Large numbers of Indonesian women migrate to Batam looking for work in factories or as domestic workers in Singapore because of the poverty and lack of employment opportunities in their home villages. When they arrive they are isolated, far away from their hometowns and families with little means to support themselves, which leaves them extremely vulnerable. Many women are then forced into jobs where they are mistreated, underpaid, sexually abused and even tricked into becoming sex workers.

Unfortunately, as an additional consequence to these tough circumstances, unplanned pregnancy among migrant workers in Batam is increasingly common. Women who find themselves as solo mothers are in particularly desperate situations of poverty and vulnerability.

In a conservative Muslim country solo mothers regularly face stigma and discrimination; and they are frequently abandoned by the babies’ fathers and their own families, leaving them with nowhere to go. As a result of such desperate situations, backstreet abortions are common, as is giving up babies for adoption through dubious networks. These babies, if they survive, become prime targets for Batam’s lucrative baby trafficking trade. Baby trafficking numbers are on the rise in several places in Indonesia, particularly on Batam and Riau Islands as they are transit areas to demand sources in Singapore and Malaysia.

Anita, originally from Sumatra, Indonesia, is one such solo mother. Anita became pregnant when she was working as a domestic worker in Singapore. She was abandoned by the baby’s father, an Indonesian migrant worker. Anita was banned from working in Singapore and deported to Batam as it’s illegal for domestic workers to get pregnant while working in Singapore. As a single mother in a conservative Muslim country, Anita was socially stigmatised and had nowhere to turn. Her family in Sumatra wouldn't let her return home as she didn’t want to give her up baby for adoption, have an abortion, or abandon her baby. Fortunately for Anita, she was introduced to an emergency shelter which provided her with support, safety and care during her pregnancy, covered her medical costs to have a safe birth and is now helping her look after her baby son.