31:8 Project's Survivor Mentorship Program is a unique service program in North Dakota that evolved from collaboration with survivors of human trafficking and the multiple service sectors assisting them. Through the process of working with and listening to survivors, 31:8 Project learned about the dreams these individuals have of going to school, owning a business, getting a job, purchasing a house, and gaining stability in their lives. But in the same breath, they have mentioned barriers they face as a direct result of being human trafficked such as: big gaps in work experience or no work experience, lack of education or training to pursue a line of work that would be satisfying and improve their lives, as well as criminal records acquired while being trafficked. Survivors have also requested assistance in personal and professional development.
In response to these needs expressed both by survivors of human trafficking and by service providers, 31:8 Project developed the Survivor Mentorship Program in 2021. When a survivor of human trafficking contacts us directly or is referred by a service provider, we connect them with a mentor. Our mentors are social workers, counselors and also survivors of human trafficking who have previously completed our mentorship program. The mentor works with the survivor over the course of a year or longer to accomplish, at minimum, three life goals. Some of these goals have ranged from starting a business, going to school, finding a place to live, as well as gaining basic life skills.
31:8 Project also has a support group where survivors are able to connect with other survivors as way to assist with their healing. This program provides comprehensive, specialized services that are trauma-informed, culturally relevant, and evidence-based. The goal is to enable survivors of human trafficking to achieve personally defined life-skill goals that enhance feelings of safety and well-being, prepare them to enter the job market, and increase engagement in community. For each survivor, achieving their personal goals is important and a significant step on the pathway to resilience and success.
If you would like to learn more about our Survivor Mentorship Program, please contact us today!
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