The Amies project (French for female friends) was established in 2011 to provide creative arts workshops for young women trafficked into the UK for prostitution or domestic slave labour. We meet once a week to make friends, learn new skills and get creative together. We sing, dance, perform, share stories and laugh a lot…
Previously funded by Comic Relief, this project has helped 60 young women overcome obstacles in their lives and move forward. The workshops we provide empower the women to rediscover their confidence and aspirations, leading to engagement in education, training and employment.
‘Amies has taught me how to trust people again.’ Amies Participant, 2013
‘The future is now showing lots of colours, rainbow colours. Before it wasn’t showing any colours. Amies has helped me… things that I’ve wished to happen is coming my way. I’m going to be doing my access course to Uni for next year [I want to be a] social worker. I’ve got a job so I’ll be starting working on Tuesday.’ Amies Participant 2013
Victims of trafficking only receive 45 days of compulsory ‘reflection and recovery’ support from the UK government when they have escaped their captors, before having to start their new life. This is not long enough! These women require more long-term support. The Amies Project provides this support. We would like to continue our work here in London and set up The Amies Project in other cities in the UK.
The Amies Choir
In June this year The Amies Project set up a choir. Funded by Youth Music for two years, the choir meets weekly to sing together. The choir will develop the musical and cultural awareness of young women from different ethnic backgrounds by exploring songs and musical styles from each others' cultures and languages, working with Pan artists and professional musicians from different regional traditions. The choir is working on building a repertoire of songs, vocal and choral skills as well as developing musical and cultural understanding.
We have now been singing together for a month and as our confidence grows our voices become stronger. We look forward to performing together in the future.