Transition Home 2019 Director's Report

Jan 2020 BFA Africa Director’s Report

 

Overview

In 2019 the girls’ transition home continued to be the primary project of BFA Africa.  We provided food, housing, education, and other practical helps for 10 girls/women over the course of the year as residents, and have helped in various ways at least 40 others.

In September we added to our staff, and now along with the Director we have two full time staff living in the house.  Our new house mom has been a wonderful addition to our household. Our primary focus in this season is to train the current staff and develop training materials for future staff.

Our partnership with a local women’s education association continues to be strong providing needed networking and resources for the girls’ education.

Other projects of BFA 2019 were weekly visits to the girl’s detention center and direct outreach to women in prostitution in Rex park.

Our summer team was a rousing success putting on a week long camp for the children of women in the program, and producing a product for a social business (organic health smoothies) and conducting market research.

We continued to pursue avenues for a social business, but are on a standstill with it as we need someone dedicated to running the social business full time.

 

BFA Africa is able to function because of a dedicated core group of foreign volunteers.  As the director I am deeply thankful for everyone’s effort to help these girls achieve their dreams and potential!

 

The Transition home

We continue to learn and grow as a family.  In January of 2019 we had 4 girls in the house and were providing rent for a girl who was in the process of transitioning out.  One of the girls just finished culinary school and as soon as she has her paperwork together will be working at a prestigious restaurant.  The rest of the girls have quite a few years left of their education, so we will soon be sitting at full capacity for the foreseeable future.

In looking toward the future and seeing the increasing need, the training of staff has emerged as a pressing need.  We are doing a new thing here, therefore there are limited materials, especially in Arabic. I have gathered some counseling books from Egypt that we are working through as a staff, but it is clear that we need a training manual specific to our work.  This past month, and probably for some time to come I have stepped back from direct work with the girls and worked on training the staff and developing training materials.  Translating the material will be quite a project since many of the concepts wont translate directly. We will be putting together a translation committee.  Our hope is to train our current staff to train future staff so that we can open several transition homes throughout the country.

 

The Girls’ Center

A new and exciting development since September is that our national staff have joined myself and one of our volunteers at the girls’ center and are able to share from their lives and experience with the girls in proper language and cultural understanding.  They are still learning how to do public speaking, as this is the first time either of them have attempted to speak in front of a crowd.  They are doing a great job and I look forward to their continued growth!

We have been asked to do lessons focused on sexual health for the girls.  We are honored and looking forward to our continuing relationship in serving the girls at the center.

Social Business

While we remain convinced that starting a social business in order to hire women seeking to leave prostitution we see that we do not have the human or financial resources to pursue that avenue at this moment.  So, we are focusing our energies on the transition home and doing it well.

 

Finances

Two years into running the transition house we are beginning to understand how much things actually cost.  Without the director living in the home the cost of food has gone up considerably (I had been contributing).  The addition of another staff salary and the cost of director’s housing caused the 2020 budget to greatly increase from 2019.  We still hope to receive financial and other helps from local people to offset this budget, but since it comes sporadically it is best to plan for the full amount of our needs.  This means that BFA Africa needs to raise an additional $1,264.67USD per month this year in order to meet our goals.

~Lauren Byler

Founder/ House Director