To provide care, protection and safe repatriation to trafficked survivors.
Since its inception till 31 March 2011, the Shelter has housed 352 trafficked survivors from Malaysia and 9 other countries, namely, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Sri Lanka, Burma and India. Two of these survivors were part of the 19 Malaysian girls rescued from a brothel in London and Birmingham in 2006.
Tenaganita had to close the Shelter from March 2011 as there were no further funding to sustain the shelter; as such the survivors were sent to the different shelters until May 2012.
In June 2012, Tenaganita managed to secure some funding from local faith based organization to open the shelter once again. With the increasing number of cases of domestic workers and women migrant workers in Penang, Tenaganita set up another shelter in February 2015. Cases are handled by 3 volunteers in Penang together with Women Crisis Centre and Penang Office for Human Development.
From the period of February 2014 to April 2015, , Tenaganita has housed 133 women, 5 children and 3 infants.
· temporary accommodation in a secure, warm and trusted environment
· food, clothes, hygienic and daily necessary items
· assistance to psychological and counseling care
· assistance to health care
· provision of legal support and intervention
· assistance to safe repatriation
· information and education
· recovery and empowerment
The Shelter maintains the confidentiality of each person’s record. It also practices a non-discrimination policy, and takes in people regardless of ethnic background, color, religion, political or other opinion, nationality or social origin, property, birth or status.
Since January 2014, the Shelter has had no core funding , as donors and funders see Malaysia as a developing country, therefore the funds are sent to third world countries for other programs. As such, the shelter is running solely on donations received from churches and individuals
Since its inception in 1991, Tenaganita’s work has encompassed a wide variety of women’s and gender issues, expanding to include sex workers, trafficked persons, individuals afflicted with HIV/AIDS, migrants, refugees and other stateless persons. However, one of the greatest challenges the organization faced was that women and children who were in need of Tenaganita’s services or came to the organization for protection did not have shelter, food or medical support.
To accommodate the needs of rescued persons, Tenaganita opened its first allwomen’s shelter in 1994. The residents who were sheltered were trafficked women, women and children with HIV/AIDS and sex workers who were recovering their health from drug dependencies. Tenaganita’s progress with the shelter has since grown to include cooperative projects with other organizations, which has allowed for the establishment of two other shelters; a second one for females and one for males, the latter of whom are typically victims of labour exploitation.
Staffed and organized by dedicated teams of volunteers, Tenaganita’s mission for the shelters is to provide an environment in which victims of various abuses are free to rest, recover, seek counseling and overcome the trauma they encountered while they await the completion of their legal cases, develop future plans for themselves and prepare for repatriation.
Activities provided at the shelters include cooking classes, baking classes, making handicrafts, dancing classes and weekly English classes. These activities add diversity and allow for unique forms of expression in a community of individuals with varying nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. Additionally, the activities are designed to develop skills that can be utilized in the future outside the shelter, such as foreign language proficiency and entrepreneurial skills.
While the Residents are in the shelter, a team of case officers will take care of their documentation and work to repatriate them to their country of origin, even if they are lacking passports, documentation or adequate knowledge about their former employer. For those needing financial assistance, the case officers in charge will acquire sponsors to accommodate travel and other expenses.
Every new arrival is brought to a clinic or hospital to have their medical condition assessed. If the person in question is wheelchair bound or is immobile, volunteer medics may be made available to transport them, specially provided by Kechara, a partner charity organization.
We are ever grateful to have received donations from KECHARA, FOOD AID FOUNDATION, TOPAZ TRAVEL AND TOURS, WELOVEWECAREWESHARE and KAVITA, all of which are crucial in maintaining monthly food deliveries for shelter residents. We are incredibly thankful to all those who have supported our shelter and have allowed us to provide an environment which upholds self-worth, love and the ability to live and interact with others without fear. It is our hope that the experience of our residents at the shelter will be a postiive one that will allow them to return home in dignity.
As we listen to the silenced voices of our communities, we began to identify the gaps which exist. We have different specific and dedicated programmes which are built from and developed through the needs of the communities we work with.
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