Thank you: from all of us
On the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we wanted to say thank you to all of our supporters for all you do to help survivors of torture and organised violence.
If today I am alive I owe it to the kindness of the supporters. Thank you for all the lives you have saved and for the lives you will save tomorrow." Jassir, Freedom from Torture client
Our supporters transform lives and help people who have seen the worst in human nature to have their faith in humanity restored and we all- staff, volunteers and clients- wanted say a heartfelt thank you.
Below are some quotes from our staff, about why your support is so appreciated and why they wanted to say thank you.
Keith Best, CEO:
''The smile on a torture survivor's face who, with our help, begins that difficult journey to try to put aside the mental and physical scars and lead a fulfilling life as free as possible from the effects of torture says it all in terms of thanks for what we do. As Chief Executive I see those smiles and the transformation of withdrawn, isolated men, women and children whose personal dignity has been forcibly removed by the torturer into talented individuals who have so much to offer to society. That is why it is such a privilege working at Freedom from Torture and why we are so grateful to all our supporters without whose help those lives would not be changed."
Charlie Keep, Head of Individual Giving:
''Freedom from Torture's supporters make the unique, specialist and vital work of Freedom from Torture possible – they fund centres across the UK, ensuring that survivors of torture can access a range of services from therapy and counselling to support with housing. We are impartial and independent from government. This means our supporters are even more important as we rely on donations from individuals for almost three quarters of our funding. Until the charity is able to be there for every survivor of torture who needs us, we will continue to need this wonderful support.''
Funda Kansu, Adult Therapy Teams Manager and Counsellor:
'I work at Freedom from Torture because I strongly believe that torture is a despicable crime and needs to be eradicated. As a Freedom from Torture clinician, I strive to assist torture survivors to get their lives back. Torturers aim to break the spirit of their victims, and we are here to help the clients to regain their old selves, to be rehabilitated, and eventually to integrate into the society they live in. Working with torture survivors is challenging, but it is also very rewarding. Seeing a client smiling after weeks and weeks of looking at the floor and crying, is very motivating. Seeing a rape victim getting married one day is thrilling, as it shows that torturers could not destroy her.
Rehabilitation is a long process, and there are always obstacles on the way, which often adversely affect the clients' progress, but they eventually get there with our support; we accompany them through their journey.
I thank you for enabling us to care for the torture survivors and help them to regain their lives. We could not do it without your support, so THANK YOU!''
Angela Kirk, Major Grants Fundraiser:
I raise money for Freedom from Torture's work from charitable trusts and grant making institutions like the Big Lottery, European Commission and Comic Relief. Without this we would not be able to run many of our rehabilitation projects for torture survivors. In looking after these grants you really get to see how clients do recover their health and manage to create a life again for themselves in the UK.
I have worked here 10 years simply because I cannot think of anything worse than being tortured and coping alone with the aftermath in a strange country. What makes Freedom from Torture special is the creative and unique support we are able to give to survivors to meet all their needs – physiotherapy, counselling, casework, advocacy, group work just to name a few.
I would like to thank the supporters of Freedom from Torture for their kindness and consideration and for sharing the belief that it is only fair torture survivors are protected from further harm and able to recover their health.''
Bina Pahlevan, Interpreter at Freedom from Torture's North West centre:
'With the help and support from the supporters, Freedom from Torture is able to make a huge difference in clients lives and that deserves a BIG clap and thank you.''
Huda Abubaker, Arabic Interpreter:
'I would like to say thank you so much for their support and help for those who came from a terrible time. Our clients carry their problems and sadness so they really need all this support to start a new life here in Britain.''
Nathalie Talbot, Interpreter for clinicians and Medico-Legal teams:
'Our work enables the survivors from torture to make their voices heard and speak out freely on their struggle for justice. I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to Freedom from Torture supporters for showing compassion and helping survivors of torture to rebuild their lives with dignity. Any contribution, even the smallest one, is a big step towards a fairer and more peaceful society.''
Beate Dasarathy, Legal Officer:
''Without your help the documentation of torture to secure international protection for our clients would not be possible. Thank you.''
Tina Puryear, Training and Capacity Building Manager:
'Our work involves designing and delivering trainings and other types of learning programmes for people outside of Freedom from Torture who work with survivors (such as doctors, nurses, counsellors, lawyers, HR activists). Freedom from Torture wants to share what we have learned over the 25 years working with survivors of torture so that others working with survivors can also provide good quality appropriate care. We are training for change, so that all survivors of torture can access the care that they need and to which they have a right.''
Lynn Hiltz, Training and Capacity Building Coordinator:
I work for Freedom for Torture for many reasons! I am inspired by the clients who we support. They are an amazing testament to the strength of the human spirit and for hope. I think that Freedom from Torture is a special organisation because it provides both direct help to survivors and works for change to improve conditions in the UK for survivors.
I would like to thank our supporters because without them, we wouldn't be here doing this work. The generosity of Freedom from Torture's supporters also brings hope!''
Jude Boyles North West Centre Manager and a psychological therapist:
''I deliver training and clinically supervise practitioners and services across the North West working with survivors. Freedom from Torture refuses all Home Office funding and is heavily reliant on donations from supporters – without your support we would not be such a strong voice alongside our clients, speaking out against torture and fighting for the rights of refugee survivors in the UK.''
Shoaban Nair, Trusts and Grants Fundraiser:
''The work I do, applying for money to fund the services and projects we run, and reporting back to funders on our work, enables other staff to work directly with or on behalf of our clients. I work here because I believe strongly in the sanctity of Human Rights and the importance of providing reparations for people who have had those rights severely violated. Thank you to our supporters for everything you do for us and to help torture survivors to recover and rehabilitate.''
With thanks to creative agency The Team who have created this video.
For more information contact Press Officer Mark Fenwick on 07767 313 105 or at MFenwick@freedomfromtorture.org