Reflection with Co-founder Annie Hilton
Q: Looking back at your first meeting with the 20 women and now celebrating Freeset’s 15th birthday, how does it feel and what does it mean to you?
A: Feels like it was just yesterday! Mina-di challenged us that day - saying why should we trust you?? We have never forgotten that and are so incredibly grateful that those first few did - they are the “she”roes.
Q: Have there been any children you have seen grown up and have a different lifestyle because their mothers had the opportunity to work at Freeset?
A: Walking the lanes around “the gach” (short term for Sonagacchi), we get to see kids in school uniforms, know kids now at universities, have been to weddings and seen the next generation born. Their lives have been transformed and they have an opportunity to be raised differently to their mothers. It's a testament to the mums who have worked hard to provide a new future for them.
Q: What is one of the most valuable things the women at Freeset have taught you?
A: To be welcomed into their homes and given cha or food is one of our favorite things. The gift of hospitality is legendary and the gift of being family is what we value - they have all taught us so much.
Q: In the next 15 years, what do you see happening for Freeset?
A: Freeset Kolkata expanding, Freeset Fabrics expanding, Freeset Dhulian, Freeset Kuli, Freeset Domkal, Freeset Botordanga, Freeset Siliguri, Freeset Nepal, Freeset Bangladesh as well as many many other new Freedom businesses.
Freedom needs to be on offer for the thousands and hundreds of thousands. Whilst one little girl is still being stolen, placed and forced into prostitution then we can never ever stop growing. We have committed our lives to this. We dream and hope to lay the foundation of a different future for all young girls so that they may grow up in freedom--be loved, respected and valued--and know the One who brings joy, peace and hope.