The Welkom Project began by visiting vulnerable and exploited women in local massage parlors around the country and bringing community, education on their rights, and the chance to choose another life with job training and help finding alternative work.
Now, we work with women who have immigrated from numerous countries and experience gender based violence, exploitation, and discrimination.
what we do
For the last five years, Oasis Belgium has worked with the many trafficked and exploited Thai women in Belgium. The project began by visiting local brothels and connecting women to legal help, social services and counselling. As part of this process, in co-operation with another charity, Oasis Belgium set up a coffee bar in Antwerp where the women can find work experience, training and then be helped into new work.
In recent years, the scope of the project has widened to assist women who have immigrated to Belgium from various places across the globe, including Algeria, Iraq, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Although these women come from very different backgrounds, they share similar stories with us of suffering violence at the hands of their partners, exploitation in their work environments, and other kinds of gender-based violence.
The project works closely with a team of volunteers, including Thai and Indonesian women, who regularly visit house brothels and meet with individual women who are referred by local embassies, friends, or find us online.
Although every individual case is different, some common threads of our work include accompanying women to the police, social services, or doctor's offices, providing translation, creating a web of culturally appropriate social and emotional support, and helping to create safety plans for women in situations of domestic violence.
Our goal is to empower women as they walk into freedom out of trafficking, violence, and exploitation.