Who we are

Leila Segal – project founder, lead facilitator 

Leila SegalLeila spent two years researching and developing Voice of Freedom. She visited the Safe House to learn about the women’s needs, meeting staff and social workers; and spent time in a shelter for African refugees in South Tel Aviv. She combines artistic credentials with a background in advocacy and community projects. Her work stems from her desire to act as advocate for those without a voice. She trained as a barrister, and volunteered for Rights of Women and The Free Representation Unit, going on to become author of Breathe – Stories from Cuba (2016). Leila led The Jaffa Photography Project, which brought together Jewish and Arab teenagers to document and explore their lives, and she worked for a year with charity PhotoVoice, on Change the Picture, a project with prostituted women in London’s East End. In developing Voice of Freedom, Leila has created links with the UK and US Jewish communities, and with Eritrean activists in London. She is promoting Voice of Freedom with community groups in the UK, and amongst anti-trafficking groups worldwide.

Matt Daw – project manager

MattDawheadshot_bwsmallMatt’s goal is to amplify the voices of marginalised and vulnerable communities and create social change using photography to bridge divides in society. He was based at charity PhotoVoice for over six years, designing and managing participatory photography projects all around the world. In 2010 Matt was project manager on anti-trafficking project See it Our Way. For this project PhotoVoice partnered with international NGO World Vision to work with young people affected by child trafficking across the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Matt travelled to Albania, Armenia, Lebanon, Romania and Pakistan to set up photography workshops with young people in communities that represent source, transit and destination points for trafficking. The photos by the young people have been showcased in reports and campaigns by World Viision to inform action and policy around this important area, and were showcased at the UN Symposium on Child Trafficking in Belgium in 2011.

Isabella Okoh – project consultant

isabella 3Isabella Okoh was born in Nigeria and now lives in the UK. Since 2016, she has been a consultant to Voice of Freedom in its work with trafficked women. Isabella has a degree in business studies, and is interested in the arts and photography, in particular in how this can be used in activism for women’s rights. She has created a body of photography reflecting her experience of life in Nigeria and the UK, focusing on her journey, and the messages she would like to give out to the world to about the difficulties that migrants face.

Dawn Miller – project consultant

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Dawn is developing an educational project in Ghana that will offer skills to young people who don’t have access to training and employment, particularly those in rural communities. She has a degree in criminology and a diploma in integrative counselling. Dawn is a support officer at the charity Fine Cell Work, which helps prisoners develop independent, crime-free lives through craftwork. She provides practical and emotional support for those interested in joining the programs. Dawn is advising Voice of Freedom by sharing her knowledge and experience of the conditions faced by young people who may be at risk of trafficking in Ghana.

Liz Orton – workshop facilitator 

liz 2aLiz Orton is a visual artist, educator and participatory practitioner. She has worked on many participatory photography projects, including with PhotoVoice, Performing Medicine and The Photographers Gallery, with a wide range of communities. Liz is an Associate Lecturer in Photography at the London College of Communication, and teaches participatory and collaborative practices. She co-authored Photography and Integration: Photography with Young Refugees (2008), and was a contributing author to Sensory Photography: For Blind and Partially Sighted People (2009). Liz won the Mead Fellowship in 2015, and was also awarded a Wellcome Trust Arts grant for a collaborative project about medical imaging. She has exhibited widely and in 2016 her first book, A Handful of Soil for the Whole Horizon, was shortlisted for the MACK First Book Award, the Kassel Dummy Award and the Unseen Photobook Award.

Marijn Alders – support facilitator

marijn_alders-2Dutch photographer and journalist Marijn Alders has completed several photographic projects with Holocaust survivors, one of which was recently exhibited in Tel Aviv. She is now working on a long-term project, Infiltrators, with migrant workers and refugees to Israel. Part of this work in progress was selected by the Anna Lindh Foundation for its exhibition on migration in Israel.Marijn has a keen interest in human rights and the use of visual media to represent and advocate for the needs of marginalised groups. Migration and the strength of the human spirit are central to her work. She is interested in the vulnerable position of women in the aftermath of war, and the resilience they demonstrate in starting new lives.

Jessica Ling – project intern

jess1Jessica is a qualified Australia lawyer with a passion for engaging in charitable projects. She worked in Australia as a Legal Officer for a native title service provider, facilitating federal court litigation on the behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with the goal of gaining land rights for those who were forcibly removed from the traditional lands after English settlement of Australia.  Jessica is also very creative and interested in the use of art as a means of therapy and expressing one’s emotions and life. Jessica has has assisted with all facets of the project and supported the workshops in Israel in October 2013.

Pippa Hockton – supervising psychotherapist

Pippa provides professional supervision and support for staff working on Voice of Freedom. She is the founder and director of Street Talk, a charity that provides therapy, advocacy and support services for women in street-based prostitution and women who have escaped trafficking.

Volunteers

We are extremely grateful to Mastewal Terefe Taddese and Avekylesh Mleket-Kolech who worked with us as interpreters during the October 2013 workshops at the Ma’agan Safe House in Petach Tikvah. Thanks to Shelly Inbar for sterling work as our fixer in Israel and logistical support throughout the 2013 workshops. Thanks to Chloe Grahame for help with fundraising, and Kate Watson for working as support facilitator for the London workshops in Winter 2014-15. Thank you Giorgia Mendola, Prince D Slim and Evelyn Lopez, volunteers in Asti who supported us so amazingly during the Voice of Freedom Italy workshops at Piam Onlus shelter in October 2017.

 

Project partners

Helen Bamber Foundation

Voice of Freedom works in London with clients of The Helen Bamber Foundation, a human rights charity founded by Holocaust survivor Helen Bamber in 2005. Their specialist team of therapists, doctors and legal experts support survivors of human rights violations. The Foundation grew from the recognition that people who have suffered any kind of prolonged inter-personal violence, whether from human trafficking, war; community, or gender-based violence, show similar physical and psychological symptoms to torture survivors. The Foundation extends the model of care that Helen Bamber developed over decades for people who suffered state torture to a wider range of survivors who previously lacked specialist support.

Anti-Slavery International

Anti-Slavery International, founded in 1839, is the world’s oldest international human rights organisation and the only charity in the United Kingdom to work exclusively against slavery. Anti-Slavery International works at local, national and international levels to eliminate all forms of slavery around the world by supporting research, working with local organisations to raise public awareness of slavery, educating the public about the realities of slavery and campaigning for its end. Anti-Slavery International has promoted Voice of Freedom on their website and social media platforms, in the lead-up to, and following, International Day against Slavery on October 18.

Human trafficking foundation

Voice of Freedom is a member of the Human Trafficking Foundation Advisory Forum.The Human Trafficking Foundation is a UK-based charity which grew out of the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking. The foundation was created to support and add value to the work of the many charities and agencies operating to combat human trafficking in the UK.

Shiva Foundation

Shiva Hotels founded the Shiva Foundation in 2012 to contribute to the fight against human trafficking. Shiva Foundation aims for collaboration not competition, engagement not blame, and system change across institutions. Together with the Hilton Foundation and iPartner India, the foundation organised a launch event at Hilton Heathrow Terminal 5 Hotel, raising £180,000 for anti-human trafficking organisations across India and the UK. Funds were distributed to those involved in the prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of victims, including Prajwala (Hyderabad), Gram Niyojan Kendra (Rajasthan), Odanadi (Mysore), Apran (Mumbai) and Helen Bamber Foundation (London)Voice of Freedom is exhibiting at the launch of Shiva Foundation’s Women for Change breakfast club in London, September 2015.

Piam Onlus

The Voice of Freedom Italy workshops took place in October 2017 at Piam Onlus shelter for trafficked women in Asti. Piam Onlus helps women to exit prostitution and find employment, contacting trafficking victims via street units to give information about healthcare and their rights. The shelter works with police, judiciary and local authorities so that traffickers can be prosecuted. It offers counselling, legal assistance, education, training and job placement. All services are developed by a multi-ethnic team, including cultural mediators and peer educators.

PhotoVoice

Voice of Freedom ran the Israel and UK workshops in partnership with PhotoVoice. PhotoVoice’s vision is for a world in which no one is denied the opportunity to speak out and be heard. Working in partnerships with other charities, NGOs and community organisations PhotoVoice designs and delivers participatory photography, digital storytelling and self-advocacy projects for marginalised communities across the world. PhotoVoice has worked with refugees in the UK and abroad, street children, disabled people, indigenous tribes, communities affected by human trafficking, HIV positive people and many more.

Rene Cassin

Rene Cassin is a London-based non-profit organisation that uses the Jewish experience and Jewish values to campaign and educate on universal human rights issues such as discrimination, slavery, detention and genocide. The organisation is named in honour of Monsieur Rene Cassin, a French Jew and Nobel Laureate who was one of the principal co-drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Rene Cassin enjoys accreditation at the United Nations, and uses this accreditation to give voice to Jewish values within the international human rights community. Rene Cassin provides Voice of Freedom with fundraising and research support, and helps disseminate the women’s photography through its network of activists and campaigning partners.