Jericho’s “Labour for Change” programme is renamed “Equiano”

In March this year, Jericho announced its Lottery funded “Labour for Change” Project, building on our pilot project and designed to dramatically improve the economic, social and personal outcomes of the survivors of modern slavery and those at risk of this kind of exploitation.

We have now adopted the name “Equiano” for all of our pioneering work with Survivors of Modern Slavery, honouring the journey and work of Olaudah Equiano. An African slave, seaman and merchant, Equiano went on to write an autobiography depicting the horrors of slavery and lobbied in parliament for its abolition.

Born in 1745, kidnapped and sold into slavery as a child, he worked in Barbados and then Virginia before being sold aged 12 to a naval captain who brought him to England. After being sold yet again, and after years in slavery Equiano was able to buy his freedom. He experienced further mistreatment and attempts to enslave him before finding employment with a resettlement project giving safety to freed slaves.

He went on to form “Sons of Africa”, a group campaigning for the abolition of slavery through public speaking, letter writing and lobbying parliament. He also used his own life story as a powerful argument against slavery. His autobiography was titled “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano” and it depicted the horrors of slavery that many people faced. The publication was instrumental in the formation and passage of the British Slave Trade Act of 1807 which made African Slave Trade illegal, 10 years after Equiano’s death.

Even as a free man, Equiano often experienced dark times and also contemplated suicide before he turned to the Protestant religion and found peace in his faith, a fact that strikes a chord with us at Jericho as we know that, faced with the exploitation and hopelessness that modern slavery brings, many of the people we have helped have indeed struggled to cope with the personal effects of this terrible crime.

So, as we continue to build on our vision of transforming the lives of victims of modern slavery, we remember particularly Olaudah Equiano for his bravery and pioneering work in the fight against Slavery all those years ago.

Read more about Jericho and our support for the survivors of Modern Slavery here
#slavery #humantrafficking #modernslaveryact #africans

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