Founded in 1839, Anti-Slavery International is the world’s oldest international human rights organization and the only charity in the United Kingdom to work exclusively against slavery. Its programs address a broad range of countries and forms of slavery at local, national and international levels. The group engages in research on slavery, public awareness-raising, projects to empower people affected by slavery (in partnership with national organizations), and advocacy with governments and international structures. Anti-Slavery International’s Africa Programme created six primary schools for the children of former slaves in rural areas of Niger in 2007, allowing over 400 children to receive education for the first time.
A 2016 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported literacy and numeracy education for slavery survivors in the regions of Atar, Nema, and Bassiknou. The grant covered teachers fees and materials. It also supported the provision of more structured support to slavery survivors in Nouakchott: while there are ‘solidarity networks’ set up in the regions, the support to survivors in Nouakchott itself had previously been informal.
A 2015 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network gave essential provisions to sixty-two children of slave descent trying to pursue their secondary education. This allows them to buy shoes, a second set of clothes, and food to contribute to host families (with a focus on girl students). While Anti-Slavery continues to work on long-term investment plans with the Niger government to ensure access to secondary education for marginalized communities, it is also crucial that that these children pursue their education as far as possible in the immediate term, in order to sustain their own protection from slavery and exploitation, and to transform the futures of their communities.