Tamar House - Life in Tamar HousePosted on 12 July 2017
I’ve been staying in Tamar House for almost a week now and I’m having a wonderful time. I’ve been trying to think what I would want to know about my experience if I was someone else. So, I’ve decided to write a blog about what life is like in Tamar House.
Before arriving at the safe house, I didn't have a clue what to expect. I was anxious I was going to struggle emotionally and with maintaining energy, but I am so thankful to say I have not. That is not to say that the stories I have been learning about are not upsetting and distressing, because they most definitely are, yet I have not become overwhelmed.
Tamar House is not a depressing, super emotional, sad place. My experience has been the complete opposite! Life in the house is super practical and chilled out. We all get up in the morning and have breakfast together and then have various activities throughout the day – doing washing, going for coffee, playing games, exercising, shopping – just going about normal life really. The survivors in the house have various therapies throughout the week including mindfulness, counselling, music therapy and reflexology, in the hope of helping them to work through the trauma they have experienced.
For me the most striking aspect of Tamar House is the clear family element. Majority of human trafficking survivors are a long way from home when they are rescued, with many being taken overseas. Alongside this, many have not had a positive family experience, whether that is through neglect, sexual abuse, being orphaned or going through the care system. This results in clear attachment difficulties within any relationship.
Tamar House fills the role of a caring family home for these girls. Every volunteer who comes in is like a mum to the survivors and really loves them. They want them to get better and their willing to give up their time and energy day after day to make this possible. We all eat together, watch movies together, cook together, do facials together – just like any family home!
The volunteers are all friends and care for each other too. They all come from various backgrounds, from retail to midwifery, from care assistant to psychology and counselling student. And they all have a good laugh together too! It’s been fascinating (and sometimes hilarious) hearing about their own personal stories and experiences. I don’t think I’ve ever met so many new people in a week before and I’ve loved it! I go home soon and it is going to be so strange not seeing the same people every day and catching up on their ‘bizz’.
The work in Tamar House reminds me so much of Jesus’ work throughout the Gospels, where Jesus often met individual’s physical needs to help address their spiritual needs. This is seen through Jesus performing various miracles during his time on earth, including healing the lame, giving sight to the blind and raising people to life again. As a Christian, I believe God blesses everyone with different skills and talents that they can use to glorify God, and I have seen this so clearly in Tamar. Their practical help mimics Jesus’ concern for all aspects of people’s lives.
I hope this blog helps to make it a little clearer what actually goes on in Tamar House, which I’ve found to be an extremely happy place filled with HOPE and LOVE!