Over 25,000 women work as prostitutes in the Netherlands, many of whom are from poor countries in Eastern Europe and around the world. Not For Sale is working to provide dignified work for women vulnerable to exploitation in Amsterdam and abroad.
New Stories from The Netherlands
Businesses directly supporting the future of our survivors
May 9, 2013
We wrote in March about employees from Juniper Networks, a world leading networking technology company, who swapped their keyboards for paintbrushes to help out with our shelter renovations. The need for IT skills was recognized by the Juniper employees, who this week started IT training sessions with some of our survivors. The employees were happy to see the women were so eager to learn and already had clear ideas on what skills they needed for a future job. We are excited to continue partnering with Juniper Networks to support our survivors in laying foundations for promising futures.
Gaining Confidence Through Training
May 9, 2013
Lailani*, a woman from Southeast Asia, was forced into prostitution in the Netherlands after being tricked into a marriage via the internet. She has been part of NFS' training program for over one month. She recently completed her cooking training and began the second phase in which she prepares soup orders and salads. NFS' chef commented that when Lailani first began the training she was insecure and afraid of making mistakes. Through her time at NFS she has grown more confident and comfortable with staff and volunteers. Lailani hopes to further her studies and would like to be an account.
Over 1000 soups served!
April 25, 2013
This quarter NFS NL sold over 1000 soups to women in the Red Light District during the first quarter, making contact with a total of 79 new women. Through selling nutritious, healthy soup, we hope to bring these women a healthy meal as well as a taste of home. Chicken and goulash soup are favourites. Twenty-two nationalities were served this quarter, top countries being Bulgaria, Romania, and the Czech Republic. We seek to be a safe place for the women, gaining understanding in how they got here and what NFS can do to help reduce women's vulnerability in the regions where they come from.
First Trainee Completes Salad Training!
April 18, 2013
After completing the soup internship and training in selling Not For Sale soup at Juniper Networks, Aine was excited to be able to return to our project for another phase of training. She spent four Tuesday afternoons working in our kitchen to prepare salads made to order for the women in the red light district. She is enthusiastic, works hard, and really enjoys being busy with her hands. She was a great asset and completed her training with flying colors! She hopes to open her own restaurant someday and we are so grateful to be a part of her journey in realizing that dream.
New Level of Training!
April 11, 2013
With the start of salads being served at NFS' NL project, a new option for a second level internship has been provided for survivors at our enterprise. Two trainees per week will intern in this 'hands on' role in the kitchen, during the afternoons. At this stage, the women will be given much more exposure to a busy kitchen environment and will be stepping up to respond to orders coming in from the RLD in 'real time'. Salad interns prepare orders to be delivered by volunteers going out to the street. This continuation of the internship has been met with positive feedback from the women.
Not For Sale Soup Launches In HEMA
April 4, 2013
In September 2011, the CEO of HEMA, a department store in the Netherlands, made a commitment to collaborate around products in order to support Not For Sale’s work to combat human trafficking. Today, Not For Sale and HEMA launched our first collaboration, an organic soup! The four different soup flavors; Pumpkin, Tomato, Goulash, and Mushroom, have been uniquely developed in cooperation with Dutch soup manufacturer Kleinste Soep Fabriek. NFS staff were on hand in one of Amsterdam's HEMA stores during the launch sharing with customers about our unique training program for survivors of slavery.
NFS Expands to Provide More Healthy Meal Options in the Red Light District
March 24, 2013
A part of the NFS Netherlands mandate to reduce vulnerability for those at-risk to exploitation is to cultivate relationships with women in prostitution in Amsterdam's red light district. We accomplish this through our innovative soup business that provides nutritious meals. Recently our soup business expanded to include the sale of fresh, nutritious salads. Says one NFS volunteer: "Many of the women we interact with have been asking for us to include salads in our menu. They like having a healthy alternative when working late at night." The salads have already proved to be a popular addition!
Overcoming Trauma through Confidence and New Skills
March 19, 2013
Jenny*, one of the survivors of sexual exploitation who recently completed her training at HOME soup shared with NFS staff how the program gave her a sense of empowerment. "I feel more confident, the skills I learned I think I can use it any time and I plan to use it in my life." The trainee added, "You never know where you will go in life, so it’s very important to learn as much as possible." Seeing a survivor begin to move past her trauma and see her future with renewed hope is at the very core of NFS' training program. Your support in Amsterdam helps us to raise hope for women like Jenny!
Selamat! An Indonesian Congratulations
March 14, 2013
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart." (Nelson Mandela) A trainee completing the HOME program received a special surprise when our head chef congratulated her in Indonesian, the survivor's native language. A staff member said about the moment, "It is so much more empowering to hear the encouragement in your own language and really understand it, you feel cared for when someone crosses the divide to come and speak in your way. There were hugs and tears all around!"
Help NFS Grow Netherlands Soup Project
March 11, 2013
Where NFS soup is sold in Amsterdam, the demand for it has never been greater. NFS has been desperately looking for more support to expand this project to meet demand, and to importantly provide more survivors with long-term alternatives away from exploitation. We are excited that a local hostel this week decided to partner with us by selling NFS soup and increasing awareness with its tourist population. We need all the support we can get to continue making a difference in Amsterdam. Please support us by becoming a NFS partner today.
HOME Volunteer Heads to Moldova
March 5, 2013
After completing her Eastern European Studies, Sanne started volunteering at HOME in September 2012 with a desire to help women from this region that end up working in the Netherlands. About her time at HOME Sanne says: “I learned a lot about the issues surrounding trafficking and prostitution in my time at HOME and really enjoyed the familiarity and trust built up through contact with the women.” Sanne will be completing an internship at a women’s shelter in Moldova: “I hope to learn more about the root causes and prevention of human trafficking through awareness raising among young women."
Amsterdam Team Welcomes New Staff
February 13, 2013
This February two new staff members joined the NFS team in Amsterdam. Chef and sociology major, Jael Fraenkel, has taken over as Head Chef and trainer in our HOME kitchen. Already since starting she has had the honour of awarding one of the trainees a certificate of completion. Claire Buswell comes with experience in poverty alleviation focusing on women and vulnerable children while working in Africa and Latin-America. She has joined NFS as the Netherlands Coordinator and will be expanding the research aspect of our Amsterdam project.
A Representative Voice
January 23, 2013
Not For Sale Netherlands Director, Toos Heemskerk, was recently invited to address a delegation in February 2013 between Swedish and Dutch representatives on anti-human trafficking best practices. Toos brings extensive knowledge with her experience in working from grassroots to leadership levels in providing support for women working in prostitution, reintegration programs and prevention awareness schemes. We are excited for this opportunity for Toos to add to this collaboration in the fight against human trafficking.
16 Women Trained As HOME Enters A New Term
January 8, 2013
As we move in 2013, HOME soup enters its third term of training for women rescued from trafficking and exploitation at a local government shelter in Amsterdam. In 2012, a total of 16 women, who were trafficked from all around the world, including West Africa, South America and Eastern Europe were trained in culinary skills. This year, Not For Sale will continue to provide training and at the same time, look for further opportunities that can lead those seeking to re-build their life in the Netherlands, towards longer term stability and work.
HOME Soup Celebrates First Christmas
December 19, 2012
This week, NFS staff in Amsterdam will take HOME soup to the annual Christmas party of the government shelter for victims of human trafficking. The party signifies a time for those working across the anti-trafficking movement in the Netherlands, from city officials, law enforcement, members of IOM and those providing direct services to celebrate not only the progress of individuals moving through rehabilitation but also the contribution that groups like Not For Sale have made in the abolitionist space this past year. Show your support this Christmas by giving: nfs.webconnex.com/giving/donate
Respect Produces Confidence for Survivors
November 26, 2012
Danielle, a HOME soup intern, has been participating in serving soup at Juniper Networks, the technology company where Not For Sale weekly sells HOME soup. When asked about her internship at Juniper, Danielle responded, "These people, they respect us. That is what we need; to be shown respect." Toos Heemskerk commented that the internships have been key to the healing process for survivors of human trafficking. "I see in front of my eyes the change in the girls." Respect produces confidence, which allows survivors to move forward into their new futures knowing they are deserving of dignity.
Training Certificates Give Survivors Hope
November 13, 2012
Emotions run high every time a woman in our program receives her certificate of completion at HOME soup. Recently we were all touched when one of the survivors started to cry after getting her certificate, saying to our staff, "Dank u wel, dank u wel (Thank-you, Thank-you)." For some in our program, this certificate is the first paper they have ever received. For others, it is a goal to work towards that keeps their mind off of the trauma they experienced, even for a few hours. One girl told us after she finished her training that she begged to come back as she loved being in the kitchen.
Addressing Root Causes of Slavery in Europe
October 28, 2012
This week, NFS the Netherlands hosted visitors from Eastern Europe where our team, and those working with at-risk populations, gathered together to share stories, hardships, and needs from the frontlines. Those from Eastern Europe shared that many women from their villages have left to find work in order to provide for their families. They cited poverty, discrimination, lack of employment, and broken families as root causes of human trafficking. NFS in Europe is working to develop social enterprises that will employ survivors and at-risk individuals to address these root causes of slavery.
Interns Complete First Round of Training
October 11, 2012
Interns from HOME soup completed their first round of training last week. The women partaking in the training are all survivors of human trafficking who are currently rebuilding their lives. The successful completion of an internship at HOME soup is an important step in the healing process. Allowing each women to begin to dream of a new future free from exploitation. Part of their completion was for the interns to make a soup from their own country. Tanya* made a delicious Russian Borscht that was a very popular soup with many of the women working in prostitution in Amsterdam.
Watch Out Thomas, We Will Soon Take Your Job!
October 1, 2012
This week, the Not For Sale HOME soup interns completed their first soups on their own. HOME soup chef, Thomas, oversaw the kitchen and gave the interns a recipe to work from, but the girls did the rest. One soup was a North-African Lentil Soup and the other was Italian Tomato Soup. Both soups turned out fantastic, and were well received by everyone. One intern made the joke to our chef, "Watch out Thomas, we will soon take your job!" It was a satisfying feeling for all NFS Europe staff to see the confidence boost that our interns have gained in just a few short weeks at HOME.
Four New Interns Start at HOME Soup
September 17, 2012
A new set of interns have started at HOME soup. Four women, all survivors of exploitation who are currently living in a government shelter, joined our HOME chef in the kitchen making soup for both the women working in prostitution in Amsterdam, and for NFS partner, Juniper Networks. One survivor, a young woman from South America who was exploited in the sex industry has aspirations to be a chef, and reports that she is very excited to take part in this internship. She is also looking forward to the next phase of the internship, participating in selling soup at Juniper Networks.
HOME Soup Feeds Tech Company
September 11, 2012
This September, Not For Sale in the Netherlands is seeing exciting new advancements take place at the HOME soup enterprise. On Thursday, HOME soup began selling soup at the Juniper Networks Amsterdam location. Juniper Networks, a Silicon Valley based technology company, partners globally with Not For Sale to promote justice and freedom for those exploited through human trafficking. HOME will be selling soup on location twice a week in order to work towards further financial sustainability and provide a more in-depth internship opportunity for survivors of slavery.
HOME Soup Declared a Success!
July 26, 2012
This week Not For Sale Amsterdam wraps up the pilot phase of HOME enterprise. The soup business will re-open in August and in the meantime NFS Amsterdam staff have been busy evaluating HOME soup. On Tuesday and Thursday over the last four months, over 930 soups have been sold to 237 women from 35 different nationalities. Many women purchased a HOME soup discount card which gave opportunity for staff to hear feedback on the soup and the new recipes women wanted to share from their home countries, to achieve the purpose of HOME, bringing home-made soups with recipes from their home countries!
Hungarian Goulash a Huge Hit at HOME!
July 11, 2012
Last night, the NFS Amsterdam team headed out to the red light district with HOME-made Hungarian Goulash, and within a few hours they completely sold out of soup! One girl working in prostitution responded to the soup saying, "It really tastes like HOME, it is delicious, fresh, and home-made." The vision of HOME enterprise has, from the very beginning, been about creating a social venture that will give opportunity, dignity, and a taste of HOME away from home for those who are vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation. Soups are made each selling day with fresh, natural ingredients.
HOME Continues to Expand
June 22, 2012
This past week, HOME enterprises expanded to delivering soups in both the afternoon and evening. This has significantly increased soup sales, and has also allowed NFS Amsterdam staff to gain an even better understanding of the situation in Amsterdam's red light district. Staff members are currently researching the capacity for HOME to begin delivering soup in the late night. Feedback from the women in is that the soup is something they look forward to. According to one girl, "I need to write down the soup delivery days, otherwise I forget, and want to call and order soup everyday!"
From Dreams to Reality: First Women Receive Training at HOME
June 7, 2012
Today, two women who were exploited through human trafficking joined Not For Sale Amsterdam in the HOME kitchen for some basic skills training. The ladies took part in making soup alongside the HOME chef. According to Toos Heemskerk, NFS Amsterdam Director, "Our idea of providing training to women has been in development for so long. Today it feels like our dream became a reality." First reports have already come back from the women who took part, and they are very excited to continue their training next week!
Amsterdam Director Featured on Euronews
May 31, 2012
This week, Not For Sale Amsterdam Director Toos Heemskerk took part in a debate on an Euronews program called "on the frontline". Toos was featured alongside the EU's anti-trafficking coordinator, Myria Vassiliadou. The discussion centred around what sex trafficking looks like within the EU, where victims are coming from and how the European Union's Member States are responding to human trafficking. Toos accurately addressed complexities within the issue of sex trafficking from her own 'frontline' experience over the last 17 years. You can watch the debate here: http://bit.ly/KvM7ml
Convicted Pimp Made €94,000
May 24, 2012
Research has shown that pimps and traffickers are cashing in on women in prostitution in Netherlands. One convicted Hungarian pimp made €94,000 in seven months off of three women whom he controlled through debt-bondage. Debt-bondage is one of the most common forms of exploitation that prevents women from exiting prostitution. When you invest in NFS Netherlands, you are giving the opportunity for HOME to focus on empowerment and training for those formerly exploited through trafficking and debt-bondage. This training will help pave the way for women to regain dignity in their lives.
Justice for the Bottom Billion; HOME Hosts Juniper Networks
May 16, 2012
Visiting HOME last week: 18 staff members from Juniper Networks; a global technology company who will host NFS's Global Forum this year in Silicon Valley. Juniper staff were served fresh, HOME-made soup while learning from our team about modern-day slavery. Juniper will be hosting NFS's innovative Global Forum this November, where the theme is 'Justice for the Bottom Billion'. And justice is exactly what HOME is looking to achieve in Amsterdam, through job creation for vulnerable people in our 'up-stream' approach to address human trafficking.
So Much More Than A Cup Of Soup
May 11, 2012
Toos from Not For Sale Amsterdam shares a story from HOME this week, "I saw a girl who was a victim of human trafficking several years ago. She is now back in prostitution and I assume she is in another bad situation. She told me she could not eat lately because of stress. For days she had only had been eating a bit of bread. At that moment I was so glad that I could offer her a good cup of fresh tomato soup. I told her that this soup is meant to show her that we care for her. She accepted the soup and a tear came to her eye. For this girl, that cup included so much more than soup."
City Hall Shows Support For HOME
May 8, 2012
Thirteen members of Amsterdam's city hall visited HOME soup today to hear from local director, Toos, about HOME's innovative approach to combat exploitation. City hall members who learned about NFS while assisting in the licensing of HOME said they recognized the vital role this creative new enterprise will play in empowering the at-risk. NFS' ongoing involvement of local government in the process of establishing HOME ensures transparency, and offers those who make decisions for the city the opportunity to be educated regarding the needs of those foreign women who are exploited
Record Sales at HOME Soup!
May 1, 2012
Today marked record sales for NFS Amsterdam's HOME soup project. Sales have been consistently increasing since the launch one month ago, but today was the busiest for HOME yet. NFS staff member Caitlin Ross was visiting the soup project this week and commented on the record sales, "No wonder; the recipes are delicious! ...Lots of word spreading about HOME to women working behind the windows!" Once the business side of HOME soup is running smoothly, the venture will expand to include a cooking and catering training program for survivors of exploitation in Amsterdam.
Leading the Way to a Future Without Slavery: NFS Netherlands Model
April 24, 2012
Not For Sale in the Netherlands is leading the way to a future free from slavery through a unique social enterprise. Watch this video to understand our holistic approach to address human trafficking in Europe.
Nutritious Meals for Women Working Up to 112 Hours/Week in Prostitution
April 20, 2012
NFS Europe's in-depth research on Eastern European women working in Amsterdam's red light district shows that 19% of those polled are working 112 hours per week in prostitution. Their shifts would start at 1pm and continue until 5am. Significantly, those who worked so many hours were all girls between 19 - 21 years of age. Despite such long shifts, many said they would only eat before starting work and use energy drinks through the night to stay awake. NFS' HOME enterprise is providing nutritious meals to those who may otherwise go the whole day without something healthy to eat.
HOME; Turning the Red Light District Orange
April 16, 2012
NFS Amsterdam received their HOME branded jackets today! These bright orange jackets will be worn by NFS staff and volunteers in the red light district while delivering soup. HOME soups are made with recipes reflecting the countries of origin for the hundreds of foreign women working in prostitution in Amsterdam. The name HOME comes from the concept of providing a taste of home away from home; a taste that will now be delivered to the women while wearing orange, the colour of freedom.
Why NFS is Investing in Eastern Europe
April 13, 2012
Investing in business in Eastern Europe is the key to creating new futures. Toos from NFS A'dam shares why, “Here any woman from Romania and Bulgaria can work as a self-employed prostitute, but due to visa restrictions, cannot work in other industries. Their options are limited. Stay in prostitution, or go home and face unemployment.” Yesterday while delivering soup, Toos encountered one such woman who expressed a desire to leave prostitution, but felt trapped, “I tried to leave once, but couldn’t get other work." The creation of new jobs will give hope to those who otherwise feel hopeless.
From the Amazon to Amsterdam; NFS’ Global Impact
April 11, 2012
This week marked the release of Not For Sale's 2011 impact report. NFS European Coordinator comments from Amsterdam, "NFS' area of highest impact is in Peru, where we are creating new business and providing job skill training. This is significant to our work in Amsterdam. There is a vast South American population working behind the windows here. Most send all their money back to their families who are living in poverty in South America. By creating job opportunities for the at-risk before they leave home, NFS can directly impact the flow of women entering prostitution in the West."
Soup Kitchen 3.0: New Business Approach Transforms Old Charity Model
April 6, 2012
Not For Sale has revamped the traditional soup kitchen concept through a new social enterprise. Providing affordable and nutritious soup to women working in Amsterdam’s red light district, not through hand-outs, but through sustainable business practices that will give survivors of slavery the opportunity to receive job-skill training in cooking and catering. Last week, NFS served soups to more than 90 women, from 15 different countries, working in prostitution in Amsterdam. The growth of this new business will set foundations for solution-based enterprises in other at-risk regions.
Home Soup Launch a Huge Success thanks to Volunteers
March 28, 2012
NFS President David Batstone joined the NFS Netherlands team delivering soup to 60+ women working behind the windows in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. After months of preparation, volunteer training, soup tasting, and more, the HOME program finally became a reality. Special thanks to the new volunteers who speak Dutch, Hungarian, Romanian, and Spanish. NFS believes that having volunteers dialogue with individuals in their native tongue deepens the connection with the women. 70% of those working in prostitution in AMS are foreigners, coming from Hungary,Bulgaria, Romania and S.America.
When Will You Be Back With More Soup?
March 16, 2012
"We went again to the shelter where the victims of human trafficking are staying to let them try the soup. One Bulgarian women wanted to share a typical Bulgarian cucumber soup recipe. This is a great way to build relationships. Additionally, we gave out 9 cups of soup in the red light district and asked those women whom I know to try our product. Women from Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, The Netherlands, and Poland all tried the soup... And they loved it! One called me the next day and asked when I will come back with more soup." - Toos Heemskerk, NFS Amsterdam Director
NFS Amsterdam | Serving Soup to Survivors of Slavery
March 12, 2012
This week, Not For Sale Amsterdam visited a local government shelter that houses female survivors of human trafficking for a taste testing of the new "Home" soup. Around 20 women from 10 different nationalities tasted the soup. This trial testing is a key stage in the development of 'Home', a NFS Social Venture that provides nutritious soup to women working in Amsterdam’s red light district. Eventually, some of those in the shelter who tasted the soup will receive job-skill training in cooking and catering through NFS Amsterdam.
This International Women’s Day, shop to support NFS Amsterdam
March 8, 2012
On March 8, 2012, International Women's Day, Bloomingdale's and EILEEN FISHER are teaming up with Not For Sale to provide new futures for survivors of slavery. Often, survivors of sex slavery struggle to find decent and humane employment. Even though they are free from bondage, they remain enslaved to stigma and a lack of opportunities. Not For Sale is creating job opportunities for these women. Every purchase you make with Eileen Fisher on March 8, 2012, goes to support Not For Sale's efforts to employ survivors of sex slavery in Amsterdam.
NFS Amsterdam celebrates soup program progress
February 27, 2012
Not For Sale Amsterdam recently hosted their first soup tasting day. Local business ‘Soup en Zo’ shared their secret recipes and provided chef training to NFS staff in Amsterdam. The soup tasting was a pivotal step forward as NFS works to launch the innovative new social venture that will create new futures for survivors of human trafficking. Read more on our collaborations in Amsterdam here
See the Impact
In the Netherlands, Not For Sale brings new opportunities to rebuild the future of survivors through professional culinary training, and provides nutritious meals to women working behind the windows in the city's Red Light District. In doing so, Not For Sale gathers valuable data on vulnerable areas of Eastern Europe, to creates solutions that address the origins of human trafficking for the most affected communities.
Watch the video below to see how it works.
On the Ground in The Netherlands
An estimated 70% of women working in prostitution in the Netherlands are foreigners, primarily from Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and South America. Economic vulnerability, namely a lack of job opportunities in these origin countries is widely recognized as the main reason for exploitation.
The Not For Sale Netherlands, located in the heart of Amsterdam's Red Light District, offers professional skill training in culinary arts and catering to survivors of exploitation rehabilitated in Amsterdam. Women training in the kitchen are trained to make prepare soup that are sold to individual women working in the brothels of the surrounding Red Light District.
During their internships, the women gain valuable jobs and life skills that will lead to dignified employment in their home countries. More importantly, they experience a normal, healthy work environment that offers a sense of equality and empowerment. In 2012, Not For Sale partnered with Juniper Networks to establish the first commercial point of sales for soup in Amsterdam and begin creating further work experience opportunities for survivors of exploitation, selling soup to Juniper Network’s employees.
The catering program becomes visible through the soup kitchen and community space where meals are made for the women by the women and thus displaying the possible employment alternatives to prostitution.
Most significantly, selling soup to women in the Red Light District enables Not For Sale to build credible and lasting relationships that can provide greater visibility into their backgrounds and the factors that contributed to their current situation. This information can be used to create solutions that grow economic opportunities for those most vulnerable communities in Eastern Europe, and ultimately prevent trafficking before it occurs.
 Tampep International Foundation, Sex Work in Europe Report (Amsterdam: 2009) 20.