Bangladesh trafficking victims to be housed in hostel funded by sale of Selsey business
Dozens of victims of trafficking in Bangladesh will soon have a safe haven thanks to a project which began in Selsey.
Kevin Byrne set up the Byrne Family Foundation after selling his Selsey-based business Checkatrade in 2017. Mr Byrne gave the foundation a percentage of the company’s worth before it was sold to HomeServe.
It is with these funds, a new building, Hope House, has been financed to house more than 30 girls, who need ‘feeding, clothing, education and love’.
In a social media post, Mr Byrne, from Walberton, said: “A big thank you to all in Selsey that have donated towards our project in Bangladesh. Apart from a bit of paint and some landscaping, it’s nearly finished.
“It will be the new home for 32 girls, all rescued from the streets and from sex trafficking with space for up to 40 more.”
The businessman said the hostel will also ‘double up’ as a training centre for teachers, who will work in the countryside, where children have ‘never had a chance of an education’.
He added: “We already have four schools and 16 teachers and around 650 students.
“The Bangladesh girls in Hope House melt your heart when you are with them, they have nothing but each other.
“They are full of love and thankfulness to a degree most have never experienced.
“I can’t wait to get back out there and see their faces and join them in their excitement of a new and secure home.”
Mr Byrne said it gives him a ‘tremendous thrill’ to finance ‘this incredible project’.
“This will ultimately help not just this but many future generations,” he said.
“It’s only been possible by the success of Checkatrade and its sale.
“This project must go down as a testimony to all those that worked tirelessly for me, without the skill and dedication of the 230 strong Checkatrade team working in Selsey, this project would never have happened.”
However, Mr Byrne said Hope House, ‘in reality’, will ‘never be finished’, as there is potential to provide a home for even more victims.
He continued: “We need cookers, beds, a decent generator [and] washing machines. These are very important to us, they are just an appliance. To them, it means they’re not having to work until 3am in the morning every day.”
If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.justgiving.com/byrnefamilyfoundation