Alabaster Jar: Working towards a world free from sexual exploitation
Helping women trapped in prostitution
Trapped in adversity - this is the reality for hundreds of women on the streets of Berlin, who due to tragic circumstances find themselves in prostitution. Many were forced to leave their home countries and find themselves trapped in Berlin’s red light district - a difficult life, especially in winter. According to the motto “hope is warm”, our team offers the warmth of friendship and care - whether it is through a coffee, a warm meal, a conversation, a prayer, or practical support. Our project Alabaster Jar helps women to recognise their worth and receive new perspective for a better future.
Did you know that an estimated 400,000 women work in Germany’s sex industry, servicing more than 1 million men every day? Did you know studies show that up to 95% of women in prostitution have reported being physically assaulted, and up to 89% have reported wanting to escape the sex industry?
Most women enter into prostitution either by force or due to extreme poverty. Many of the women in Berlin’s sex industry come from Eastern Europe and are the sole providers of their families and/or children back home. Others are sold into slavery as teenagers and grow up on the streets.
Homelessness, drug addiction, financial and sexual exploitation, physical abuse, unprotected sex: these are all issues that these women face on a daily basis. What’s more, they often find themselves totally isolated from society and from any form of supportive community. Believing the lie that they are “born for this life” and that there is no future for them, the vicious cycle continues.
“Believe me, if I could go back to the first day I came here and take it back, I would. Once you start, it’s almost impossible to get out.”
Lives transformed, dignity restored
What we do
The mission of Alabaster Jar is to see life transformation among women working in Berlin’s sex industry by communicating the love of Christ. In Berlin’s red light district, we meet the women where they are at and provide a safe place for them (e.g. at Café Neustart), where trusting relationships are built and their practical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met.
Our work focuses on five key points
- Outreach: Outreach is the heart of what we do. During our weekly street and brothel outreaches or our work at Café Neustart in Berlin, our front-line team makes the first contact with the women in their own context. We offer immediate practical assistance, establish long-term needs, and build trust. We refer women to important service providers such as social workers, doctors, and safe houses.
- Befriending: Our team is committed to continuing to build friendship with the women outside of Outreach. Using our Outreach phone, we keep regular contact, pray together, meet for coffee, and accompany women to important appointments.
- Skills Development: We want to see the long-term success and economic independence of each woman, and work hard to make skills development opportunities such as German classes possible.
- Discipleship: We believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ transforms lives, and we walk alongside the women as they grow deeper in relationship with Jesus. We read the Bible together, organize worship nights, pray together regularly, and even connect women to churches in their home countries.
- Prevention & Awareness: An important aspect to our work is education on the issue of forced prostitution and sex trafficking. Our team has been privileged to speak publicly on this issue, as well as advise businesses on how to best respond to situations involving human trafficking.
“On the street I am just a prostitute, but when I’m here, I can be a normal woman. I can be myself.”
Working in Berlin's red light district
I'm here because Jesus would be here
Emily is the project manager of Alabaster Jar. In our blog post, she tells us about her passion for this work and what everyday life is like for the women involved.
For example, there is M. She is in her early fifties and often comes to Alabaster Jar. She's at the café all evening, happily singing along. She asks for a sleeping bag because she prefers to sleep on the street, even though she has a small room. She is afraid of her violent neighbor. When the café closes, she would prefer not to leave. She looks happy and feels visibly at ease.
Dignity and hope for women
Every gift is valuable
Your donation enables us to give a birthday gift to two women, showing them that they are loved and seen.Spenden
Your donation helps us put together a pregnancy package. This covers: Maternity clothes, food and hygiene items for the mother, baby clothes, formula, diapers and other hygiene items for the baby.Spenden
Thanks to your gift we can personally walk alongside and support five women as they take positive steps into a life of freedom.Spenden
Volunteering with Alabaster Jar
There are so many ways for you to get involved with our work and help us see lives transformed and dignity restored in Berlin’s red light district.
A safe refuge in times of need
"Many women we work with are forced to spend the cold winter nights on Berlin's streets. Like Maria, who was so cold she could hardly walk. We brought her into the warmth, gave her food, tea, and were able to arrange emergency shelter for her. Join us in praying for women like Maria - that they would know God as their shelter and protection."
Emily La Bianca, Project Manager of Alabaster Jar
Frequently asked questions
Would you like to learn more about Alabaster Jar or is it on your heart to pray for this ministry?
Download our prayer calendar 2023