FASHION AUCTION HOUSE
Making Ends Meet – by Wadami

Making Ends MeetI am not going to pretend like I have always been aware of the extent of Human-Trafficking that goes on IN Nigeria. Yes, IN Nigeria i.e. within our borders. It isn’t exactly the kind of news that the popular media outlets here want to feature – it isn’t Politicians’ money laundering, Top CEO’s embezzlements or the latest “bigz boys or girls gossip”. Instead, if you ever hear about it, it’s once in a blue moon! Aren’t we still reigning praises on Isoke Aikpitanyi who, in 2003, made the brave move to leave Italy after she had been trafficked to “work the streets”? Isoke was jeered at, humiliated, raped, beaten, and nearly stabbed to death – this much is true. But since her story, how many others has the media told? Trafficking is still rampant in Nigeria, and I am sitting here wondering why we are still allowing to happen? Especially in such a vibrant city as Lagos – let’s not even begin to THINK of how much worse it is outside Lagos!

I am only one tiny voice in this community, and I really wish we all took this issue more seriously. I encountered Freedom Foundation recently – an organization that is putting its money where its mouth is… The individuals Freedom Foundation rescues are vulnerable. Some were sold by their own parents as barter for debts, and from ages as young as 13, they have been drugged up to work the streets of Lagos, serving as objects to enrich other men – men who bully and threaten their lives, e-ver-y-day.

You may be reading this, and thinking that you heard this story already somewhere, and why do these women all have the same story? My curiosity however, prompted me to meet and interview one of the residents of Genesis House – a rehabilitation center that houses women who are victims of the failures in our society, women that are now being rescued by the Freedom Foundation’s initiative.
I’ve always thought that it should take much more than a girl being manhandled, for her to choose to lead such a lifestyle. But after meeting this lady, I am realizing that a lot of these problems boil down to the fact that we don’t have the right government! Or perhaps we have a government that cares less about its women than it should? I mean what would you do if despite all your best efforts to make a living for yourself and your child, you still couldn’t make ends meet? What if you had absolutely nowhere else to turn? Can any of us women really say with full confidence that after months of watching our children going hungry, we wouldn’t resort to selling our bodies just to ensure that they could eat?

Click here (or visit www.fashionafrica.com) to read my interview with one of the young women living at Genesis House!

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