There are dreams, aspirations, and talents hidden in every human being. A heritage brutality and violence cannot erase. This seems to be the moral of the fable of the 15 Nigerian women who experienced the horror of trafficking on their own skin and are now in search of a normal life. The women have been offered hospitality at the Rainbow center in Palermo. They cultivate the aspiration to become designers. They produce colorful bags made of linings coming from umbrellas and other recycled materials which are proposed as fair trade gifts these festive days. The Social Writer who has first told this wonderful story of Redemption describes the structure as a large room with three sewing machines inside. To make the best out of it, they need at least one more. But for these girls it is still a piece of paradise after the hell of exploitation. Their goal is to get professional training, leaving the streets and the sidewalks behind, and travel toward new horizons.
Vero and Osas talk about the initiative. The first one is 44 and is a mother of 4, whom she had from her previous husband and who live in Nigeria. Today, she is married to an Italian man. She has been living in Palermo for 16 years now and they got married 9 years ago. “Besides continuing to cut and sew, we want to work also with hair here at the center, making traditional hairstyles from our country – she explains. We have many ideas, but we will begin with the bags we propose for this period of festivities. To be able to maintain our families, we need to work and this is certainly an opportunity to help other fellow countrywomen to leave the sidewalks. You can change your life starting exactly from a job”. A slap in the face of those who describe prostitution as a normal profession and would like to have eros centers in the cities they live in.
”I quit prostitution thanks to the Magdalene project. I have changed several jobs, but this is a difficult period – Osas, 34, says. She is married and has two children -. If we manage to carry on this activity, from January we will be able also to begin to work as a road unit as soon as we get a minibus. We also plan to open a small reception home. Hopefully we are going to make it”. Because there are still many women who need to be saved. “An even more important intention – Vero stresses – is to help young women not only in the city but also in our country. If the project goes well. I would like to go to Benin City to talk to the families of these young men. The goal must be to stop the journeys. Very young girls have arrived lately. They are forced into prostitution and it is not possible not to be able to stop it. I hope to get help because I have no fear”. But courage is not enough to prevent human trafficking. “It is not easy – Osa observes – because especially the youngest fear that their families can get hurt back in Nigeria.
We know that during the last years, young women do not arrive on planes anymore – like we did – but cross the sea on boats from Libya. What we have to fight are all the people who allow all this traffic”. To stamp out the cancer of slavery once and for all.