…Pledged to quit prostitution.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
A non-governmental organization (NGO), ‘Giving Value to Women Initiative of Nigeria,’ has trained some commercial sex-workers on various skills acquisition programs in in Kaduna state.
The training by the humanitarian in various parts of Kaduna state was aimed at changing their lives for better through embracing different kinds of skills that would make them self-dependant and value their lives for better-future.
Speaking to journalists, founder of the NGO, Mrs. Caroline Idoko, said her organization started in 2015, saying it was founded for “ladies of easy virtue,” especially prostitutes, who left their families due to some circumstances, including broken homes, rape victims, among others.
She said, for the past four years, they’ve sensitized these young, energetic ladies with different skills and knowledge to change them for better.
Some of the skills include beadmaking, household cleaning agents like liquid soap, scouring powder, carwash, air-freshener, bleach, dettol, izal, cosmetics, body spray, hand-wash, body lotion, hair cream, shampoo, conditioner, hair gloss, and Vaseline.
“I was moved to compassion when I discovered that a group of vibrant young, skillful women sustain themselves through prostituting and sleeping with different men on daily basis to earn a living.
“I started making friends with them and, gradually, I got trusted by them and they accepted me and opened up. I thought myself and said I have skills; let me teach them and show them love.
“I have graduated 18 and, next week, by God willing, I will graduate 2 and send them back home to go and stay with their friends and family and start a new life with the skills that I trained them,” she said.
Caroline added that most of the ones she graduated, some years back were making serious progress in their daily lives, while some are even preparing to get married and continue their lives.
The founder of the organization said one of the biggest challenges she faced is lack of funds and capital to enable her train hundreds of these young, energetic ladies and more, in order to save them from all forms of sexually-transmitted diseases (STD) and the daily embarrassment, humiliation they face from ‘customers’ they attended to.
“My friends and families were the only ones helping me with little assistance to help them, and the aim is to change their lives from prostitution to be better women by embracing skills that would help them be self-dependant at anywhere they find themselves.
“The outbreak of Covid-19 and lockdown by states and federal government has put many of them into difficulties in which no organization supported them with any palliative due to lack of not recognition of them in the society.
“Since the creation of the NGO, there has never been any support from the state government, neither any corporate organization nor civil society organization that visit or support them with any materials, which can be of help towards transforming these young ladies’ lives for better.
“They are human beings and they are living with us; they need our help and support to make them be better women through embracing skills that would make them great women,” Mrs. Idoko said.
She then called on federal ministry of women affairs, all humanitarian organizations, corporate bodies, and wealthy individuals to support in training more of these ladies with training materials so as to make them to quit prostitution and embrace skills to better their lives.
Mrs. Caroline Idoko hopes to graduate many by next year, but she called for support from every Nigerian, praying that one day, there will be no women that would be prostituting, risking their lives, sleeping with all kinds of men for survival.
Some of the beneficiaries of the training expressed satisfaction and prayed for wealthy individuals to always support an NGO that helps in transforming commercial sex workers to become professional, skilled women in the future.
Some of them narrated bitter experiences they went through; on how they had to sleep with so many men against their wish to pay house rents. A beneficiary, who pleaded for anonymity, retorted that, “We want to learn new skills, to quit this ugly job.”