Night LIGHT Café
NIGHT LIGHT CAFÉ
Night Light Café in the crypt of Elijah’s Church at Vesterbro Torv in Copenhagen is a drop-in place for Nigerian women in prostitution. The night café is established and run by volunteers in an ocumenical collaboration between five church-partners: Apostelkirken, Byens Valgmenighed, Elijah’s Church, ReGen/Kristuskirken and Vineyard Copenhagen.
Apostelkirken, Byens Valgmenighed, Eliaskirken, ReGen/Kristuskirken, Vineyard København.
The night café has been established in order to meet Nigerian women with dignity, charity and care. We wish to spread light and hope in the places where it can be difficult to find. In the night café we meet “woman to woman” and create a safe space where there is room for “just being”. Some choose to sit alone, others to talk to each other and most get to talk to one or more of our volunteers. First and foremost we meet the Nigerian women in a sanctuary they don’t experience in their everyday life, where they can participate on their own terms.
The night café is open on the night between Wednesday and Thursday at 03-06. We offer toast, fruit, coffee/tea and we also meet the Nigerian women in the streetscape where we offer them condoms, something warm to drink and invite them over to the café as a refuge from the street.
The Nigerian women comes from the christian part of Nigeria, where they are used to going to church. For this reason many of them appreciates that we hold a short silent prayer and sing gospel songs.
The night café is staffed with 35-40 competent and committed volunteers, most with a background within healthcare or humanistic fields. In workshops such as jewelry making and floristry, the Nigerian women can express their creativity and diligence. Working with your hands and creating something new appeals to the creativity and strengthens the self-esteem. It can be a useful in facilitating dialogue or safe and comfortable, silent company.
The volunteers supports and advises the Nigerian women, that are arriving ‘in the middle of their work hours’ which can cause them to be stressed, scared and worn out. Sometimes they seek a quiet moment with an employee. Other times they need pain killing medicine. Sometimes the atmosphere is high and everyone takes part in joint song. The social relations build on confidence and trust comes through long lasting participation in the field. The purpose of the counselling is about showing the Nigerian women that there are options for a life without prostitution and there is a way to better employment in Nigeria.