Night Light Café in Eliaskirken at Vesterbro Torv in Copenhagen is a drop-in place for Nigerian women in prostitution. The Night Light Café is established and run by volunteers in an ocumenical collaboration between five church-partners: Apostelkirken, Byens Valgmenighed, Eliaskirken, ReGen/Kristuskirken and Vineyard Copenhagen.
The Night Light Café has been established in order to meet Nigerian women with dignity and care. We wish to spread light and hope in the places where it can be difficult to find. In the Night Light Café we want to create a safe space for the women. 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 Light Café is open at night between Wednesday and Thursday at 00-03 AM. We offer toast, fruit, coffee/tea. 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.
The Nigerian women comes from the Christian part of Nigeria, where they are used to going to church. For this reason, many of them appreciate that we hold a short silent prayer and sing gospel songs. The Night Light Café is staffed with 35-40 competent and committed volunteers (5-6 are on duty each night), most with a background within healthcare or humanistic fields. The volunteers support and advise 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.
We offer workshops such as jewelry making and floristry, where 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 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.
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