Guidelines for volunteers in Night Light Café
Night Light Café is a night café that, in collaboration with the organisation EXIST, contributes to a preventive effort for women that are victims of human trafficking. Outside of Denmark EXIST supports 10 safehouses in Nigeria with a related rehabilitation program, allowing women to return to life outside prostitution.
The primary group of interest of the café is the nigerian women in Denmark that are working illegally as street prostitutes.
Night Light Café is a night café in the Elijah’s Church at Vesterbro Torv, where prostitutes from foreign countries can stop by every Wednesday night between 03:00 and 6:00 am. Night Light Café relies on a christian set of values and view on human nature, but it is not a requirement to be religious as a volunteer. All volunteers are welcome no matter personal background, religion and political values. Most of the nigerian women are christian and perceives the church as a safe space for the night and in Denmark.
In the night café we talk to the women on their premisses. It is not up to the volunteer to initiate conversations about traumatising subjects, including talking to the women about their personal story and experiences with prostitution. As volunteers we meet the women with openness, care and friendliness and not as therapists or skilled personnel.
We expect that you:
- Are at least 18 years of age
- Committed to take a shift at least every third week
- Can participate in 3-4 volunteer meetings a year
- Keeps informed through newsletters and informational speakers associated with the work of the café
- Is psychologically robust as the work can involve difficult conversations and following reflections.
- Can exercise social and personal strength - also in the middle of the night
- Can be a volunteer for at least 9 months, preferably a year
- Has no criminal record
- A nice social workplace
- The possibility to make a meaningful difference
- Acquirement of knowledge of a complicated global issue
RESPONSIBILITIES AS A VOLUNTEER
- Practically: as volunteers we share the responsibility of making sure that all the practical basics of the cafe is working. This includes setting up tables, cutting fruit, cleaning at the end of the shift and making toast during the shift.
- Socially: we aim to make sure that there will be activities that the women can participate in during the night. These activities could include painting nails, making jewelry and likewise. Some nights there will be held a small prayer on the women's or the volunteers own initiative.
- Creative inputs are always welcome if you have any interests/hobbies you think would be meaningful to share with the women.
- Proactive work on the street: During the night we walk around on the street in pairs in order to promote what the cafe has to offer, serve tea and give away condoms. As a new volunteer you will always be paired with an experienced volunteer and you will never walk alone.
- You can experience that men will approach you wanting to be served some tea. In cases like these we point out that the initiative is aimed at nigerian women.
Shifts and cancellations:
- You have the responsibility of your own shifts both when signing up and in the case of cancellation
- You sign up for shifts in the work schedule, which is found in the bottom of every email sent to the volunteer group
- You will receive a text with a reminder of your shift at the beginning of the week of the shift
- In the case of cancellation you should try to get another volunteer to take over the shift at least 24 hours before. This can be done through the volunteer group on Facebook
- If you swap shifts with another volunteer, it is the person that originally signed up for the shift, that changes the names in the work schedule
- In the case of acute cancellations you should contact the manager of the night in question
- If you are unable to take shifts every third week for a period of time, you can contact Karin Kjærgaard for a special arrangement
- All new volunteers get 3 shifts of trying out the work, after which you can decide whether you would like to continue in Night Light Café.
- The volunteers of the night will meet at 02:30
For more information on EXIST and the work of Night Light Café you can always click on the links attached at the bottom.