In the spring of 2015, we opened a safehouse, Greater Love Lighthouse. A safehouse is a place where trafficked women, who have taken the courageous choice to leave prostitution can take the first step for a new and better life.
Our primary partner, Media Village Nigeria, has rented a house with room for 8 women in the capital Abuja. Here they are offered a rehabilitation program that focuses on identity and dignity, as well as providing tools for learning, skills development and practical experience – all with the purpose of reintegrating the individual woman with her family and her society.
A “housewife” lives in the house. Her function is to create peace, coordinate the rehabilitation program and guide the practical functions.
See the video about Greater Love Lighthouse here.
Moving day with fun and memories
Greater Love Lighthouse has moved, which they decided to do by themselves, says Fula Bulus, who is the general manager of the Greater Love Lighthouse. “It can be stressful to move to a new place, but we were very excited to this day because we were looking forward to move. We decided to do it on our own, to take control of the process. It not only saved the moving cost, but also gave a little fun on our special day. We filled the boxes and moved our belongings a bit at a time, and it was a perfect opportunity to create good memories on a day that does not come everyday” says a happy Fula Bulus.
In the picture is Fula to the right, and on the left is Yemi the housewife of Greater Love Lighthouse. They are in full swing loading the truck, together with the residents, with a smile and expectation.
Safehouse full of learning and creativity
In Greater Love Lighthouse, residents learn a lot of new skills. After school, most of the time is spent on various activities, such as computer training, a course in English, Bible study, information about drugs, dance, discipline training, photography and creative subjects. Helen (in the picture) is the training coordinator of the Greater Love Lighthouse, and she tells that the residents of the house learn a lot through their rehabilitation in the house.
“We are very excited that our residents, for example, learn to make jewelry, thanks to our housewife Yemi. It is a useful skill that can both give residents an income in the future, and the jewelry also helps to pay the current costs of Greater Love Lighthouse. The beautiful necklaces are now being sold to several events, and now two stores in Germany even sell our jewelry as part of their selection. Earlier this year we were also hosts for an evening of human trafficking and Greater Love Lighthouse in a German shop,” says Helen.
Helen also tells us that Greater Love Lighthouse has just released a new brochure that shows the house’s supporters what happens. The brochures also inform women in prostitution about their opportunities with the hope of encouraging them to return to Nigeria. Several hundred brochures have already been distributed to organizations around Europe who work with women in the streets. You can send the brochure by sending an email to info@EXIT-trafficking.dk, where you write your mailing address and how many you want.
Now the Greater Love Lighthouse has been installed with solar energy. That means there is power for fridge, freezer, aircon, light, internet, cold drinking water etc. 24 hours a day. This is big. Many thanks to sponsors: Byens Valgmenighed, a private Danish donor and Berger ́s Ladies Christmas Market (German women residing in Nigeria.)
New home to new life
Greater Love Lighthouse is a safehouse located a little outside of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. A safehouse is a home for women who have put prostitution behind themselves and therefore need help to start their new life. Women participate in a rehabilitation program, which includes a personal action plan. There is a focus on women being skilled and being prepared for jobs and self-care. At the same time, efforts are being made to reintegrate women with their families and society.
Greater Love Lighthouse is home to five women from 19 to 25 years old. They live with a housewife who has the daily responsibility for things to work. The atmosphere, cooperation and energy levels are high. The
house also includes joy, creativity, studies and, not least, a community feeling that makes the safe house a real home. The safehouse has never been in better condition than it is right now because it has been painted inside, and the employees have even planted a vegetable garden with a lot of vegetables.