Incontro con la comunità nigeriana di Verona e presentazione del Progetto EYEFON a cura della Nigerian Women Association di Verona
Domenica 24 ottobre 2021 – ore 15.00/19.00
15.00 – 16.00 Benvenuto musicale, a cura di Underwood – Temitayo Michael Adeshina (Educatore)
16.00 – 16.30 Saluti e presentazione delle attività della NWAV – Nigerian Women Association, a cura di Oluwakemi Victoria Ajibola (Assistente Sociale Comune di Cardiff, Regno Unito e Presidente NWAV)
16.30 – 17.00 Il Progetto EYEFON, tra Italia e Nigeria: obiettivi e azioni nel territorio, a cura di Michele Bertani (Sociologo, Professore Università di Verona e Coordinatore NWAV del Progetto EYEFON)
17.00 – 18.00 Rinfresco con specialità della cucina africana e araba presentata dal
referente dell’APS Semi di Culture sede di Piove di Sacco – Dott.ssa Laura Traversi
Dott.ssa AJIBOLA Oluwakemi Victoria
In collaborazione con:
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Report on event awareness campaign against illegal migration to Europe organized by Nigeria Women Association, Verona in collaboration with PROJECT EYEFON and the Catholic Youths Organization of Nigeria
DATE: 25TH September 2021
ATTENDANCE: See Attachment I
PICTURES: See Attachment II
VENUE: St. Ann Cathedral, Ifuho, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
THEME: DO NOT BECOME A SLAVE, YOU ARE NOT FOR SALE!
Right from the existence of man, human trafficking and human smuggling have been practised. There
are numerous examples in the bible. “Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery” (Genesis 37vs 29). Other
forms of slavery existed and were practised, like taking conquered enemies after the war into slavery and
The most notable incident of human trafficking and slavery in history is probably the transatlantic and
Trans Saharan slave trade forced millions of African people to work in plantations in America
and Europe about four hundred years ago.
People from Akwa Ibom and other parts of Nigeria and Africa in general, migrate in great numbers in search of economic opportunities to different parts of Europe without adequate travel documents and requisite skills for suitable employment. As a result, a significant number end up in forced labour and prostitution as they struggle to cope in a strange and bewildering environment.
The purpose of this awareness campaign, therefore, is to enlighten youths on the dangers of illegal and
irregular migration and to provide a more dignified option for job creation through professional training
in the Eyefon Project. The program offers the following training options:
Building and general construction (masonry, tilling, plumbing etc.)
Electrical and Electronics
Catering / Baking
All training is certified with a syllabus from National Business and Technical Examination Board
(NABTEB) and Trade Test.
Registration for the youth seminar kicked off at 11.20 am. The arrival of the youths was rather
slow because of the heavy downpour of rain. And the major means of transportation for young
people in rural areas of Ikot Ekpene is by motorcycle. By 11.45 am the meeting opened with a
welcome address by Rev. Fr. Gordian Otu. The Rev. Father thanked the youths who arrived earlier
despite the challenging weather conditions. Furthermore, he mentioned the importance of skills
acquisition in today’s world. Emphasizing that even a graduate who wants to own a business may
fail at it if he or she does not acquire the relevant skills.
He admonished the youths about the effect of brain drain in the country and sought to change the
perception that greener pastures are only available abroad.
He reminded everyone present that the four skills training of carpentry, electrical, catering,
hospitality and plumbing are desperately needed in Nigeria. Due to time constraints, the program of
events was altered to accommodate the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in
Persons’ (NAPTIP) commandant, Mr Ubong Ekwere was scheduled for another event that day
and was introduced immediately.
The zonal commandant of NAPTIP applauded the youths for their resilience in making sure that the
scheduled program was held despite the rain storm and floods. He went ahead to admonish that there is
no better life than where you are from. Informing the youths that migrants are protected by migration
laws all over the world. When an individual migrates illegally or irregularly they run into people
who exploit and take advantage of them.
He continued by giving an example of a new trend in trafficking in the South region of Nigeria
where babies are sold openly in the market as a commodity. In closing, he thanked the international
organization and the sponsors of the Eyefon Project. He added by requesting for some slots to be
given to National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) returnees and
beneficiaries to come for training as well.
His presentation was closely followed by the intervention by SW. Iquo Dawodu, who reiterated as
a follow-up on the presentation by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons
(NAPTIP) commandant. Mrs Dawodu who represented the Nigerian Women Association Verona
(NWAV Lagos Chapter) mentioned that the reason she opted to become a human trafficking
victims advocate was a result of witnessing the crushing effects of poverty, illiteracy and
unemployment on young people. She cautioned the youths to take advantage of the Eyefon Project
to acquire more skills she went ahead to mention places where human traffickers operate. Giving
examples on social media, shopping malls, at home, on the streets, in churches, nightclubs, and on
dates to mention but a few.
She also announced to the youths present that the traffickers are usually men and women of all ages.
Sometimes they may be family members, friends and loved ones. They may also be of any ethnicity
and people of any financial background.
She made mention of two case studies
- The story of a domestic servant trafficked in Lagos
- It a story of a Nigerian graduate woman who was trafficked and ended up as a victim of
She admonished the youth of Ikot Ekpene to always look beyond the surface when they have job
offers or opportunities outside of Nigeria. All offers of work should be properly scrutinized before
being accepted. She also said that some offers that can cost one his or her own freedom, health or
even life. One should look beyond the surface, seek appropriate counsel and conduct due
diligence into what is beneath the offer.
In closing, she said, “Not all that glitters is gold”.
Mr Jude Otu did a presentation of the flyer. After this, he invited all parishes
represented to compete in the jingles.
The following parishes and their youths competed for the jingles.
- St. Bridget Parish – Urua Akpan
- St. Micheal Parish Midim
- St. Mary’s Parish
- Mercy Chaplaincy
- St. Mary Parish – Ikot Atasung
- Holy Trinity Parish – Ikpe Annang
- St. Dominic Parish
- St. Vincent Parish – Ikot Obong Edong
- Christ The King Parish – Odoro Ikot
10. St. James Parish – Ikot Osukong
11. St. Pauls Parish – Utu
12. St. Peter’s Parish – Urna Edet Obo
13. St. Ann Cathedral – Ifugho
14. St. Ann parish Ibiakpan
15. Akpa Utong Parish – Akpa Utong
The panel of judges for the competition was made up of two media officers from the Akwa Ibom
Broadcasting Co-operation. Presentations were made which included singing, dramatization,
miming, poetry recitation, and oratory. It was a very interesting, keen and colourful competition. All the parishes were given a fee of five thousand nairas (N5, 000) each.
1st prize a grinding machine was won by St. Ann’s Cathedral Parish – Ifuho
2nd Price a popcorn machine was won by St. Micheal’s Parish Midim
3rd Prize a sealing machine was won by Mercy Chaplaincy AbaP
We must greatly commend the host and organizing team led by Rev. Fr. Gordian Otu for their
excellent performance in their hospitality. Indeed a great team to work with, may the good Lord
reward them abundantly.
The initial attendance projection was approximately 500 Youths. Due to the rainstorm and heavy
flooding on the day of the event, a total of hundred and thirty-seven (137) people were in
attendance. However, all the refreshments were already purchased and packed for the event. They
were served and the remaining was donated to the orphanage.
The vote of thanks was given by Rev. Fr. Gordian Otu. The programme came to a close by 4.
13pm with the Catholic Youth Organization Anthem.
In view of this experience, it is apparent that the attendance would have reached the expected target
if a better means of transportation was provided such as buses to convey the youths to the venue.
Alternatively, if they were given stipends for transportation. Unfortunately, we did not capture this
while budgeting. It is important to mention that at the closing time some of the youths who lived
farther away from the venue were even just arriving since they had to wait for the floods in their
area of residence to subside.
PREPARED BY: Sw. Iquo Dawodu (Mrs)