For Freedom: Protecting African women
DMG is committed to fight human trafficking and modern slavery. Some of our 400 employees around the world are proactively helping young women to prevent them from getting into the hands of criminal gangs. Angelika and Rod Ragsdale in the Ivory Coast report following:
„Dignity Day” for young women in Cote d'Ivoire
More and more girls and young women in West Africa drop out of school, often because they get pregnant. Or they run away from home because they want to escape rural life, abject poverty and chaotic conditions in their parents' home. They dream of a better life in the city or in rich Europe. These young women are at high risk of falling into the trap of sex trafficking and modern slavery. In November, the New York Times reported 26 Nigerian women drowned in the Mediterranean. They were lured by traffickers with false promises and transferred to Libya, from where they were sent out to sea with non-seaworthy boats heading for Italy. Their bodies have been found somewhere in the Mediterranean. In the same week, the Ivory Coast government sent three planes to Libya to find and bring back young women there.
Our large network of the local church is important because we can reach a large number of young women through the Christian communities. The local churches invite us to seminars and youth camps. We want to give young women the essential information to make sound, good choices for their lives. Our trainings are about identity, self-worth and personality as a woman, their affiliation, puberty, relationships, Aids, trafficking and how to make good choices. Here faith plays a central role. That they find their meaning and a bearing hope in God, our Creator, and the Savior Jesus Christ and learn to lead a successful life.
We organize "Dignity Days" where young women learn together, who they are, where they have their home and what their job is in the world. We inform the participants about menstrual management and hygiene and work together to explore these issues in a safe environment where they are completely separated as women.
A big problem for many girls in West Africa is that they do not get informed about their cycle and how their body works. They are taboo subjects, they often do not even talk about this with their own mothers. Especially young women without education are affected. Many are poor and can afford neither ties nor tampons if they have their period. Because these aids are not good for the environment, we offer them reusable sanitary napkins. Every girl participating in a "Dignity Day" receives a package with the washable slip liners. So you can go to school in the days of your period - an important help.
They dream of life in the city or in rich Europe and are in great danger of falling into the trap of sex trafficking.
We have a team of five women who train more staff in different parts of the country, who in turn bring together many girls and young women for such events. The aim is to inform as many young women as possible and to help preventively. In April, three of us attended a training course for the "Dignity Campaign" in South Africa, and we pass on what we have learned in the Ivory Coast to as many employees as possible.
Last week, a friend of mine invited me to give her girls a training course at her home, with 17 participants. We had a wonderful exchange in the small living room. For most of the young women, it was unusual to talk about their own identity. I have made it clear to them that they can also envisage vocational training or studies. The idea of pursuing such a dream or goal, which is not just about finding the man for life, was new to most.
You want to donate to "For Freedom"?
Please pray for this important work that we prevent many young women from making wrong choices and getting caught in the trap of traffickers and the sex industry. If you would like to support our initiative "For Freedom", we request a donation to the account of the DMG with keyword: P50256 For Freedom.