Nigeria – Organizing events to relaunch one's life

02 August 2019

(ANS– Benin City) – From large congresses to private receptions, the job of event organizer is increasingly entrusted to women. Probably the ability to coordinate multiple activities, resources and people, without losing attention to detail, must be a typically feminine talent. In Nigeria, being able to become an event planner represents for many girls and young women a real opportunity to redeem themselves from a life that often sees them forced to make extreme choices, such as illegal emigration.

Many of the girls involved in human trafficking who come to Europe from Africa come from the state of Edo and in particular from Benin City, a populous Nigerian city. Behind the promise of being able to reach Europe, the traffickers ask the girls for very high amounts of money for the journey, to be repaid with their work once they arrive at their destination.

The sad reality is that in Europe these young people do not find the jobs promised, in homes, as nurses or carers: instead, between threats and violence, and with the theft of their passports to prevent them from fleeing, they are forced into the circuit of sexual exploitation.

To try to give a concrete answer to the phenomenon of human trafficking and to offer employment opportunities in their country of origin, the Salesians carried out an in-depth market study to understand which professional figures were most in demand and which jobs could be more suitable for girls.

And so it has emerged that one of the professional figures and requests missing is events organizer: a professional who can organize events, especially at family level, related to sacraments such as baptism, Confirmation, weddings and/or family celebrations (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.).

The events organizer brings together demand and supply, coordinates the different suppliers (restaurateurs, audio and video service, logistics, equipment, etc.), takes care of the decorations and monitors the fulfillment of the event itself.

Why the Salesian mission of Ondo is working to launch the course of “Events Management”, which foresees several steps: a formation offered via a skills-based approach, with documents and training curricula developed in the first year; in the second half of the first year, the equipment required by reference documents will be acquired; following the identification of the formators, the courses will be launched, a two-year course, for a maximum of 20 girls a year, selected among the most vulnerable and at risk.

Finally, the process of official recognition of this new course will be started: in this way the program would have a strong impact at the national level because it can be replicated by other entities in the Catholic sector, public or private, who want to act for the formation and employability of girls and young women.

The course of events management, organized by the NGO “International Volunteer for Development – VIS” and co-funded by the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), is part of the campaign “Stop Human Trafficking”.

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ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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