Partner Spotlight: IROKO Onlus

CATW International February 1, 2016 Italy Download Attachment

Providing a Sustainable Second Chance for Victims 

Impact in 2015
IROKO primarily serves Nigerian women and girls who were sex trafficked into Turin, Italy. In 2015, a total of 37 women and 24 children were provided direct assistance. This support included:

  • Temporary shelter provided to 25 women
  • A 12-week vocational training program for 6 women to improve their sewing and artisan capacities, in collaboration with another local organization, “Scuola di Cucito e Arti Artigianali di Torino.” These women participated in a monthly street market to earn income from their handicrafts.
  • Professional training for job placement for 15 women  was provided in collaboration with partners Amici di Lazzaro and Gruppo Abele. Ten women gained employment upon completion of the training. Eight women were provided funds to attend a regional council training. Five of these women were offered jobs at the end of their training program. 
  • Financial support was provided to 7 women and 8 girls to cover transportation to job training and small personal expenses. 
  • Medical support was offered to all the women when needed. Eight women and 6 girls were given psychological support in 2015. 
  • Medicine was provided to 17 women and 9 children.

Alongside the incredible direct service work, IROKO also works to raise awareness and educate youth on the harms of the sex trade. Since September 2015, IROKO has partnered with Cheyenne, a young survivor of prostitution, who is using her experience to raise awareness among junior and senior high school students on the harms of prostitution and its links to violence against women. 

Current Challenges
IROKO is also building a similar school project in Nigeria, but is facing greater challenges in its outreach efforts. This is due to Boko Haram’s increasingly powerful presence in the North causing a growing population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in crowded camps with a severe lack of access to basic needs. These groups are becoming the target of attacks by local gangs and the women and girls are left extremely vulnerable to sexual exploitation. The situation is tragic and IROKO continues to receive desperate requests for support to help alleviate these crises. There is hope, but the resources available cannot help to meet the needs. 

What You Can Do
IROKO continues to provide direct services to Nigerian survivors in Italy, educate young people on the harms of the sex industry, and build its infrastructure in Nigeria to allow for increased service provision, outreach, and movement building. The greatest need is to increase resources and capacity for this vital work in Nigeria. Want to help? Make a donation today to support IROKO’s work in assisting these vulnerable populations in IDP camps in Benin City, Nigeria.