A non-governmental organisation, Wholistic Outreach Ministry has disclosed that it decided to rescue young girls who are commercial sex workers in order to restore their lives and give them hope.
The faith-based organisation was established by the wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Mrs Folu Adeboye in 2002 to cater for commercial sex workers, trafficked girls and boys and stranded teenagers.
Speaking with The Nation, the Administrator of the organisation, Mrs Biodun Bello said over 100 commercial sex workers had been rehabilitated in recent times.
She noted that a large number of the girls in their search for jobs, were lured into the despicable trade by their friends and associates.
Bello revealed that teenagers of 11 years of age had been brought to the outreach for rehabilitation.
“There is a girl that our outreach team brought in from Abalade, Ogun state, she was 11 years old.’’
“Some of the commercial sex workers already have children, which they had brought up at the brothels they stayed. A certain girl was brought in from one of the brothels where her mother worked, at age 13, she had already been brutally molested. We do take most of these girls and women to hospitals, as well as bring in trained psychologists and counselors to help them overcome trauma. We eat and have discussions together; calling them our daughters and making them to see us as family members.”
She explained that the organisation had limited facility to accommodate huge number of targeted girls.
“Even if we have a target of 100-200 on a yearly, the space would still affect it. Only 20 to 40 girls can come in yearly. After three to six months at the shelter home and reconciliation with their families, we take them to a different home for the rehabilitation proper and that home has only 40 bed spaces”.
“The outreach team coordinated by Mrs Kemi Richard goes out to meet the girls. They go out on a weekly basis to brothels to minister the word of God to them, as well as pray, cook, and run medical checks, and so many other things.
“During this outreach, some of the girls indicated they want to come out, and we agree to shelter them. We take the girls to the police station for it to be on record that they are with us. In the shelter home, they spend minimum three months or maximum of six months. During this period, we teach them the word of God, let them fast and learn to pray, and take them for deliverance sessions. After the period has elapsed, we take them back and reconcile them with their families.
“Some families accept them back, while others send them back to us. For those ones still with their families, before going, we take them to the police station to indicate that they are no longer with us. We mostly deal with girls from ages 13 and above and send them back to school.’’
‘’However, no sex worker can be taken into the rehabilitation home if she’s not willing to be rehabilitated. So, the team visit brothels and streets to talk to any seek for anyone willing to leave the work and turn a new leaf.’’
“My advice would be directed to parents. Parents should try to find time for their children. Not everything is all about money, for there are things money cannot buy. When children want to talk or discuss some issues, please give them listening ears. Let your children become your friends; this would let them be free to gist, discuss and confide in you about the things happening in their lives.”
Bello, stated the challenges faced while rehabilitating the girls.
“Before we bring them out from the brothels and streets, the girls must be willing to come out. What we do is to go there, tell them we have a better place they can call home, tell them about Jesus Christ and his love for them. The challenges we face now is that some of them after they are out, find it difficult to adjust to the rules and regulations in our homes. These girls were once free and now they are restricted from a lot, it is hard. We also do not let them use mobile phones, to help them focus and avoid distractions from all those who patronize them.’’
Courtesy : Thenationonlineng.net