COME November 8, the launch of A Dangerous Journey, a unique animated film presenting the shocking and inhuman horrors endured by the victims of trafficking, will hold at the Eko Hotel in Lagos.
The initiative is supported by the UK Border Agency, the British government department responsible for immigration and controlling the country’s borders. UKBA will regularly monitor the scheme and evaluate how successful it is in educating and deterring the young women who are most vulnerable to people-traffickers.
The film was launched in the UK at House of Lords on October 24 with a keynote from the former senior judge, Lady Butler-Sloss.
Several other prominent members of the British Parliament were also present at the UK launch. Supporters include Lord Ramsbotham, and Lord McColl
For the Nigeria launch of this high-profile campaign, Hibiscus will partner with The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons.
NAPTIP was formed in 2003 to address the flood of people being trafficked from Nigeria and the human abuses associated with the trade.
Prominent Nigerian dignitaries, representatives from several European High Commissions and Embassies and government officials will support the launch.
The Hibiscus Foundation was first established in 1991 as an arm of the female prisoners’ welfare project to ensure that foreign nationals in the United Kingdom get equal treatment in the UK prison system.
The Foundation provides emotional and practical support to Foreign National, EU National and BMER women (Black & Minority Ethnic and / or Refugee Women, including women seeking asylum).
It ensures women understand the British Criminal Justice System and their rights within it and that all women exercise their rights whilst in prison and has access to appropriate services upon their release.
A Dangerous Journey was commissioned by Olga Heaven, founder of the Hibiscus Foundation as part of a new campaign, which will use the short animation to educate women and girls in Nigeria about the dangers of people-trafficking.
For over 20 years, Heaven has dedicated her life to educating and supporting women from Nigeria, Jamaica, Ghana and the EU who have found themselves in British prisons for various reasons.
She first formed the Hibiscus Foundation with the aim of deterring young women from Jamaica becoming drug mules. The charity has evolved. It now targets women that are in danger of being trafficked themselves.
Young women have become a lucrative commodity to traffickers and Olga wants to make sure that women from vulnerable areas are aware of this.
Heaven is exceptional in that she and her team visit the countries that the vulnerable women are likely to come from. She educates them in their communities. She tackles the problem from the root.
The animation is based on the true-life story of a young girl who fell victim to the techniques used by traffickers. This girl eventually managed to escape - most do not!
It tells the story of Grace, who by no means, is not different to any other little girl. She dreamed of going to school, meeting and marrying her prince, having a family and living happily ever after. But her dream of a better life turned into a nightmare when she was lured by false promises and lies. Her ‘Dangerous Journey’ began when she accepted a free flight to the UK.
Instead of freedom she was locked up, instead of an education she was forced into prostitution and instead of a better life she ended up frightened and alone.
‘A Dangerous Journey’ was commissioned by Olga Heaven, founder of the Hibiscus Foundation as part of a new campaign, which will use the short animation to educate women and girls in Nigeria about the dangers of people trafficking.
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