The offer was tempting but Amende’s mother knew that the promise of riches overseas made by recruiters when her daughter finished secondary school was too good to be true.
She had heard stories of girls lured in by those promises who had never returned or had come back with nothing. So Amende’s mother withstood the temptation and refused to send her daughter overseas at the risk of her safety or dignity.
“I would hear people talking about sending their daughters abroad,” Amende’s mother said. “But why would you use your hand to send your daughter to go and be doing all sorts of horrible things? Some are never seen again!”
Amende’s mother instead sent her daughter to school. While studying, Amende developed an anti-blemish face cream, which she is currently selling. The sales of the cream help Amende support herself through university, where she is studying to become an ophthalmologist.
“Soon, my Amende will become an eye doctor and I am so proud,” Amende’s mother said. “Give your daughters a chance to succeed here. My daughter Amende and your daughters are not for sale.”
Amende’s story is being highlighted as part of a campaign to help vulnerable young women who are at risk of being trafficked for sexual exploitation. Using the tagline ‘Not for Sale’, the campaign combats human trafficking by raising awareness of the training and job opportunities in Edo and Delta, which are notorious trafficking hotspots.
The campaign is a result of a partnership between the UK Government and Nigeria’s anti-trafficking authority the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
‘Not for Sale’ takes a new approach to prevent modern slavery by highlighting success stories of women who have succeeded in the country rather than travelling abroad at the risk of compromising their safety and dignity.