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Completed projects - NGO EXIT
office@ngoexit.org

LIST OF COMPLETED PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES (AN EXTRACT!)

State in December, 2012
NGO EXIT was founded in 2006. Since 2006, we were able to finance many projects with the help of public funding and private donations. Furthermore, there were more than 30 volunteers supporting us in that timeframe. With their help, we were able to succesfully implement our projects. Some of the projets are listed below:

  • Producing and organising the Performance of a sensitizing play about trafficking in human beings from Africa. (Dream of the paradise, August, 2006)
  • Organsation of an informal workshop for victims of human trafficking. (September, 2006)
  • The production of the sensitizing short film “Greener Pastures”, that tells the story of “Osas”, a young woman, who was dragged from Nigeria to Austria (December 2006)
  • doing interviews with victims of human trafficking about their living conditions in Vienna, the historical development of human trafficking from Nigeria, the methods human traders use when operating and the network of human traders, alternative job opportunities for victims of human trafficking who return to Nigeria and the role of the Juju-religion and the Ayelaya-court in connection with human trafficking. (2006-2010)
  • Enlightening-events in Benin City, Nigeria, organised for students, teachers and several institutions, that are confronted with the impacts of human trafficking. (January 2007)
  • Taking part in the making of the documentation “sold dreams”. The movie is about trafficking in human beings from Nigeria and was produced by ORF and 3sat. (January/February, 2007)
  •  Production, organisation and performance of a sensitizing play on the topic “escaping the native country”. (2007)
  • Organising discussion events about human traficking from Nigeria. (2008)
  • Distributing the film “Greener Pastures” at a school in Benin city in Nigeria, to enlighten the students about human trafficking to Europe. (2008 – 2009)
  • More than 30 talks on trafficking in human beings at different events, partly with information desks that provide complementary information material. (2008 – 2010)
  • Participation in the research for the book “Ware Frau” (2007 – 2008)
  • Organisation of courses about jewelry production for 11 female victims of trafficking in human beings in Vienna. (2009)
  • Cooperating and Networking with numerous organisations and institutions; trainings for authorities and civil society organisations in dealing with victims of human trafficking (2009 – 2011)
  • Mediation of german- and literacy-courses for 20 victims of human trafficking in Vienna. (2009 – 2011)
  • Organising a fundraising for 7 victims of human trafficking, who were deported to Nigeria. (in order to help them establish their own businesses, restaurants etc.) (2008 – 2011)
  • Short-term provision of housing for 2 victims of human trafficking. (2010)
  • Publication of reports and interviews on the subject human trafficking in german in german, austrian and swedish media with a total reach of more than 10 million readers, seers and listeners (2006-2011)
  • Social and legal advice for more than 130 women, who are affected by human trafficking (2006 – 2011)
  •  Legal representation of more than 19 women, who were victims of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation in Austria (2006 – 2011)
  • Participation in numerous international conferences and meetings with the aim to combat human trafficking (for example the IOM conference in Brussels, UNGIFT forum in Vienna the UNDOC group of experts)
  • Awareness-raising campaign in Nigeria during the ten-day “Na wa” festival (June, 2011) in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) within the scope of the global initiative of the United Nations to combat human trafficking, with the financial support of the European Commission
  • The”Na Wa Festival” in Vienna (December, 2011)
  • Completing the first phase of the follow-up activities in Nigeria (2011/2012)
  • Production of the educational film “Are We Aware?” from Emanuel Danesch (2012)
  • Participation in the “WIENWOCHE” (2012)

Selected Activities

BACKGROUND – EXIT @ WIENWOCHE
About 100,000 womenPicture and girls are yearly being kidnapped from Nigeria to Europe and sold into forced prostitution. Many of them end up as street prostitutes. These women and girls are often recognised as “nigerian prostitutes”, but people are mostly unaware of their life circumstances as victims of human trafficking, altough a large number of affected women comes into contact with state or non-state institutions. The authorities often see them as offenders, who are subjects of foreign law instead of being treated as victims of a serious violation of human rights.
For over six years, EXIT has been working on public campaigns in Austria and Nigeria. Our focus of the last years was to sensitize security authorities and raise the public´s awareness of human trafficking. Nontheless, the Foreign Law and other regulations, are making it very hard for the women to free themselves from their traffickers and the whole network of traffickers. We want to point out the difficult life circumstances and complicated situation victims of human trafficking have to endure. In Austria, we support the victims with their exit from forced prostitution and want to be there for them, to listen to their worries and problems and help them in solving them.„A woman tells it all!“ and doesn´t only risk her own life by doing that, but also puts the lives of her relatives at risk. Nontheless, she´s ready to testify against a trafficking network and hopes for the protection of the austrian authorities in return. The protection of a witness should be obvious, unfortunately, in the best case, it only means a temporary right for “Osas” to stay in Austria, while the trial or civil action lasts. After her testimony and the end of the trial, she´ll be without protection, unless she can proof, that she has serious physical difficulties. The two other options would be for her to get married to an austrian citizen or the so-called “voluntary return” to her country of origin. So, these brave women are not only affected by human trafficking, but they are also victimised by the Austrian legal sytem. Now the women concerned are bringing a charge against austrian authorities and demands proper protection. Supported by wienwoche, the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna.

NA WA FESTIVAL  – (A COMPONENT OF THE UNODC/IOM/EXIT JOINT EU PROJECT ” ENHANCING MULTI-STAKEHOLDERS COOPERATION TO FIGHT HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN AND DESTINATION”)

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(c) Gregor Staudner. film “A place of peace”

Na Wa Festival was an awareness raising campaign against human trafficking.  Following the first lap of the festival in summer 2011 held in Nigeria, Na Wa Launches its second lap in Vienna, Austria. Organized in cooperation with the yearly human rights festival “thishumanworld”, feature and documentary films debating human trafficking would be screened starting december 1st.  Na Wa Festival would host two film premieres and panel discussions in Top kino and Schikaneder Kino.

“Enhancing Multi-stakeholders cooperation to fight human trafficking in countries of origin and destination” was an 18-months project designed to build capacity of stakeholders and raise awareness of human trafficking and undocumented migration in a selected country of origin and six destination countries. The project was jointly implemented by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, International Organization for Migration and the civil society organization, EXIT. NGO EXIT was responsible for the implementation of the awareness raising component of the project which included organizing a traveling film festival in three endemic Nigeria states, implementing and monitoring follow-up activity in Nigeria, developing of a documentary for training, organizing screening events in Vienna and disseminating the documentary for follow-up workshops in Europe. The main objective of the awareness component of the project was to foster prevention by raising awareness about the complexity of the issue among relevant stakeholders and vulnerable groups.

The traveling film festival in Nigeria lunched „Na Wa Festival“ was designed to host series film screenings and interactive activities. Na Wa Festival was a nine day event designed to facilitate dialogue on issues relating to human trafficking and the exploitation of African migrants in Europe. The nine-day festival, which began on June 13, 2011, had approximately 1329 attendees, including both government officials and members of civil society. Other attendees included Nollywood (Nigeria’s film industry) professionals, vulnerable groups/communities, academics and religious practitioners. The festival took place in 3 Nigerian states namely Abuja, Edo state and Lagos state. Through film screenings and other interactive activities like book readings, panel discussions, strategic networking events, consultation meetings and media relations, and the festival prompted an active debate and participation of target audiences. Furthermore, 3000 free DVD packages consisting of six films portraying the reality for victims of trafficking and undocumented migration were disseminated for further awareness raising.

Following the traveling film festival in Nigeria, three follow up initiatives were selected based on an open call for proposal launched by NGO EXIT. Selected initiatives were granted funds to replicate the Na Wa Festival. Follow up activities utilized the disseminated films to educate about 1700 vulnerable individuals through grassroots operations in Edo and Lagos state. The civil society organization GPI, implemented further follow-up projects that led to the weekly airing of all six films on the local television network in Edo state.

A 25-minutes documentary film, “Are we Aware?“ was developed by the Austrian filmmaker Emanuel Danesch to train stakeholders from judiciary, law enforcement and civil society. The documentary, which portrays trafficking from Nigeria to Europe and analyzes push factors, cohesion of victims and identification of victims was disseminated to participating stakeholders, interested civil society organizations in Austria and study-visit participants.

The European lap of the awareness-raising initiative was launched in Vienna on December 1-2, 2011. The festival was launched with a press conference and three film screenings/discussion events held in two Viennese cinemas. Screening events in Vienna saw the participation of the Nigerian ambassador to Austria who later initiated a follow-up lecture targeting the Nigerian community leaders. Awareness raising materials including the film packages were disseminated to stakeholders and study-visit participants to initiate follow-up screenings.

The awareness raising component of the project reached approximately 2700 individuals directly, while continuous on going usage of the film, airing on television of the films as well as media reports reaches thousands of viewers and readers in Nigeria and in Europe. The Festival served as a starting point for a series of awareness-raising activities and discussions about human trafficking. As films selected showcased personal stories of victims of trafficking in various European countries, the realities of life in Europe for trafficked victims were diversely conveyed. Through testimonials of victims and exchange of information during respective awareness events, participants from civil society gained additional knowledge on how to identify victims and protect potential victims against the luring promises of traffickers. Also family members and vulnerable young girls were reminded about the need to seek deeper information on any offer to Europe. The festival brought more visibility on the issue of trafficking in persons and the dangers associated with it, which led to further exchange of ideas for future collaboration with Nollywood professionals and European filmmakers and researchers on developing realistic home videos for the Nigerian local market. Initial evaluation clearly indicates that the awareness-raising component of this project has successfully paved the way for continued action and dialogue on the issue of human trafficking from Nigeria to Europe.

Before there was Joadre, our official partner in combating human trafficking, there have been the projects IDIA and “Productive Hands by EXIT”. The goal remains the same: empower women and train them to become independent designers  and clothing manufacturers. Here is a report about the two projects:
OUR PROJECT IDIA GOT EXPANDED. PROJECT IDIA BECOMES “PRODUCTIVE HANDS BY EXIT”
IDIA DESIGN & TRADE ACADEMYThe new module system, that EXIT developed for the already implemented IDIA jewelry-workshop, enables participants to quickly master the basics in the field of jewelry and bag production while attending a basic module. Trough this obligatory module, the attendees receive knowledge, not only in material science and about technical content in general, but also in sales and marketing. Their knowledge of these fields should enable them to use the skills they acquired during their training as independent handicraft designers or producers. The second obligatory module of the program is the management module. This module deals with the basics of bookkeeping and law, which the participants will need as independent designers and producers. The topic design plays an important role in the third module, which is designed to inspire and train their creativity. Under professional guidance, the attendees learn to bring their ideas on paper as a design. Further obligatory modules are marketing, video & photography, computer and if necessary german lessons. The content of these obligatory modules is to properly prepare the women for their work as independent designers.

In order to complete further modules, it is required to sucessfully complete the obligatory modules (modules 1-7) first. Then, depending on the participant´s personal skills an interests, they can continue on completing various advanced modules (module 8-12), which are focused on learning specific techniques in jewelry production
In order to complete further modules, it is required to sucessfully complete the obligatory modules (modules 1-7) first. Then, depending on the participant´s personal skills an interests, they can continue on completing various advanced modules (module 8-12), which are focused on the acquisition of specific techniques in the manufacturing of jewelry. While module 1-7 include theoretical as well as practical and creative content, the advanced modules are much more practically oriented. At the moment EXIT offers the advanced modules “knotting”, “working with metal”, “pearl manufacture with polymer clay”, “napkin techniques” and “bags”. If the women are interested, and the course instructors are skilled enough, the offer of the advanced modules can be extented. After the experiences we made in former training courses, we set a high value on flexibility. So we want our attendees to be possible to start with advanced modules, while they are still attending the basic modules. The concurrent participation is very important for the women, so that some of their designs can be realised during the advanced modules. Vice versa, the attendees will learn to plan in the texture of a material in their designs, to merchandise these and to keep the required budget in mind.

In spite of the simultaneous participation in two modules, the successful completion of the basic module is still required, in order to complete an advanced module. The evaluation of the participants results from their attendance at the courses (a minimum of 80%), a written exam at the end of the module or rather the design and the manufacture of a self-drafted piece of jewelry at the end of the semester. At the end of the training, the attendees have to take a thesis module. The goal of this terminal module is to design end manufacture a self-drafted workpiece, while using as many learned techniques as possible. Thereby they get support trough purposeful coaching by one of the course instructors. After sucessfully completing the program, the participants receive a certificate, which provides information about the content and range of their training.

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The project IDIA makes handicraft-courses and mentoring available to women who are going trough difficult life circumstances, especially victims of human trafficking. Our program aims to empower the women and train them to become independent designers. It enables them to acquire handicraft abilities in a comfortable setting, in which they can develop their creativity, talk about their experiences and adopt essential knowledge about the german language and management. The program is being realized in collaboration with the jewelry label “jel” in the framework of the project ACT (Advocacy, Counselling, Training) run by the NGO EXIT.

MORE THAN A TRADE …

The name of our project derives from the name of an honoured queen mother from Nigeria, who, due to her courage and commitment, was the first woman to be appointed as queen of Benin. Queen Idia is a very strong, female character and significant personality in the history of Edo State. She was a warrior, determined to fight, so that her son could maintain his regency. Her courage and commitment makes her a rolemodel for the strong woman of our time.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

Unfortunately, a big number of all the women and girls who are being traded for sexual exploitation are from Edo State, Nigeria. They are being forced to prostitution on the streets of Europe, and have to pay their traders an average of about 40.000 euros. Austria is one of the many affected states in Europe. As many other organisations in austria, NGO EXIT wants to look after these women. EXIT was founded back in 2006 by nigerian author and human rights activist Joana Adesuwa Reiterer, with the aim to raise awareness about the existence of human trafficking in Austria. Because of the austrian Migration and Foreigner´s Law, asylum seekers are not allowed to be employed, before their asylum procedure is judged positively. Statistics show, that less than 1% of nigerian women are currently granted to stay in Austria and that the procedures can take more than 6 years. Now imagine the impact on these women, their motivation and creativity, when they are doomed to doing nothing at all. Among many programs that are being offered to affected women, our eleven week jewelry courses, which are part of our project IDIA, proved to be very sucessful. Even women who were hardly motivated to attend therapy sessions or german courses, made sure they didn´t miss a single class of the jewelry course. While attending our courses, we want the women to exchange ideas, share their worries, to get to any information they need, to learn german, but also to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for jewelry manufacture.

THE SENSITIZING PLAY “TRAUM VOM PARADIES”

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Performed for the first time in 2006 on the occasion of the foundation of EXIT, this theater play had the aim to sensitize the audience about the complex issue of migration from Africa to Europe. Five more performances took place in Vienna in 2007.


APROACHING CLIENTS  (OUTREACH)

In 2006 EXIT did regular streetwork in the second district of Vienna. Furthermore, we made the most of other opportunites, to get in contact with women who had been affected by human trafficking. The contact with these women was used to inform them about the possibilities to get the support of austrian authorities and carried out in 2006 regularly Streetwork in the second Viennese municipal district. In other result other possibilities were also used, around with women who had become a victim of trafficking in human beings to come to contact. The contacts were used to inform women about the possibilities to receive support from authorities and civil society organisations. During that time, more than 140 women were informed. (State: May, 2011)

SOCIAL COUNSELLING
After our awareness-raising activities on Austrian media, a huge number of victims have been send to us by their “clients”. By the end of 2010, EXIT gave advice to 133 women on various social and legal matters. We offered group counselling, but also individual advice. If desired, the women were counselled over the phone or rather anonymously. Depending on the individual situation of the women, they were supported accordingly. In four cases, EXIT provided emergency accommodations for six women. Other women could use the services of LEFÖ or were, with our help, able to stay in their current accommodations.

LEGAL COUNSELLING
With the help of lawyers from certified legal offices, EXIT was able to represent 19 women affected by human trafficking in court. EXIT also accompanied the women during their asylum procedures and until they are approved to stay in Vienna. Some of the cases were dropped, because there supposedely isn´t enough evidence that these women were trafficked and forced into prostitution, according to the Legal Department. However, EXIT is proud of our contribution to prosecute human traffickers and especially to have drawn the attention of the responsible authorities on the problem that human trafficking is. In a precedent of 2009, a woman for the first time got asylum, because she was a victim of human trafficking and had to fear for her life in case of a deportation to Nigeria, because the traffickers would most likely track her down.

WORKSHOPS AND CREATIVE THERAPY
4 Informationworkshops and 2 creative therapy group-sessions were organised by EXIT in Vienna. By being creative with activities such as drawing and painting, young girls and women affected by human trafficking, found new ways to express themselves and to communicate what they experienced. Our workshops had the aim to show the women their rights to defend themselves against their traffickers and the possibilities to prosecute them in the scope of the Austrian legal system. Additional meetings, like movie nights and a comunal cooking, were held, so that the women could exchange their experiences in a pleasant atmosphere.

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PRODUCTION OF THE SHORT MOVIE “GREENER PASTURES” (2006)

  A feature film that was shown on more than 30 events since 2006, to point out the problems victims of human trafficking have to deal with. Parts of the movie were also shown during TV reportages about the Na Wa Festival.

A MOVIE BY MICHAEL SOKOLAR AND JOANA ADESUWA REITERER
based on a true story. Austria, 2006. 24 minutes.
Osas, a nigerian girl, is dragged from a nigerian village to Vienna. After her arrival in Vienna her panderer takes away all her identity documents and forces her into prostitution on the street. Osas gets arrested in the course of a police control and put in a cell to wait for deportation, because she is accused of having illegally entered Austria. Due to the face that she refused to cooperate with the authorities and testify against her traffickers, Osas is deported back to Nigeria.

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