Welcome to part 2 of our September 2016 Inspirational Interview with Bukola Oriola, Founder of The Enitan Story – a nonprofit organisation with a mission to advocate for victims and empowers survivors of human trafficking and domestic abuse.
In this part of the interview, Bukola talks about The Enitan Story’s work in helping human trafficking survivors rebuild their lives. You can read Part 1 of Bukola’s interview here.
1. You founded the anti-human trafficking nonprofit The Enitan Story. Tell us about The Enitan Story and how you came to set it up.
The Enitan Story is a nonprofit organisation with a mission to advocate for victims and empower survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence. It came about to bridge the gap in the system, particularly for survivor empowerment because victims face various challenges when receiving help. For example, some are not able to pay or find someone to pay for their immigration specified medical examinations, but most of the services do not have specified funding for such important examination in the process of a victim getting his or her permanent residency in the U.S. Some do not provide food or emergencies to adults without children and these women need help.
Our goal is to identify such challenges and find solutions to them. Also, providing cultural sensitive programmes goes beyond talking about it or writing about it – it has to be implemented practically. One of the ways that The Enitan Story does that is through its community garden to provide ethnic food for the immigrant survivors.
Survivor empowerment is one of our long term goals because it is important for survivors to reintegrate back into the communities where they become independent economically to become tax payers. We offer a sewing class called “Survivor Empowerment Sewing Program” to help survivors learn a vocational skill that can help them make income to take care of them and their families here in the U.S.
2. The Enitan Story runs a full range of projects ranging from awareness-raising activities such as the TV show and kids’ education to direct service to survivors such as the community garden and food service to training and educating communities how to recognise and take action to stop human trafficking. Tell us why you chose this 360 degree approach and why it is particularly effective for addressing human trafficking.
When bridging the gap, you need the 360 degree approach because there are gaps present in everything from prevention to helping survivors re-integrate back into the community. This approach is really important because it helps sustain the programmes that are already available in the community.
3. Tell us about The Enitan Story’s plans for the future. What campaigns or projects do you have coming up in the next 5 years?
Right now, the campaign is to provide support for survivor empowerment with the #AllDanceOffChallenge as well as my upcoming book, “A Living Label” that will go towards survivor empowerment. Proceeds from the book will go to support 100 survivors in the U.S., Nigeria, and Kenya and each survivor will receive $10,000 for education or business.
This is a goal that is achievable with the help of only 60,000 people among the millions living in these three countries when they pre-order an e-book version of “A Living Label” for $21.99 on The Enitan Story’s website. My 40th birthday is a landmark birthday and the birthday gift that I ask for is for people who care about women and survivor empowerment to go ahead and give me a birthday present by making the donation for a copy of my book that will be electronically delivered to them by email on my birthday.
The second campaign that we are working on is called Students Against Abuse and Slavery International (SASI), geared towards college students for human trafficking prevention through awareness.
4. How can The Pixel Project’s supporters, fans, and followers support The Enitan Story’s work and efforts to end sex/human trafficking in general?
There are 3 types of human trafficking: sex, labour and organ trafficking. The Pixel Project’s fans, and followers can support The Enitan Story by supporting survivor empowerment by pre-ordering a copy of “A Living Label”. They can also host an event and invite me to speak about the book.
They can also do the #AllDanceOffChallenge by filming themselves dancing and sharing on their social media pages with the hashtags #ALivingLabel #AllDanceOffChallenge #All #AllHelpSurvivors #AllEmpowerWomen.
They can join me daily on Facebook as I discuss the book and the issues of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, and Female Genital Mutilation on a Live broadcast that I have called “Morning Jamz with Bukola and You!”
5. In your considered opinion, how can we end violence against women for good?
I continue to emphasise education. It is the tool needed to prevent many from becoming victims of human trafficking or domestic violence. The more people are educated about the issue of violence against women, the more people will embrace a world without violence against women.