IRETI Empowering Women – First weeks in Palermo, Sicily by Saffron N Johnson
So far I have been in Palermo, Sicily for just under 2 weeks and the though is still sinking in that I have been blessed enough to be here- truth be told, I visited Palermo at the beginning of March and was captivated by the beauty and authenticity of the city, and went around telling all who would listen ‘I’m going to live here, 2 months or a year, but I’m going to live here one day’ and who would’ve thought that a month later, that I would be here working on a project that is so close to my heart for the next 2 months.
I’m back in Palermo because of the IRETI mobility programme, a programme that aids the women who have been sex trafficked from Nigeria into the EU; as a Nigerian myself, and someone who actively fights for female empowerment I feel blessed that I get to work on something that does not only have the power and the possibility to change the lives of many women across the world, and to bring awareness to the issues of sex trafficking within the EU, but I get to help women whom I feel like are my sisters, women who deserve the same privileges that a lot of us get just by being apart of the EU.
Whilst working here in Palermo, I shall be working on the project with the HRYO- Human Rights Youth Organisation at their base in Stato Brado alongside presidents Marco and Senem, who have been the best hosts so far and have allowed myself, and two other people working on this project who have come Romania and Spain the freedom to explore the city that we will be residing in for the next 2 months, teaching us about where we are, and encouraging us to take part in the parade that commenced on the 25th April for the Liberation of Palermo.
So far I am feeling blessed and excited; I am soaking in the beauty of the city, adjusting well to the laid back and relaxed life style and I am working on a project that was created with a purpose of empowering other women.