Addressed to underage girls in prostitution. Don Bosco takes them out of the streets, offering a safe environment where holistic rehabilitation and healing is carried out .
GIRL’S SHELTER PLUS (GO+)
During our street work Salesians and staff have discovered a big number of underage girls who are working as sexual workers. They are aged 9 to 17 and work as prostitutes on the streets of Freetown, at markets, brothels and night clubs. Most of them are unaware of the terrible dangers involved in this activity. They are “used”, “abused” and “discarded” by adults and even the police. Our social workers doing street work have discovered that young girls offer their services for 10,000 SLL (1 and ½ USD) or 20,000 USD (almost 3 USD) for having protected or unprotected sex respectively. Some of the girls come from other countries, others from villages and from the poorest areas of Freetown itself.
The main reason of their presence in the streets during the night is poverty: they want to help financially their families. We have seen that several of them are Senior Secondary School and even university students who are searching for money to pay schools fees. In several occasions, you find children who have been literally cheated, as they were offered work as maids or waiters in Freetown and ended up working as sexual workers in night clubs and bars. The majority of them are sick, even though unaware of their health condition. A considerable number of them have contracted sexual transmitted diseases, AIDS, hepatitis B and C and other sicknesses, like tuberculosis and kidney related illnesses. The majority of them are unaware of the dangers of having unprotected sex with a stranger. After 2 weeks of street work in September 2016, we have taken out of the streets 5 girls aged 9, 12, 14, 15 and 17 who are active sexual workers in the streets of Freetown. All of them were found in very poor health conditions and when invited to go to the hospital, they immediately accepted. Some of them have been diagnosed with AIDS, syphilis and gonorrhoea in advance stage.
The main aim of programme (GO+) is to reach out to underage girls who are involved in a situation of prostitution (aged 9 to 17) and to take them out of the streets, offering a safe environment where holistic rehabilitation and healing is carried out (physical, psychologically, spiritual, morally and socially). The final aim is for them to recover their dignity through empowerment (education – skills training) and reintegrating them to the community (village and family life, society and world of work). A future of hope and joy is opened to them.
The main components of GS programme remain unmodified in GO+