Leslie Ibeanusi

Leslie Ibeanusi (Transnational AIDS Prevention among Migrant Prostitutes in Europe Project – TAMPEP): Leslie earned her BS in biology at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia (2001-2005). In 2005, she was crowned as the inaugural Miss Nigeria in America, where she represented young Nigerian women of the diaspora. Since then, she has become passionately involved in global health and social justice issues affecting women and children in African countries. She had also co-founded a nonprofit called Making Noise Inc, which uses the arts and media to raise awareness of social justice issues in Africa countries. At the time of her fellowship, Leslie had just graduated from the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, where she received her Master's in public health with a concentration in global health promotion.



Delicate Issues

18 Jun

(Occurred June 11)

This was soooo cool! It was after an awesome church service at a local Nigerian church in Turin. I was standing among a Nigerian pastor, two Nigerian guys from the community, a Nigerian woman who worked with the city, Rosanna my director at TAMPEP, and we were planning a revolution.

Rosanna, Laura (another TAMPEP worker), and I came to the service to share about Project Turnaround- the project I’m working on this summer. The program ensures that girls, who are voluntarily or forcibly deported, are met with local organizations in their home country and given counselling and repatriation assistance. After the service, those that were excited by the program, gathered loosely around us.

“We need to organize like a town hall meeting where we get Nigerians and other Africans to meet on this issue. Something needs to be done!” said one of the guys. “I’ve heard this before,” I thought to myself, thinking back to Ibo Union meetings that started with a need to fix an issue, but ended in shouting and yelling. “Hmmm, that’s a good idea,” I responded. “But what’s our goal? Who are we trying to reach?” The buzz in the room grew quieter as I spoke. Now, I could pretend and say that they were fascinated by the wisdom that poured from my mouth, but I think they were just intrigued that this Naija girl had such an American accent.

I continued. “Are we going to target traffickers who are luring these girls here?”
The room really went quiet this time.

One guy in the room twisted his face. “No, no, no- we’re not going to talk about such things- We’ll talk about representation. That’s what we need! We need to organize…”
The conversation went on without me. Wait… hold one now… Isn’t trafficking what we’re dealing with here? Shouldn’t we storm the streets and pull out the villains who are wreaking this havoc?

“…we should rent a hall and pass out fliers to Naija people on the street!”
“Yes! Yes!” I heard as I tuned back to what they were saying.

“Hold up! Why can’t we target people who we think are traffickers? Isn’t that the point?” I ask.
Again the room went quiet…Either my accent was that intriguing or they thought I was completely stupid. Rosanna spoke up, “No, no- this is not America- where you rush in to fight something. Many girls here were brought this way (trafficking). You don’t judge. You don’t want to scare anybody off from coming. You have to be discrete with this…these are delicate issues.”

Wow. That shut me up. Fast.
“I have a lot to learn,” I thought, as the buzz of the revolution sparked around me.

(This blog, and the others, can also be viewed on my Making Noise site at: http://www.myspace.com/livethenoise
Live The Noise!)

Posted By Leslie Ibeanusi

Posted Jun 18th, 2007

7 Comments

  • Joy

    June 18, 2007

     

    Hey Leslie!

    Loving the blog updates. It sounds like you are having a wonderful time in Italy and LEARNING so much at the same time. I’m praying for you and can’t wait to see what God continues to have in store for you during the rest of your stay!

    God bless!
    Joy

  • Daddy

    June 18, 2007

     

    I applaud you for these updates. Please stay safe and may our God always bless and make your stay in Italy a productive experience.

  • Josephine

    June 19, 2007

     

    hey Leslie,
    This is so awesome! Congrats!!! Just called your phone and left a message yesterday, not knowing you were in Italy doing a great work. Nice blog. Learn, listen and observe well and remember people don’t always immediately embrace change. Keep at it. You will do great.
    Love,
    Josie

  • leslie

    June 22, 2007

     

    Thanks you all for reading!

  • nnena ukuku

    June 23, 2007

     

    Wow,
    There is so much to say… they are right it is a complex issue… How do we in the west learn more?

  • leslie

    June 27, 2007

     

    Great question Nnenna! There are several sources to read more about this, but I’m going to post a few on the main blog page so others can benefit from this:)
    ciao!

  • Vrujci

    April 9, 2012

     

    Howdy, I do think your blog could be having browser compatibility issues.

    Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.
    E., it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you
    with a quick heads up! Other than that, fantastic site!

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