In 2013, Joseph Osuigwe Chidiebere was posted to do his one year mandatory national youth service in Lugbe, a rural community in Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria.
While teaching at the women rehabilitation centre operated by Society Against Prostitution and Child Labour, he was contemplating of doing a project on preventing human trafficking due to his interest in promoting human rights, but wasn’t really sure if it will impact his host community.
However, when he interacted with some of his students who were survivors of sexual exploitation, he was aggrieved by the rate at which young people fall victims to exploitation. This propelled him to initiate a personal community development project on eradication of human trafficking and other related matters.
He approached United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and other non-government organizations who joined his to train over 2000 teenagers, women and educators in 5 communities on how to eradicate human trafficking. He also counseled some of the teenagers who have experienced different forms of exploitation.
He often used 80 percent of his monthly allowance for his projects. Recognizing the role of education in preventing human trafficking, Mr. Osuigwe provided educational supports to 90 schools in 85 communities in Nigeria.
Inspired by the testimonies of beneficiaries and compelled by the urgent need to equip and engage young people to combat human trafficking, Joseph formed a team of young people to continue the anti-human trafficking project in 2014. They were faced with obstacles and challenges but at the same time were convinced that it is possible to have a nation without human trafficking and where young people are equipped for national development.
Their impact grew over time, and more young people began volunteering to build a nation without human trafficking, and subsequently Devatop Centre for Africa Development (DCAD)was officially incorporated with Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission.
Through the support of organizations like: African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), and others, DCAD has continued to be in the forefront of combating human trafficking in Nigeria.
We believe that young people need to be equipped and engaged: