From the street to sewing: finding the path back to work

When you arrive in a particular area via a sexual exploitation network, the psychological and physiological impacts are considerable. With its sewing workshop project, the association Aux Captifs la Libération aims to reintegrate young Nigerian women refugees who have been victims of abuse.

Social & Employment

  • Location:

    Paris (France)

  • Sponsor:

    Maëlle Durant

  • Grant:
    €3,000 at the selection committee meeting on 16 March 2020

Project leader

Aux Captifs la Libération

Over the past forty years or so, the association Aux Captifs la Libération has been supporting and helping people who live on the streets or who earn their living on the streets. Thanks to its 70 employees and more than 300 volunteers, it has set up seven branches that develop numerous local programs: visits on the ground to make contact with these disadvantaged groups, reception centres, help returning to work, administrative support, vocational training workshops, etc.

In particular, the association runs a shelter, a support system for alcohol-dependent street people, integration projects for illegal immigrants trying to escape human trafficking and a support program for victims of psychological disorders.

A project aimed at young women

Aux Captifs la Libération has been running a project for a few months now aimed at young Nigerian women who have arrived in France via sexual exploitation networks. These refugees live in a world marked by extreme violence and consequently bear serious physical and psychological scars.

In order to support them, the association has designed a sewing workshop project called "Bakhita", designed to enable them to overcome, one by one, the various barriers that hinder the integration process: speaking the language, lack of skills, low self-esteem, social isolation. The objective is to give these women the tools they need to integrate socially and professionally and build a new life project.

A program focusing on work, social links and short circuits

Group sewing lessons will be given one and a half days a week and then the acquired skills will be put into practice to produce articles in return for remuneration. At the same time, a social worker will assist these women with various tasks: health, French classes, budget management, job search, computer courses, etc. 

Finally, the workshop is coupled with a "Repair Café", a space dedicated to skills transfer. The women supported by the association will be able to help customers repair clothes. The idea is to encourage the reuse of fabrics and short circuits.