Building freedom with Osato

Over 22000 Migrants have lost their lives on the high sea trying to migrate from their home country to Europe. Because these migrants cannot tell their stories anymore, does not mean all is well. Many were children, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties, friends. They all had someone they left behind, they all had dreams to achieve. May of us are unaware of the challenges migrants face before reaching the coast of Libya and crossing the Mediterranean sea. I know that many cannot swim. Even if you could swim, it’s one of the craziest risk and danger to embark on.  Obviously this migration route is one of the most dangerous, but still many people are stuck on the road. Osato unwillingly found herself tied up in the danger to migrate through this route. She got jailed in Libya, spent 3 days on high sea. It is a ridiculous experience.

Migration route through the MEDITERRANEAN joadre


What prompts many young African migrants to risk their lives on this journey? Is it enticing images, stories and messages we get about Europe?  Are the circumstances in our home communities that bad to risk one’s life just to escape it? Can we reduce the reasons to ignorance or are there criminals out to profit from the exploitation of these migrants? Who profits from this at the end? Is it their family members who do not care about or who are ignorant to the risk and dangers that might lie ahead? On the other side, does Europe need the services of these migrants urgently to keep the offering of cheap products and services in the European market booming? No matter who profits, at the end it is migrants like Osato experience the trauma of this journey. They are the ones that fall short from the system and that is why we should let them speak.

Osato’s story is a vivid account of many stories we are yet to hear or might never hear.

Osato’s story is a vivid account of many stories we are yet to hear or might never hear. At a very young age, she found migration to Europe as an alternative to her current life in Edo State, Nigeria. So what is happening in our society that a young girl chooses this danger as her next best alternative? Did she know that there are european embassies in Nigeria, where she can apply for a visa? Even if she was aware of this, would she event make it to apply? Would she get a visa? Visas are reserved for the wealthy, the connected maybe through marriage or family connections or for those students who manage to get stipends through their extraordinary achievements. Does this automatically disqualify Osato from the opportunity to migrate in a dignified way?

building freedom, arise against human trafficking
Does Europe meet expectations?

Then she lands in Europe with all her expectations, but can these expectations be met? Does Europe confirm the images, the stories, the messages the media had showed her about itself? In her case, exploitation was pre-programmed to happen. She has to work as a prostitute. Did the sex clients, the thousands of European men roaming the streets at night looking for cheap sexual services to pay for, did they realise that she is serving them against her will?

Nevertheless, within the density of violence and oppression, where Osatos freedom was takes from her, she found the courage to think differently. She found the courage to say no the first time. Then again, then again, Slowly she could build on her courage and reclaim her freedom. Her did she get there?

Are you caught up in your own issues?

We are often caught up in situations in our lives that seem inevitable. That seems forever even when they are obviously contrary to the values we stand for. We get stuck in these situations, in these relationships, in these political atmosphere, in these family structures, that it is almost impossible to break free. Because we might have to risk it all to break free. I spent over 5 hours listening to Osato. Trying to understand how she, a young 22 years old woman, could summon the courage, in a foreign country to stand her ground, to say no. To flee. To reflect. To learn. To become independent and now to be able to find a space in her heart to love. To forgive. To feel the need to help others like her. Osato founded her organisation Free-me to empower young vulnerable people in her home community in nigeria through education and micro-credit.

On the 16th of June, we will welcome Osato Odion to our ARISE stage in Vienna.

There are tons of initiatives happening on ground in Edo state, where many victims and survivors of human trafficking come from. Just to mention a few is True identity and Pathfinders Justice Initiative. These 2 organisations are out there working with women to give them the needed support to live their full potential. But there are still so many questions I want to ask. So many lessons I want to learn from extraordinary women like Osato.  That’s why we feel honored to host Osato on the 13th of June in Vienna, to learn, to listen, to celebrate her courage, to make her story valid. You are invited. Click to reserve a seat now. If you would like to learn more about how you can be instrumental to prevent human trafficking, visit our newly launched online course program Fair Friday. I look forward to welcoming you at our event on the 13th. Thank you for sharing this blog post and see you soon.



I am Joana, a Nigerian-born Austrian-based entrepreneur and activist. Founded Joadre in 2012 and continue to develop content to engage and empower African SMEs.

The Joadre Analysis & Industry Journal

FREE Templates



Inevitable side income of human trafficking! Sustainable fashion is the future.

Retailers do not only have power but also the largest portion of the cake, leaving about 35 - 40% of the money you pay for a shoe to them. They have to survive, just like Selema. They do not have side income, no daughter to sell to human traffickers!

Lucrative online business ideas to start from home

Now the general skills you will need for any of these online business ideas as a student will be the ability to navigate the internet, access to the internet. Access must not be that you own a subscription or a computer. You can use internet cafes.

Business in fashion. 35 careers, which is for you?

Now, it is important not to forget that fashion is all about the unique aesthetics you create. Also that the fashion industry offers you a great opportunity to explore different jobs, services or professions. Being smart means you have to carve out your own niche and build a business around it. And guess what, there are a couple of ways to actually start this business from home, with very little investment needed.

10 Best Crowdfunding Platforms To Raise Funds For Projects

How To Use Crowdfunding Strategy and Platforms To Launch Your Project. Not all platforms offer what you want. Here are some tips.

6 Essentials Beyond Money To Improve Lives In Nigeria

If these six key things are solved, more Nigerians can make money and here is why. Take Tope, for example!