Nigerian women were sold in Italy to work as sex workers have found new work in a handbag and dressmaking shop that currently got some amazing raw materials: four-thousand meters of remaining fabric from Gucci.

ROME (NEWS AGENCY) – Nigerian women who were sold to Italy to work as sex workers have found work in a handbag and dressmaking shop that currently got some outstanding raw materials: four-thousand meters (four-thousand, three-hundred, and seventy-four yards) of remaining fabric from Gucci.

The initiative was declared on Wednesday in Rome, ended with a fashion show by the Nigerian dressmakers and a group of Italian design students who taught them to sketch and sew the designs, that mix Gucci silks, satins and cotton with bright African prints.

Sister Rita Giaretta, who runs a home for rescued migrants in the southern city of Caserta, said the target of the project was to give the women honorable work so they are not dependant on contributions.

“Giving them their dignity means putting them back on their feet and believing in themselves and not seeing themselves only as in a situation of need,” Giaretta said.

“When I saw the fabric I was amazed,” said Josephine Phillips, a thirty-five years-old Nigerian woman who works in the New Hope workshop and designed a headscarf and reversible handbag on Wednesday. “We weren’t expecting such beautiful things — satins, materials I didn’t know.”

Between ten-thousand and thirty-thousand Nigerian women are believed to be presently working as sex workers in Italy, compelled into the sex trade to pay off debts to human smugglers who arranged them to get here.

The Italy government has trebled its funding to help them get off the streets and into safe houses, but advocates say there aren’t enough beds to go around.

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