Joan Domingos née Ajayi was born in Nigeria, West Africa. Joan is a proud mother of four boys. A registered Geriatric nurse and an alternative singer/songwriter by profession, Joan’s nursing career was inspired by Joan’s mother’s heart disease in the mideighties. Joan worked two jobs in Germany, as a Geriatric Nurse (Examinierte Altenpflegerin) for “CARITAS” and as a professional singer, performing at Germany’s second best show in 2013 “FANTISSIMA” in Phantasialand.
Life put Joan in a traumatic situation because her first marriage ended as a result of substance abuse and domestic violence. Looking for a new beginning and safety from her abuser, Joan decided to take into consideration the convincing offer of work and most of all safety offered by her friend. Joan decided to move to the United States of America. Upon arrival she found herself engulfed in a vicious circle of abuse that made her feel trapped, helpless, and very afraid for her life and that of her Children. After the escape from her trafficker, Joan found her children and herself in several safe houses and safety transfers (she had relocated four times in 2 months). In the late summer of 2014 she moved with her children to San Diego to yet another safe house. Her feeling of helplessness and despair increased. While in Oceanside, she was referred to a legal firm “Casa Cornelia” which greatly helped and was to change her life for the better. Joan was enlightened of the different forms of human trafficking and came to the harsh realization that she was a victim of domestic violence and human trafficking. This made her case very complex. After several appointments she was referred to Carmen Kcomt who is the Director of the legal department of La Maestra Community Health Centers. She received Joan and her children with open arms and assisted them with endless resources of which were public benefits like the victims compensation program, therapy but to mention a few! This led to Joan’s introduction to La Maestra’s “Circle of Care”. Carmen introduced Joan to Zara Marselian, CEO of La Maestra Community Health Centers who also welcomed Joan warmly and has played one of the key roles in Joan’s healing process. Carmen referred Joan to La Maestra’s Generations program director Christopher Ewald in November 2014 who was looking for a music instructor at the time for the after school program. Joan had to prepare herself mentally and after a few months Joan started volunteering in February 2015. Joan is currently a music and academic instructor at La Maestra Community Health Center’s Generations After School Program, “Center for Youth Advancement”. Thanks to the tireless efforts of her attorney Carolina Martin Ramos and team at Casa Cornelia Law Center, Joan’s status and that of her children was adjusted in July 2016. Life has brought many challenges her way and she was able to surmount them by God’s grace and a strong support system, made up of family and faithful friends of which La Maestra’s “CIRCLE OF CARE” played the key role when she and her children were left at the mercy of the unknown.
“I choose not to see myself as a victim nor a survivor of human trafficking. I see myself as a single mother who is grateful to be alive and is empowered to advocate for myself and my children to not just exist in life but to enjoy life to its fullest. My goal is to enlighten and assist people from all walks of life who may be going through the same situation and may not even know it!! Human trafficking is real and happens in plain sight”.
For more information about Joan’s inspirational songs which also played an enormous part in her healing process please go to her webpages at www.bukidomingos.com or www.reverbnation.com/bukidomingos