Survivor Stories : Trapped by a false employment opportunity abroad.

Lali* is a 19-year-old young lady of Ugandan origin, the last born in a family of seven, she comes from a family where the mother is a widow and not financially stable. The mum could not support her schooling, she therefore dropped out of school while in form 2. Lali* always wished for an opportunity to get out of her country of origin for work to be able to support her family. Not long after, a friend called Peter * came visiting at her town of Mbale, Uganda in search of land to buy. The friend then met Lali* and shared with her about the lucrative and well-paying cleaner job in Nairobi, Kenya. This was a dream come true for Lali*. To add icing to the cake, the person would cater for her transport to get her from Mbale in Uganda to Nairobi.

On her way to Nairobi, Lali* was in the company of her 2-year-old niece, Blessing*. Lali* narrates that she did not have any travel documents, once they got to the border, they were advised to alight and cross the border on foot. Lali* obliged and her journey continued until she was in Nairobi. Once in Nairobi, Peter*, came to pick her up. Lali* was later taken to a place she would call home. She stayed with Peter* for 2 days and enquired about the job that she had been promised. To Lali’s* disbelief, there was no cleaner job that she would be posted to. Instead, she was to remain in the house and help with the house chores. Lali* says Peter* had told her he had a large 2-bedroom house, where they could both fit, she was shocked to find out that the house was a small tin-made single room in which she was expected to share with Peter * and her 2-year-old niece.

After staying for one week, Lali* could not take it anymore and she insisted to get the job she had been promised, but Peter* told her point blank that there was no job. That he had taken her in to be his wife instead. That is when Lali’s* problems started, she tried to resist this, but she realized that her life was in danger. If she refused to act according to Peter’s* orders, she would be mistreated or even handed over to police with concocted charges as an irregular migrant.

Lali* persevered staying with Peter* for 3 months during which period, she was denied medical treatment, denied food, raped, insulted, physically assaulted and her life threatened. On one occasion, Lali* was physically assaulted and was badly hurt. The incident raised a concern from neighbors regarding Lali’s* life. They came to her rescue and reported the case to the local chief who linked them up with a social justice center, which ensured Lali* was moved to a safer accommodation.

After her rescue and case assessment, Lali* was later transferred to a safe shelter, where she got medical help, psychosocial support, and accommodation. CHTEA, in partnership with the Ugandan Embassy in Kenya and the Religious Against Human Trafficking network we successfully helped Lali* reunite with her family back in Uganda and gave her a chance to fulfill her dream of going back to school.


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