Survivor Story : Greener pastures turned dry.

Everyone wishes for a good life for their family and children and when an opportunity for greener pasture comes about, we all run quick for it. This was the case with Mary (not her real name).

Mary is a single mother of four boys aged 16, 12, 9 and 6 years, living with her grandmother but was facing a lot of challenges, she had lost her job and the occasional ‘mama fua’ jobs were not enough to cater for her daily needs. She sought advice from her aunt who introduced her to a recruiting agent. She travelled with the aunt from her rural home to Nairobi to meet the agent and then she went for a two weeks’ training at Githurai. The agent assisted her to get travel documents and in no time she was ready to travel to Saudi Arabia.

When Mary arrived in Saudi Arabia, she was received by her employer at the airport and she was taken to the residence where she was employed as a domestic worker. The family consisted of five members including three sons of the employer. She was introduced to the family and later given instructions to abide by. After one month, the employer who was the lady travelled unexpectedly.

Mary was left alone with the three sons of the man of the house who started harassing her sexually. “I was sexually assaulted and physically abused by the three men for a period of nine months. At one point, I was seriously beaten up and left for the dead for not giving in to their demands. I could not even pick myself up from where they had left lying for five days,” lamented Mary.

When the men realised that she could not to stand still by herself, they decided to throw her out of the house, a far distance from the gate. Mary was later picked up from the roadside by a good Samaritan who helped her get to nearest Red Cross office. The Red Cross took her to their shelter where she found other girls who had been rescued too. She stayed there for two months before she was later escorted to the airport alongside 6 other Kenyan girls. Mary says she that could not even tell who paid for her ticket but happy that it was by God’s grace that she was rescued. Mary and the other 6 girls were given some little money to use for their onward transport costs home after arriving in Kenya.

When Mary arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, she took a bus to Thika and upon arrival, she lost her consciousness and was rushed to Thika level 5 hospital. Mary was admitted at the hospital for one month and she was later discharged.

CHTEA supported Mary with medical support and psycho-social support since she had suffered severe post-traumatic stress disorder and due to the extreme physical abuse that she got in Saudi Arabia. Mary sustained a broken limb. CHTEA also supported her to start up her hair dressing business (salon) since she was already a skilled hairdresser.

We are happy through the economic empowerment program; Mary can now financially support her children and her family at large.

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