Testimonies from Trafficking Survivors
My name is Marta. I was born in the Gambela region, in the Akoba district in Ethiopia. I came from a poor family and they were never able to afford to send me to school. I worked informally my whole life, trying to make ends meet. When I was older, I married and had a small child, and also looked after my younger brothers. Sadly, my husband died and I became the breadwinner for all of these hungry mouths. I knew I needed to find work elsewhere to pave the way for better futures for my child and brothers. A broker told me that there was an opportunity to work abroad in Europe and he convinced me that the road is very safe. He said I will arrive in Italy within a week through the border of Ethio-Sudan by crossing the Mediterranean sea and then my dream will be fulfilled. It sounded easy, and perhaps my only option to change my situation.
I had to pay sixty thousand Ethiopian Birr to the brokers. It was not easy to find this money. However after he collected the money from me, the broker disappeared. I did not know what to do but still wanted to get to Europe. I was intercepted by the police and lost all of my dreams, but I realised soon that the police saved me from a life of potential trafficking.
The police officers referred me to an NGO called Timiret LeHiwot Ethiopia (TLHE) shelter house located in North West Gonder Zone which is near to the border to Sudan for psychosocial support and rehabilitation.
I believe that being in TLHE center and support of TLHE social workers saved my life. I was reintegrated to my family by TLHE social workers to have a second chance at building a new life.
Organisations working on fighting trafficking and/or sexual exploitation:
- ANNPCAN Ethiopia
- Save the Children