15-year-old free after being trafficked and held captive by her aunt

A 15-year-old girl is now happily reunited with her parents and brothers, after a trafficking ordeal which saw her forced into domestic work and abused by her aunt.

Above: The moment that Alem was reunited with her big brother, thanks to Hope for Justice

When Alem* left her family in rural Southern Ethiopia, she was looking forward to a better life in the city. Her parents had been unsure about the plan, but they were convinced by her aunt’s promise to provide Alem with care, education and work.

But Alem’s new life was nothing like she had been led to expect. Her aunt physically and verbally abused her, forced her to work unpaid, and stopped her from going to school.

Alem eventually ran away, and was taken in by our Lighthouse. Our dedicated team supported Alem as she began her recovery from her ordeal. Alem then attended catch-up lessons, as well as life skills and counselling sessions, at our Lighthouse. Gradually, her confidence improved, and she began to join in and make friends.

Alem was delighted to be reunited with her parents and brothers, thanks to the efforts of our team, which worked tirelessly to find her family. Alem is now looking forward to returning to school and pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor.

*Name changed to protect survivor’s identity