Teenager free and home with family

A 14-year-old boy is free from forced labour and reunited with his family, who now have a brighter and stable future, thanks to Hope for Justice.

When Covid-19 hit Uganda, Joe’s* mother lost her job, and Joe had to stop going to school because she could no longer afford the fees. A friend introduced her to a man who said he could offer Joe work, and his wages would be sent home. Desperate to feed her whole family, and with Joe at home all day, Joe’s mother agreed to the plan and sent him to the city.

But when Joe arrived, he was forced to sell produce including bananas, hawking them across busy streets for no pay and barely enough food. He was beaten by police, and bullied by older boys living on the streets.

After about four months, an individual who had taken part in Hope for Justice’s child protection training spotted Joe, and raised concerns with the police. Joe was subsequently taken in at Hope for Justice’s Tuddabugya Lighthouse.

Our expert team cared for Joe for two months, providing individual and group counselling sessions, as well as life skills training and catch-up education classes. We also worked to locate and contact Joe’s family.

We reunited Joe with his family, after empowering them with human trafficking awareness training, and other skills to ensure a safer future. To ensure Joe could resume his education, we paid his new term fees. A hardworking student, Joe recently achieved good grades in his exams, and dreams of becoming a mechanic.

We will also continue to support Joe’s family. We will work with them to identify a potential small business that they could start, and offer the skills, financial means and ongoing support needed to make it a success and ensure they become self-sufficient for the future.

*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the survivor 

Joe is now back at school