Mother and 13-year-old daughter reunited after four years

A 13-year-old girl who was sexually abused by her father has been reunited with her mother after four years, and safeguarded from traffickers.  

When Zeyneba*’s parents separated, she moved to an Ethiopian city with her father and new stepmother. Following the abuse Zeyneba endured, she was cared for through the legal system in Ethiopia. When her father went to prison, she had nowhere to go, and was at risk of being preyed on by traffickers.  

Hope for Justice took Zeyneba in at one of our Lighthouses, after the police referred her to our care. After her ordeal, Zeyneba’s future was uncertain. Her stepmother did not want to raise her, and she was unsure where her mother was.  

For over a month, we cared for and supported Zeyneba. We provided counselling, and helped her rebuild her confidence through lessons, life skills training, games and activities. 

When Zeyneba began to recover, she told us she wanted to return to her mother, and go to school. She described her family home, and our staff began searching for her mother using their local knowledge and network of contacts. We were able to locate Zeyneba’s mother after three weeks.  

Mother and daughter were delighted when our team reunited them at last. Zeyneba said: “I’m very happy now as I’m reunited with Mommy. I was so depressed before, because I have been thinking about her for the last four years.”  

We also arranged for Zeyneba to attend a local school, and provided books, stationery and other essentials. Our team will continue to support Zeyneba and her mother for another two years.  

*Name and image have been changed to protect the identity of the individual