Tears of joy for mother who thought she would never see her 8-year-old again

A mother who thought she had lost her 8-year-old daughter forever has been reunited with her after two years, thanks to Hope for Justice’s team in Ethiopia, following a period in terrible exploitation for the young girl.

Tigist*’s family were struggling to make ends meet, and to send her to school. When Tigist had the chance to move to the city with relatives, go to school and earn money to help her family, the offer was too promising for her parents to turn down.

But when Tigist arrived, she was forced to work in her aunt’s house, and endure physical and emotional abuse. Her aunt would hit her and threaten her. She also stopped her from going to school.

After two years of this nightmare, Tigist, now aged 10, bravely ran away. A passer-by took her to the police, before Hope for Justice took her in at one of our Lighthouses.

When Tigist first arrived, she was shy, reserved, and tearful. For over a month, our team cared for her, providing individual and group counselling, and art therapy sessions. Tigist gradually began to recover, and come out of her shell. She began to join activities and games, becoming more assertive and confident.

Meanwhile, our team began searching for Tigist’s family, using our network of local contacts. After meeting her mother, our team provided parenting and child protection skills training. We also provided business skills training, to help safeguard the family’s future.

When they were finally reunited, mother and daughter cried tears of joy, and threw their arms around each other.

Tigist will soon attend school.

Tigist (right) and her mother are now reunited

*Name has been changed to protect survivor’s identity