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Instead of facilitating my career as a singer, they forced me into sex work.

I am an artist, songwriter and performer. It was extremely difficult for me to make a living from my passion in Uganda. A friend mentioned there are lots of opportunities for performing abroad. She referred me to an agent who recommended Dubai as a starting point. I was thrilled that I was finally getting the opportunity to perform and earn a living for me and my ten-year-old son. I had to pay for my ticket, passport and visa and my agent helped acquire all the required documents for my travel.

When I arrived in Dubai, I was received at the airport by two ladies who escorted me to an apartment. They took copies of my songs and my pictures, claiming to prepare my first shows. Later, they came to take my passport. Instead of facilitating my career as a singer, they forced me into sex work. I was not given enough food and denied medical care. I wasn’t allowed to move outside the apartment. The physical and psychological threats were horrible. Some days, I wished for death.

After almost two months of being exploited, I managed to reach out to two women from my home country. They referred my case to HAART Kenya, whom together with their partner organization planned and coordinated my rescue. I was taken to a safe accommodation and taken to hospital for medical check-ups and treatment. HAART Kenya helped me get a new passport and organized my travel back to Uganda, where I found refuge in the shelter of one of HAART’s partner organizations.

My joy and relief of returning home was short lived, as I did not feel safe in my own country. The people responsible for trafficking me continued to pursue me and threaten my life. I was forced to flee from my country to Kenya in March 2019. With no source of income, no employment and still very traumatized from what I went through in Dubai, I had no choice but to leave my son behind. When I arrived in Kenya, HAART Kenya offered me shelter, basic needs, psychosocial and medical support and I slowly began to heal.In January 2020, HAART financially empowered me to start my own business as a mobile make-up artist. My business was picking up well, and I had slowly started to support myself. I started dreaming about bringing my son to Kenya. Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is extremely difficult for me to continue operating my mobile make-up services. In this current situation, I don’t know how to continue supporting myself.

Survivors of human trafficking need your help now! Due to the effects of COVID-19, most of the survivors in HAART’s program have lost their income. Please help us raise USD 50,000 to carry 100 survivors and their families through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Let them have a future.

Donate now on haartkenya.org/donate Paybill Number is 823258 (Account Number: Your Name)

Your impact will be DOUBLED by The Freedom Fund: Any donation to the campaign will be matched 100 percent! Thank you for making a difference!

 

EYES ON TRAFFICKING

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from HAART Kenya‘s RSS feed.

ABOUT PBJ LEARNING

PBJ Learning is a leading provider of human trafficking training, focusing on awareness and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials is being used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to a potential victim. Their online human trafficking course is available for use on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

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