Vickie, 11, resides in Tanzania. She dreams of becoming a seamstress. Unfortunately, her father´s death in 2019 made this dream seem uncertain. Without his income, Vickie and her family could no longer afford basic needs. Consequently, Vickie dropped out of school to assist her mother to get income by selling sardines and pastries. She met a man on her regular route to sell pastries, whose promise of a better job seemed like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
The man told Vickie that his sister was looking for a domestic worker. He added that since she lived alone, the role would entail simple household tasks. Furthermore, he guaranteed Vickie that she would get good wages in return. Vickie was excited about the new opportunity. She asked the man to convince her mother as well by accompanying her home.
Vickie was put on a bus the next day. She was to be received by a lady at the bus terminus. After they met, the said lady later took her to a ship destined for one of Tanzania´s islands. The lady had instructed the ship crew to hand over the girl to another woman once the ship docked. This woman turned out to be Vickie´s employer.
Contrary to what Vickie had been told, her employer had a big family. The workload was double, not what she was made to believe. Vickie´s employer complained about her slowness in completing tasks. She constantly abused Vickie physically by slapping her and beating her. In addition to this, she also hurled nasty insults at Vickie. “I was feeling bad and lots of stress as a result of the beating and insults from my employer,” Vickie explained. Vickie was physically and emotionally exhausted that by the tenth day, she began planning her escape.
Vickie woke up as usual but instead of proceeding to work, she made a run for it. On her way, she met a good samaritan who advised her on where she could report her case. Vickie was later referred to our partner, Kiwohede, who reported the case to the police station. The matter is ongoing and it seeks to bring the recruiter, the traffickers involved while the girl was on transit, as well as Vickie´s former employer to book. At Kiwohede, the girl was counselled and educated on child trafficking and child labour. She was also reintegrated back with her family. The project collaborated with education officers and managed to re-enrol the girl in school. Additionally, she was supported with education materials and is currently in grade three. “In future, I would like to be a cook and seamstress. I would also like to help other children who are victims of child abuse by empowering them with life skills.¨ Vickie concluded.