Meseret* was trapped in domestic labour for about a year, and forced to endure abuse including having scalding water poured over her arm, but is now safely reunited with her stepfather and the rest of her family.
Meseret said: “I am very excited to go to school. I want to continue my education and one day become a doctor, so that I can help people in need. I am very thankful to Hope for Justice for helping me find my parents so that I can achieve this.”
The young girl had been taken to Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, by a woman who promised Meseret’s parents that she would provide their daughter with a better life.
But Meseret was forced to cook, clean and care for the woman’s children. The woman beat and insulted her and often gave her only leftovers to eat.
One day, the woman poured hot water on Meseret’s arm, burning her badly. The woman eventually took her for medical treatment, and Meseret courageously shared how she was being treated. We took her in at one of our Lighthouses.
Meseret was shy and anxious at first. Over the next three months, our team provided medical care and support. Meseret took part in counselling, and she began to take an interest in art therapy and life skills sessions.
Gradually she rediscovered her confidence. She loved playing and jumping rope, and constantly smiled.
Our team were able to locate Meseret’s parents within a few days, using our network of local contacts. We then reunited the delighted family.
We also provided a grant to help the family build a stable future. They plan to buy a goat or a sheep to generate a regular income.
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the individual