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March 7, 2022

13-year-old Ethiopian boy safely home after a year of exploitation

Galcha* had an emotional reunion with his parents (above), after being forced to work in abusive conditions while living on the streets for a year.

 

The young boy, who is being sponsored to attend school by our team, said: “I would like to thank all of the Hope for Justice team for making me hopeful and a better person for my future.”

 

Galcha had heard from a friend that he would find a well-paid job if he went to the city of Sodo in south-central Ethiopia. After arriving, Galcha was forced to work in a tea house, and paid so little that he couldn’t afford to buy food every day.

 

Galcha then travelled to Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to find a better job, but was forced into labour exploitation again, and subjected to abuse. In an effort to escape, he became addicted to sniffing glue.

 

He returned to Sodo, where he met one of our outreach workers, who explained how we could help. Galcha decided to join one of our Lighthouses.

 

Upon arrival, Galcha had low self-esteem and was shy. We provided medical care, and individual and group counselling.

 

We introduced him to life skills sessions to empower him to look after himself in future. Galcha also began to take part in many other activities at the Lighthouse, enjoying catch-up lessons, sports, arts and crafts.

 

Meanwhile, our team worked for two weeks to locate Galcha’s parents. We coached them on parenting skills, and human trafficking awareness. We provided training and a grant, to enable them to start a small business and secure their future.

 

After a month, Galcha was ready to return home. His parents were overcome with emotion when they saw their delighted son. They dropped to the ground, cried with joy, and thanked our team.

 

*Name has been changed to protect survivor’s identity