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Case Studies Misgana’s story

Misgana’s story

A nine-year-old girl in Ethiopia who was trafficked, beaten and denied education by her aunt has now been reunited with her family.

Misgana* lives with her parents and siblings in the Amhara Region, northern Ethiopia. On the promise of a better education and life, her aunt brought her to the capital city, Addis Ababa.

However, her aunt began abusing Misgana physically and emotionally. She denied Misgana access to education and forced her to babysit for her cousin and do domestic work. Her aunt also blocked Misgana from having any contact with her parents, simply telling them she was fine.

The constant abuse became unbearable for Misgana, who ran away. Thanks to a police referral, in May 2023, Misgana joined one of Hope for Justice’s Lighthouses: a safe shelter for children who have faced, or who are at risk of, exploitation and trafficking. At the Lighthouse, we provided Misgana with care, good food, medical treatment and counselling, which focused on the trauma that she had experienced, as well as life skills training.

One of our social workers successfully located Misgana’s family and in July 2023, we supported her return to home to her family, who were overjoyed to see her again.

Hope for Justice also provided her family with a small Income Generating Activity (IGA) grant and basic training in small business skills, to support them financially.

After following up with Misgana since the reintegration, we are pleased to report she is happy and in good condition.

Misgana said: “Thank you for providing me a time to play, food and a good shelter.”

Despite being denied access to education for almost a year, the experience has not put Misgana off school. She mentioned that when she grows up, she wants to be a teacher.

*Name and image changed to protect identity

young girl