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December 8, 2021

Trafficked teenager with mental health condition hopeful about her future

A Ugandan 16-year-old with bipolar disorder who was trafficked before becoming suicidal is now looking forward to beginning her training as a beautician.

 

Someone in the neighbourhood took advantage of Ana*’s vulnerability after the relationship between she and her mother broke down. The individual convinced Ana to leave home for a good job in the city. Ana was then forced to work in a shop for free. After a month, she bravely escaped, but was not sure where to turn for help. She was referred to Hope for Justice by a partner organisation.

 

For around the last ten months, we have cared for Ana, providing support and counselling. We have also worked to help mother and daughter rebuild their relationship, providing family counselling and positive parenting sessions. Ana recently ran away from the Lighthouse where she was being cared for, as part of a depressive episode. She wrote a suicide note upon her return, so our team referred her straightaway to a specialist hospital.

 

A few weeks on, and we are delighted that Ana has made tremendous progress. She is happier, and is feeling positive about her future. She is looking forward to returning to the Lighthouse and then beginning her training to become a beautician; a vocation she has become passionate about after taking career guidance sessions at the Lighthouse. Ana will then be reunited with her mother, now that mother and daughter have a very good relationship.

 

*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the survivor