Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Twisting Dreams: Human Trafficking in Uganda

Human trafficking in Uganda
A Samaritan's Purse training helps increase awareness about the dangers of trafficking.

How do you ask someone about the most difficult and terrifying time in their life? What do you ask, when you can’t begin to imagine what they’ve experienced?

As I sat down and spoke with young women who are survivors of human trafficking I was struck by their courage and strength. After a few introductory questions, their stories just began to pour out. Their stories were harrowing and frightening, like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster or a nightmare.

But it isn’t.

Human trafficking training

Local community leaders learned how to educate people in their village about the dangers of human trafficking.

Starvation, violence, rape, disease, sleep deprivation, and death. The haunted eyes of the women conveyed almost as much as their words. The abuse and terror never leaves their minds for long. It is an ever-present memory.

Every year, millions of people around the world are bought and sold into forced labor and sexual exploitation. Though some eventually make it home to their families, others do not.

Every year in Uganda thousands of young men and women, and sometimes children, are exploited and abused.

Young men and women who travel abroad often become victims of slave labor or sex trafficking. For children, trafficking in-country can mean use as soldiers by rebel armies or forced child labor. Some children are killed so that their bodies can then be sold to people who practice witchcraft.

One of the most troubling aspects of the stories I heard is that traffickers often prey on the hopes and dreams of people who just want a better life for themselves. They’re hard workers and want an opportunity to grow, learn, and support their families.

Human traffickers twist their dreams and desires. Trafficking victims are often lured by someone they’ve come to trust—a personal connection that can be so hurtful when they realize it’s false. Traffickers prey on the hope of a new life and twist it into despair.

Human trafficking training in Uganda

The training leaders explained how to recognize potentially dangerous situations that can lead to being trafficked.

But steps are being made to combat trafficking in Uganda. It was amazing to see the impact of a Samaritan’s Purse training on a local community. The training was for community leaders and taught the dangers of human trafficking and how to avoid being trafficked.

Most attendees were aware of the negative impact of trafficking in their communities or even knew someone who had been trafficked.

Samaritan’s Purse continues to provide migration education and trafficking awareness training so that fewer people will be expoited.

All the trainees were incredibly grateful, including local history teacher Paul Charles.

Paul has experienced the pain that comes with trafficking, after one of his students was trafficked when he went to work in the Middle East. A month later, the family received a call that he had died.

“There is poverty in the country,” Paul said. “[Students] go to look for greener pastures.”

Paul enjoyed the training and hopes to share what he learned with his students.

“I must become an advocate for others,” he said.

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4 Comments on "Twisting Dreams: Human Trafficking in Uganda"

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Marva King

I want to learn more of all your programs. I want to also become a volunteer if I am able to do so.

Pr.Wafula Patrick Kezron

Great to hear this again, i was trained on human trafficking prevention in April 2017 by TOM OVERTON and since then i have also carriedon the message to other people and the church at large. May GOD bless you and open the ears of those who hear the message.

nabunje lamurah

It is such a blessing to have you start such a wonderful program, i totally agree to join this campaign and i believe with prayer and action, we can make this brutal exercise history. thank you.

Lornie Caplan

Great article. The Priceless Cube is a great tool for getting this message across to groups of people who might unwittingly send their children into this kind of nightmare. It also is a great teaching aid for educating aid workers.
Just Google it.