Welcome to Tearfund’s John Appleton

tearfundOn 20th March we welcome John Appleton of Tearfund to our Morning Service. He will be talking about Tearfund’s educational initiatives to raise awareness of people trafficking and their attempts to prevent it, especially amongst children. The following excerpts of a case study illustrate how heart-wrenching the problem is. The story is told by a mother of 8 from the Horn of Africa:
Sadiq is my eldest son, aged 17. He was always a good and kind-hearted boy and clever at school. When I heard he was in Addis Abba, I was shocked and worried – he had no money to pay for food. I made every effort for his return, without success. Seven days later he contacted me from near the border between Ethiopia and Sudan to say he was emigrating to Europe to get a better life for the family. I asked who gave him the money and he said a friend. I was unable to convince him to return home. I know that smugglers take young people across borders without payment and later force them to pay all expenses and a ransom. I had no money, his father died 7 years ago and there are no assets except a small yard next to my house. I later received a phone call from a stranger who demanded $4,000 in smuggling fees otherwise Sadiq’s legs and arms would be cut off until he died. The phone was passed to my son who was crying and said he had been beaten and then the call ended abruptly. I managed to get some money from relatives abroad, friends and members of a self-help group to which I belong and I also sold my land. Sadiq was freed. He had suffered several injuries and he made his way to Tripoli. I was forced to raise more money to fund his costs to cross the Mediterranean and get to Europe and am still repaying the money. Finally he arrived in Italy where he is very unhappy and awaiting an asylum application.

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