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Trafficking stopped my progress

Aicha, 16, is a victim of child trafficking and spent 3 years in Nigeria. Thanks to Plan International, she has learned dress-making, feels safe and is now looking to the future. Here, she shares her experiences.

"The woman who took me there left me in a small town. I thought I was going to stay with her and help her with the housework. But she installed me in a strange house which was fenced and locked with a key. I worked all day long from 4am to 11pm. I had to take care of children, do the housework and wash dishes and clothes. I was alone and had no one to talk with. I had never gone out of the house throughout the 3 years I spent there. The woman told me she would come back soon to fetch me but she only came to receive the salary of my work from the house owners and went back.

I was ashamed of myself and I felt too old to go to school

"It felt like I was suffocating"

"It felt like I was suffocating. It slowed down my life and stopped my progress. 

Aicha is 16 today and a victim of child trafficking. Thanks to Plan International, she has learned the trade of dress-making and she feel free and safe.

"When I returned to the village, I was ashamed of myself and I felt too old to go to school because my friends have already gone far in their schooling. I came back home empty-handed, no clothes, no money, nothing! The bosses for whom I worked did not give me anything for the 3 years and as I escaped, I returned to the village with nothing. I told myself that I should have better stayed in my village and continue attending school.

"We should not accept child trafficking"

"If any of my sisters want to go there, I will tell her there is nothing to earn over there and that it will be better for her to stay and to continue school. 

"Thanks to Plan International, I have learned the trade of dress-making. Plan International has supported my apprenticeship and ensure everything is going on well. I have also performed sketches with other young people in the village to explain that we should not accept child trafficking. When I finish my apprenticeship, I will be able to settle down in my own workshop and feel at ease."                                       

Implemented since 2013, Plan International Togo's anti-trafficking programme aims to support victims of child trafficking by helping them return to school or access vocational training. It also reinforces the capacity of communities and youth to prevent child trafficking cases in rural villages.