March 18, 2023 at 09:29
CNN —Mercy Esther was eight years old when she left home.
Raised by her grandmother in rural Tanzania, Mercy Esther and her siblings were born into poverty, sometimes without money for food, let alone schoolbooks.
When their grandmother was approached with a job offer for Mercy Esther in Kenya, and the promise that money would be sent home, she accepted.
The money could help Mercy Esther’s siblings.
Mercy Esther was born with a deformity in one foot, causing a pronounced limp.
One day, while begging, Mercy Esther was approached by a woman who offered her domestic work and more promises: a new home, a wage and good treatment.
She went with the woman, but instead Mercy Esther was abused and received no money for her labor.
Mercy Esther spent years in domestic servitude without pay.
“The most common form of human trafficking in Tanzania is domestic servitude, young girls forced into domestic work.
At the shelter children are housed and provided with counseling and legal support.
Mercy Esther (second from right) alongside her grandmother and siblings after being reunited.
Marek Klosowicz/Kulczyk FoundationCNN met Mercy Esther through the Poland-based Kulczyk Foundation, which supports WoteSawa.