Nelly is was only 16 when she was found by our team. She comes from a poor country. Nelly’s mom struggles to find work and pay for Nelly’s school so that Nelly had to drop out of school. Her mom’s boyfriend drinks heavily and gets drunk every night so that he becomes extremely abusive towards Nelly. Nelly’s family promises her a wonderful future in South Africa, with better opportunities for a young girl like her, which was not the case. She was excited to come to South Africa with the hope of finishing school. Nelly is extremely intelligent with good marks at school.
The day came that she went with people she didn’t know to cross the borders of South Africa with not much money and no passport or the correct legal documentation. She had to swim through a river full of crocodiles, where the people had to through the meat of the crocodiles so that they wouldn’t eat them.
After arriving in South Africa and living a while living with her brother, her supposedly ‘uncle’ pitched up at their house and she was forced to leave with him on that day completely against her will and not having any money and not allowed to even pack a bag. Shewasputonthestreetsinadifferentcitywheresheknewnooneandshewas forced to sell brooms on the side of the road. She lived under a plastic bag behind a petrol station with a group of other people. Many nights she was so scared, hungry and lonely. A woman that was working in the area became friends with Nelly and realised something was not in place. Our team was contacted and she was rescued and taken off the streets. She is safe now.
Labour human trafficking is very real on the streets of South Africa. Many young girls and women are recruited by traffickers in their countries and promised a better life than whattheyareusedto. Theypaythesetraffickersmoneytohelpthemcrosstheborder illegally and upon arrival in South Africa, they quickly realise that the conditions are worse than where they came from and a fake job was presented to them. They get stuck here in South Africa with no food, no money and can never raise or beg enough money to return to their families. Some of these women end up as beggars on the street corners, being watched by their recruiter. Some mothers will rent their babies out to women begging on the streets. Some will rent out people with disabilities. Young girls from the age of 12 up to 15 gets pregnant and are forced into marriages and then forced to the streets to beg with their babies. Some of these beautiful women end up in a brothel working for a pimp and their only escape is drugs to escape from reality.