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Zebo’s story

May. 30, 2017 / Blog The Freedom Fund / @freedom_fund

The Freedom Fund’s Ethiopia Hotspot promotes safe migration for women and girls traveling to the Middle East for domestic work, and supports education and recovery services for potential migrants and returnees. One of our partners, NRHSDO, teaches potential migrants about legal migration and safe travel practices.

Zebo, 23, grew up in a rural village in Ethiopia’s Amhara region. When she was 14, she was forced to drop out of school and get married. Feeling pressure from her peers and husband, she planned to migrate to the Middle East to find work. As she prepared to migrate, she was approached by an illegal broker. “I had my passport at hand and I had no information whether it is legal or not,” she recalls.

While Zebo was still making preparations to leave, she heard that one of the Freedom Fund’s partners, NRHSDO, provided migration training within the local community. She met the facilitator and attended peer leader training for five days, where she learned about legal migration and safe travel. The training convinced her to wait until Ethiopia’s migration ban was lifted before traveling to the Middle East. Zebo proudly notes, “I am now a peer educator in my community. I teach my peers to follow legal channels and wait until the ban is lifted to migrate”. She is thankful that the training gave her the space to think and plan for her future.

The Freedom Fund’s Ethiopia hotspot supports efforts to reduce the vulnerability of migrants and returnee women and girls to trafficking to the Middle East for domestic work. Read more about our hotspot here.