MWPS Cases

Eskedar`s Story

Published on October 22, 2012

Eskedar has just enrolled at college to study Animal Science. She has always wanted to work with animals, she says cheerfully. The college is in the city of her home, Bahir Dar, which is about half a day’s journey from Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa.

But do not think this has been easy. Eskedar’s journey to becoming a college student has been long and arduous. Three years ago she had never even left her town apart from to visit the village where her grandparents live but in January 2009, at the age of 19, she embarked upon a journey to Bahrain to work with a family as a domestic worker (live-in housemaid) – an experience which would turn out to be life-changing and which she endured under sufferance because she could not escape for the next two and a half years. The scars will remain with her forever.

The wife of her new employer beat her, kicked her and slapped her every single day. But the worst injury she received was at the hands of the employer’s teenage son whose brutal punch to her left eye resulted in its permanent sight loss. When the police finally rescued Eskedar from this house following MWPS intervention, members were there to witness her injuries. In addition to the now white pupil of her left eye there was scarring in the shape of an iron on her forearm from a punishing and deliberate burn and deep scars on her back from vicious scratching. Her spine was disfigured from being kicked in the back and ribs while kneeling on the floor scrubbing, thick unsightly calluses had formed on both knees from this same excessive kneeling to scrub floors and a front tooth was chipped from being thrust against the edge of a door. Another deep scar on her shin was the result of being thrown against a metal staircase and the skin on the fingers of both hands had turned white from the damaging effects of bleach. Eskedar stood before us cowed and silent as we looked on in horror. 

This traumatized but brave young woman was given refuge in our shelter where she slowly regained some of her lost confidence and her dignity. She began to smile and she made friends with another Ethiopian resident of the shelter. MWPS helped her to recoup all her salary which had not been paid for two years and MWPS paid for her air ticket when she went home in August.

It is such good news to hear that Eskedar has started college. It shows such determination and resolve on her part. Let us show the same spirit of determination and resolve to ensure that the dreams other young women have of seeking to improve their lives by working overseas are not fulfilled at such a high price!\

BH