Burning Hell on earth, My Kuwait story – Sandra
Pretoria-After being lured to the Middle East country on the pretext that she was going to be offered a lucrative job and a scholarship by a local human trafficking syndicate, 22 year old Sandra returned home after 13months of slavery in Kuwait.
Upon arrival at her mother’s home, on Friday afternoon, Sandra took us straight inside, with a forced smile that reflected deep trauma inside her. Without any delay we sat with her as she narrated her sad Kuwait story.
“As you can see around we are poor, my mother cannot afford to pay for my tertiary education, sometime in March 2015 I received good news from a church mate (name withheld), she had an online advert that stated that a hotel in Kuwait was offering employment to women aged 18-30. It looked so real because there was a Hotel name on the advert and an email address, I posted my C.V online and was referred to their agents in Jorburg who later processed my Visa and travelling expenses.
“At first my mother was skeptical about it but later she thought that it was fear to be left alone since I am the only child that she has, so my travelling documents where processed within 2weeks and I travelled to Kuwait. On arrival there was one African lady and two men (the lady identified herself as Karina) they took us with 2 Zambians, 4 Zimbabweans, 2 Malawian and the other lady who was speaking in Portuguese who I believed was from Mozambique so the ten of us were taken to a certain house.
‘On arrival they took our passports, cellphones, jewelry and took our blood samples for HIV tests citing security and cultural reasons, we slept in a small stinking room in anticipation of job interviews on the morrow. When we woke up we were separated I went to a certain household with one Malawian girl who was a year younger than me. We were later told that as induction we had to work for 3 weeks as housemaids, which was more than inhuman” she said as tears run down her cheeks.
“We experienced the worst treatment a human being can imagine.In Kuwait, a maid is treated more like a slave, we were beaten up, forced to have sex with different men, work very long hours and we were never paid.
At a certain given time we were locked in a room for 2 weeks only given food and time to bath as we were forced to do sex work, we couldn’t report anywhere as we were never allowed out of the house.
“Our Messiah came from the Malawian government, through their Embassy in Kuwait when they were tracing their abducted, they traced and found us along with other Southern African women. They took me to the South African Embassy, where I met Ambassador Mzolisa Bona, who assisted me to come back, where upon arrival I received free counseling and HIV testing.
“I want to urge the government to protect their citizens especially the poor and vulnerable, since they are more prone to these scams, to all who in future want to go to foreign countries for jobs or scholarships, they must verify the authenticity of the offers before leaving” she said.
Sandra also said that she was offered a job and a scholarship to continue with her studies by a certain local NGO.