McKenzie’s* dream since she was a little girl has been to become a teacher. She had a teaching job in her home country in Africa, but she was fired because she wasn’t certified. A false employment agency told her there was an opportunity for her to become a trained, certified childcare provider and have a job in the Mediterranean. McKenzie was thrilled because she loves children.
She decided to go to the Mediterranean to get certified. When she arrived, however, she was put in a home where she was a slave–repeatedly raped and forced to clean and do chores until 2 am. She was given tea at 6 am, water only throughout the day and one piece of bread and a glass of milk at night. She was literally starving.
McKenzie became so weak that she was dropping plates and glasses. The people holding her hostage beat her for breaking things. They told her she would need to get up earlier and stay up later. McKenzie begged them to let her go home to Africa. They told her she could only go home if she could pay them $2,000.
That night she sobbed in her room. She looked for a rope to hang herself, but she couldn’t find one. Her desire to see her 11-year-old son again and the hope that she could provide a better life for him kept her alive. Both of McKenzie’s parents died when she was very young, and more than anything, she wanted to give her son a life with a mom who loves him and who’s there for him.
The next morning, she got up before the people holding her hostage woke up, and she escaped. She ran down the road, screaming in English. Very few people understand English in that country, however an incredible man from Europe, truly a Good Samaritan, who happened to be driving by pulled over. The man was there teaching English, and he could understand McKenzie. He asked her what was wrong. He and his wife took McKenzie into their home and contacted the O.U.R. operation team.
O.U.R. was able to help pay for McKenzie to get back to her home in Africa. This was just seven months ago. One of our partners met her at the airport, and together we are providing thorough aftercare.
Now McKenzie is in school to become a certified teacher. She will graduate this December! After that, she’s hoping to get an associates degree in early childhood education which will open the door to her dream of becoming a teacher.
While in school, McKenzie isn’t able to work and so for a while, she and her son were living off of $1 a day for food and all of their needs. She expressed her desire for her son to go to school and get an education, but she didn’t have the money to pay for his school fees. O.U.R. Director of Aftercare, Jessica Mass, was able to talk with McKenzie and find out what she and her son needed. Because of your generous donations, her son is now able to go to school, and they have enough to provide nutritious food. McKenzie shared:
“I have such a good life. God has never left me…Your team showed up and helped me in a situation where I couldn’t help myself, and I am so grateful.
McKenzie is so happy because she’s now able to provide for her son, go to school and live her dreams. She loves to share her joy through singing in the choir at her church and leading worship.
Your donations open doors for survivors like McKenzie and her son and give them the opportunity to create a new life and fulfill lifelong dreams. Your support is so vital. We thank you for being a part of this community so that together, we can rescue and empower survivors.
*McKenzie’s name has been changed for protection.
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