D, 15, was supported at The Salvation Army’s recovery centre for children in Malawi.
Some children spend up to six months in supported accommodation before being helped to reintegrate safely and sustainably into their home communities. There is community-to-community outreach for those who can safely remain in their family home. Children are supported to return to school and to learn a vocational skill that they can use to generate income for themselves and their families.
D* was one of seven boys trafficked from his village in Malawi under the promise of employment.
He was trafficked from his home by a Malawian man who approached the village chief and requested young men for employment. The boys, including D, were given drugs to make them compliant and taken to the Zambian border where they were intercepted by Malawian immigration officers. Their trafficker ran away when he realised the immigration officers suspected trafficking.
In the centre D said that he received regular counselling and that he saw children who had been there longer than him who were doing really well. He saw them as good examples of the sort of person he could be.
D chose to learn carpentry and could soon make a small stool, a door and a window frame. He is keen to start a small carpentry business in the local villages with two of the other boys who were trafficked with him.
D liked working in a team at the centre and once he had adapted to the routine, told us how much he appreciated it and the fact that everyone had enough to eat. He said: “Life at the centre was great but meeting my family again was very exciting.”
The centre worked with his family to provide information about trafficking and what happened to their sons, and ensure it is safe for the boys to return home. D’s family journeyed several hours to visit him three times during his stay and he has now left the centre and returned home.
D’s mother said she was overjoyed to have him home safely and thanked The Salvation Army for “rescuing her son from dangers”.
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