COMATHRA to analyse needs of modern day slavery victims
By Ashu Manfred
A two day workshop Friday 2 – 3 September 2016 organised by the rights group committee for the Fight Against Human Trafficking and Rights Abuse COMATHRA to analyse the Business needs of victims of Modern Day slavery / Human Trafficking has ended in Kumba the Economic capital of the Southwest region.
The workshop brought together Over 20girls (Kuwait girls) from all over the Southwest region, who have firsthand experience of torture, rape and other forms of slavery in Kuwait, Duabi, Saudi Arabia and other Moslem countries in the middle East. Some of these girls with gory tales mostly in their prime even exhibited signs of physical torture. The COMATHRA organized workshop was facilitated by Dr. Ndongwie Peter of pan African organization for Research and protection of violence on women and children. Dr. Ndongwie, a Cameroonian based in the West African country of Ghana was assisted by Mbonjoh Cynthia.
Addressing the press, Dr, Ndongwie said the workshop organized by COMATHRA is aimed at exploring the hidden talents and to analyse the business needs of victims of Modern day slavery and human trafficking to assist and equip them with business skills and finance to prevent them from nursing the idea of leaving the country for “greener pastures”.
Dr. Ndongwie further cited poverty, peer influence and travelling agencies as three of the main reason why most of these girls leave Cameroon to work in these Middle East, adding that poverty is found in every part of the world. He regretted that some of the girls who have experienced firsthand slavery in the Middle East when they manage to come back home instead paint a rosy picture of the country from which they came from.
He further told the press that workshop is also aimed at complementing government efforts in trying to bring back Cameroonian girls trapped in the middle East and that the findings of the workshop would later be presented to the prime minister, the minister of Foreign Affairs, the Ministers of social Affairs, women Empowerment and the Family. The co-facilitator Mbonjoh Cynthia also told the press that the Pan African Organisation has as one of its objectives to bring freedom to all the victims of slavery and human trafficking and to encourage our girls to love their country and stay back home.
One of the victims Ebanga Lilian who left Cameroon for Kuwait on 23rd March 2015 narraed how the pastor of the church she was attending in Douala promised to assister her travel to Kuwait to work with one family where she would make much money. According to Ebanga, the pastor collected 700.000frs from her procured a passport and other traveling documents for her. Trouble started when she arrived Kuwait and had to wait for eight hours at the airport before being collected by one Mm Eukeria.
Apart from sleeping in the corridor with cats moving up and down, Ebanga told the press that her mistress later ceased her passport and ID Card. She later recounted how she was raped by the woman’s partial mentally deranged son.
In Kuwait instead of working with one family, Ebanga was assigned to work with two other families. She also showed signs of tourture and the scars she obtained from her mistresses. With the assistance of a Ghanian lady, Ebanga managed to escape. She arrived Cameroon in 4th August 2015.
According to Ebanga she reported the pastor to the Cameroonian authorities who later picked him up. The pastor The Star gathered is now serving a jail term for deception and human trafficking.
The President of COMATHRA Esong Larry Akang later told The Star that the workshop after the one in Bamenda was organized to get first hand information from victims of slavery and human trafficking in order to prevent Cameroonian girls from travelling to the Middle East for prostitution. Esong Larry Akang is the publisher of The Scoop Newspaper based in Kumba.