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The Student News Site of Santa Maria High School

The Breeze

The Student News Site of Santa Maria High School

The Breeze

The Student News Site of Santa Maria High School

The Breeze

    Survivor of Human Trafficking

    A 17-year-old who survived from Human traffickers.
    I got this picture from the website UNICEF USA. This picture is a picture of Mary a survivor of Human trafficking.
    I got this picture from the website UNICEF USA. This picture is a picture of Mary a survivor of Human trafficking.

    In the Lake of Chad Region of West Africa, The Boko Haram has taken a big toll on millions of families. Thousands of people leave their home every day, putting their lives in the hands of smugglers, in search of a better life.

    Mary was a Nigerian teenager who was taken to Italy by human traffickers. Mary was a teenager born in Benin City, Nigeria. After a while of being in that city she didn’t have any hope for her future in her homeland. She started seeking around trying to leave Benin. One day a guy by the name of Ben contacted her, promising that he would pay for her flight and traveling to Italy. He also promised that with her keeping contact with him that Ben would be able to help her get a job in Italy.

    After Mary met Ben, he called her and told her to go to his house. When Mary arrived at his house, Ben had made her swear she wouldn’t run away from him. In 2016 Ben took Mary and a group of other boys and girls to Europe. When they arrived in Libya, Mary had found herself in serious danger. She says, “Ben took two of us girls one night. He gave the other girl to another man, and he said to me if I didn’t sleep with him, he would give me to the other man and not bring me to Europe.”

    Mary wanted to get out but had no means of contacting anyone back at her homeland. Mary says, “I had to stay there for months until they called me to go on the boat.” When Mary was finally on the boat, she was informed that she would have to live in a camp and work as a prostitute which was unjust conditions that she had never agreed to, and she would not be able to escape that. Mary also says, ” I can’t go stand on the side of the road in the name of money,” she also says with her voice rising, “I have a future. Standing there, selling myself, would destroy my life. My dignity. Everything.”

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    After some time, Mary’s mom was contacted by the people who had paid Mary’s way to Italy who was back in Nigeria. Mary’s mom says,” They said they would do something very bad to her if I don’t send money.”

    Despite the immense suffering Mary had experienced as a victim of human trafficking, Mary’s dream of a better life always holds strong.

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    About the Contributor
    Sara Valencia
    Sara Valencia, Contributor
    Hey! I’m Sara Valencia and this is my first year in Santa Maria High School. I am also an athlete here at the high school. I am on the wrestling team. I am 14 years old I was born on the 10th of May, majority of my family members are born in May. it’s very common in our family to be born in May. I have had so many pets in the past but unfortunately they all passed away. I have had many many birds, a bunny, a dog, a rabbit. Unfortunately, like I said, they have all passed away. So now I only have two cats Oreo, and Michis. I have had Oreo for about six years now, and Michis I barley got him this year. I am truly both a dog and a cat person. Well, I’m an animal person because I like any type of animals/pets. This is my first time in journalism and if I’m being honest it is pretty fun. Some of my favorite hobbies are listening to music, and spending time with my family, especially my aunt. I am very excited for this school year and i am looking forward to it!.
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