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Presentation on theme: "HUMAN TRAFFICKING-BASED GENDER VIOLENCE & HIV/AIDS A REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCE OF A YOUNG WOMAN Presented by Herlyn Gu-dao Uiras Chaperon - Merab Kambamu Kiremire."— Presentation transcript:

1 HUMAN TRAFFICKING-BASED GENDER VIOLENCE & HIV/AIDS A REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCE OF A YOUNG WOMAN Presented by Herlyn Gu-dao Uiras Chaperon - Merab Kambamu Kiremire CUAHA International at the Ecumenical Pre-Conference on AIDS – Mexico 31 July – 2 Aug 2008

2 Family History I am a 23-year-old youth I was born to a mother who got pregnant at 18-years-old Dropped out of school at Grade 6 Boyfriend abandoned her Delivered a baby-boy and left him with her mother in the village Went to Walvis Bay to find a work as a house-maid (domestic worker) Fell in love with another man Got pregnant again New boyfriend abandoned her too At 22 she delivered a baby-girl (me) Against she took me to her mother in the village Returned back to Walvis Bay to work Fell in love with another man They lived together and produced 2 children Mother brought us (my brother & I) from grand-mother to go to school in Walvis Bay Mother & step father married in Magistrates office

3 Family Violence Step father became extremely abusive to both our mother & us (brother & I Life became unbearable My brother dropped out of school & wandered in the City I went to live with my maternal Uncles family in Walvis bay to continue school

4 1 st Sexual Violence/Rape experience At 14 years old my 4 classmates & I hitch-hiked a truck-ride to a school fashion show in Arandis (small town 70km from Walvis Bay) When the Truck-Driver dropped us in Arandis, he asked me to escort him He dragged me behind a building He hit me with his fists He forced me against the wall & raped me He left me crying in great pain & breeding I went back to my friends but never told them what had happened to me

5 School Problems At school I became very close to one friend She was a total orphan (no father/no mother) She lived with her maternal aunt who was very abusive to her One time we run away from home & went to the Capital City (Windhoek) to stay with her Uncle Her uncle sent us back to Walvis Bay But we didnt reach Walvis Bay Instead we went to her grandfathers place in Swakopmond (30km from Walvis Bay) We never went back to school

6 Trafficking Experience At 16-years-of-age, while in Swakopmond, we heard an advert about a big modeling function in Windhoek City We decided to go & attend We had only N$50 (US$6) on us It was not enough for transport to the City We decided to hitch-hike a truck-ride Two truck drivers picked us up

7 Trafficking experience cont In the truck the two drivers told us they were going to Johannesburg, the Capital City of South Africa They told us how wonderful South Africa was About the great shops, clothes & wonderful things We were curious & excited They asked us to escort them to Johannesburg & promised to bring us back to Namibia after a week with lots of clothes & goodies We accepted

8 Trafficking Experience cont As we had no travel documents, when the truck approached the Namibian/South African border they pushed us between packed bags behind the drivers seat & covered us with blankets They got out of the truck to get their papers stamped An Officer walked around the truck, he didnt check inside the truck & didnt see us The same thing happened at the South African border

9 Raped in the Truck in Potchesdrom After we passed the 2 border posts, at Potchesdrom (South African side) the men asked us for sex I refused One driver threatened to beat me I felt helpless & begged him to kindly use a condom He put on a condom & forced himself on me The condom burst I asked him what he had done, he just laughed I was hurt, I was crying, I was scared, terrified

10 In Johannesburg The drivers dropped us at their friends home They told us not to dare escape or report to police because we were foreigners illegally in the country without paper When we refused them sex they refused to buy us food They left us & went on their travels We were so hungry we approach a man & begged for food & a place to stay He took us to his friends house After about 2 months, the man came to take us to a night club He demanded sex in return for his food & accommodation When we refused he teased us & asked us how we expected to be fed & accommodated for nothing I told him I had been repeatedly raped by a truck driver & felt very sick He insisted I was well enough for sex, that I looked healthy, only that I could be pregnant He raped me without a condom The inside of me was very painful - I was in agony

11 Abandoned/Run to Police The man said he could keep two girls Because I was too sick he threw me out & stayed with my friend I met another young man who looked kind I told him my story He took me to his family One of his family members was a police officer But she was scared to deal with my case because I was illegally in the country I got very ill I was scared I was going to die So I slowly run to a Police station & reported myself & my friend The Police got my friend

12 At the Police Station/Safety House At the Police station I I told the Police I had wounds in my private parts They took me to hospital where I was examined & found with STIs I was given medication The Police took us to a Safety House

13 Hospitalized in Joburg At Safety House, I was very ill, my one leg was so swollen & painful I couldnt walk I was taken to hospital My blood was taken & examined After some days, I overheard a conversation between the Doctor & Safety House matron that I had AIDS I asked the Matron what my problem was At first she said nothing was wrong, but later told me I had been found with AIDS I was so devastated that I thought I would soon die in a foreign country without my family knowing where I was buried I stayed more than a month in hospital I slowly got better

14 Deported Back to Namibia When I was discharged from hospital I went back to the safety house & joined my friend The South Africa Police & Home Affairs prepared us temporary travel documents & air tickets We were deported back to our country

15 Back Home in Walvis Bay My mother & uncle picked me from the airport in Walvis Bay & took me to my mothers house My friend went to her family members too I never told my family members the details of my problems

16 Sick In Walvis Bay I got so sick that my uncle took me to hospital I was diagnosed with TB l & put on TB drugs I kept on skipping the TB drugs because I thought it was hopeless since I was going to die from AIDS anyway – why waste time & medicine One kind Nurse counseled me She encouraged me to take my medicines I eventually opened to her & told her my story & how I had tasted HIV positive in South Africa She counseled me & arranged for HIV test I tested positive She encouraged me to go to New Start Centre at the Walvis Bay Multipurpose Centre I agreed At the Centre I joined a group of people living with HIV/AIDS where I am doing group-work with infected people I also joined a group of young people doing school-based prevention in Namibia I am no longer hopeless but useful to my country and people I encourage you all not to see HIV/AIDS as the end of the road but as the beginning of another life style

17 Thank you to CUAHA & LWF I want to take this opportunity to thank CUAHA & LWF for introducing me to CHRISTIANS RESPONDING TO HIV/AIDS IN THE WORLD I urge you all to take issues of youths, family confusion & family-based gender violence & human trafficking for exploitation very seriously I thank you for listening to my story & trust you will all work to ensure that fewer young people experience my situation

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