Modern slavery survivor rebuilds life after losing everything in fire

February 9, 2024

Sara* was facing acute poverty when she was tricked by a neighbour into migrating to India with a fake job offer. She was sold into sex trafficking and brutally tortured and exploited for six months, before eventually being supported to walk free by local police in 2020.

After being brought home safely to Bangladesh in 2022, with the assistance of Justice and Care, Sara hoped to get her life back on track and begin her recovery journey. However, she faced another nightmare scenario when a house fire destroyed her home and all her belongings.

‘Everything was turned into rubble by the fire; our livelihood lost in a matter of seconds. We could only save our kids and run for our lives’, she said.

Following the fire, Justice and Care provided Sara with emergency grocery supplies, alongside life skills training, professional counselling and peer mentoring to help her address the difficult challenges in her life.

Sara was determined to rebuild her life and achieve economic stability for her family. To help her achieve these goals, in May 2023 Justice and Care supported her to set up her own cloth selling business from her home. We helped her with start-up financial assistance and ongoing advice and support around customer service, bookkeeping, income management and business operations.

Through her small business, Sara is now making a regular monthly income of roughly $180, which is almost triple what she was earning previously as a part-time cleaner. This has allowed her to furnish her home with essential appliances including a television, fan, and refrigerator, as well as start to set money aside in a savings account.

Sara has spoken of her happiness after courageously turning her life around, with our support. She said: ‘I would have been on the street. Now I live with my family which I dreamt of, thanks to Justice and Care for giving me a secured and dignified life.’