Raj and Awani were dreamers, they wanted to own their future. They did not want to follow the footsteps of their parents and slave away day after day for a pittance.
They dreamt of the wealth and prosperity that the West offered and were willing to work to get there, to give up everything they knew to forge a new way for themselves.
One day, it seemed like the gods were on their side. Hazeem approached them. They had seen him around. He was dashing, wore a smart suit, seemed to know everyone, and could speak English.
He had a prospect for men just like them, an opportunity that could turn the tables on their lives forever: ‘In South Africa, you can run your own shop, your own business. Just think, no one to tell you what hours to work. No ore unfair pay. You will make all the money you work for. I can organise everything for you, your visa, flights. We’ll sort out the rest when you are there.’
Blinded by the possibilities they saw before them, they took him at his word, placing their futures in his hands, not doing their homework, not validating his stories.
Fortunately for them, our team of monitors were there to do their homework; to uncover the lies and expose the sinister motives lurking beneath the promises and dreams. Our investigation exposed what we believe to be trafficking. We saw the debt bondage, their lack of money or means to start something up, we saw their inability to speak the language and how that would put them at the mercy of their recruiters. We saw how they would never be able to go to the police if they were mistreated as they didn’t have visa’s. And as we shared this with them, they saw it for the first time too.