This is the story of Ruth. Her story is such a powerful example of why The Freedom Challenge exists and why your support is so vital in bringing an end to human trafficking. Ruth and her baby are free at last...
On a cold winter’s afternoon, Ruth, six-months pregnant and scared for her life, boarded a dangerously overcrowded inflatable boat on the coast of Turkey, desperate to escape her past and hopeful of a new life in Europe.
As they set sail for Greece, Ruth held on to the memory of a dream she’d had the night before; in it, God told her that she would be safe.
Despite the rough seas, Ruth and all on board arrived unharmed on the Greek island of Chios.
A safe haven
For Ruth, the refugee camp was a safe haven after all she’d been through. But she didn’t know how she would manage to care for the baby when it arrived in such basic living arrangements and with little support.
Ruth grew up in Nigeria with five siblings; every day was a struggle for her mom to feed and take care of Ruth and her other children, especially after Ruth’s father walked out.
A chance to succeed
So when a local woman offered to take Ruth to Turkey and employ her in her shop, her mother agreed, believing that Ruth would have a much better chance to succeed in life away from the poverty and hardships of their village.
Of course, when Ruth arrived in Turkey there was no shop. Only a room with a bed. And no customers, only ‘clients’.
Running for her life
Ruth was heartbroken and very scared. She was locked in the room for hours on end. The only thing that kept her alive was prayer.
One day, the owner of the house invited some men over; they spent all day drinking and for once took little notice of Ruth. She knew that this was her chance – she escaped through the open front door and ran for her life.
As she fled to the nearest town, she was stopped by a Nigerian man called Adam; he asked her why she was running and took her to a local café where Ruth spent the day telling him her dark story. Ruth trusted him and he invited her to live with him.
A few months later, Ruth discovered she was pregnant, Adam was delighted that he would soon be a father. But their happiness was short lived when the woman who had enslaved Ruth found her and started threatening her and her unborn baby.
Terrified, Ruth and Adam decided it was best for her and the baby to escape on one of the migrant boats to Greece.
New life in Greece
After spending just over a month in the refugee camp, the birth was imminent. When UNHCR realized that Ruth was close to giving birth they contacted one of our projects in Greece – Damaris House which cares for refugee women and their new born babies, giving them shelter, food and quality bonding time with their babies away from the hard living conditions of the camps.
Now, Ruth’s baby is three months old. Through the counselling and training she is receiving in Damaris House, Ruth is learning to trust people and experience God’s unconditional love.
She is already making plans for her son: “All I worry and care about is making sure my son has a better life than I had.”