Posted September 13, 2020 9:28 am by

Sharon (not her real name) left her home in Western Kenya in 2017 to live with her paternal aunt in Nairobi.

Her mother was happy that her daughter could finally join a good school in the city with the help of a ‘doting’ aunt.

The opportunity came at the right time, when Sharon’s mother could barely afford her school fees, being a sole breadwinner after her father became an alcoholic.

A week after she arrived at her aunt’s home in Nairobi’s Lucky Summer, life took a different turn.

At the age of 14, Sharon was robbed of her childhood.

She became the house girl for the family of five. Sadly, she worked continuously – for long hours and without days off.

Prolonged days of hard labour with only few hours of rest in the night left the young girl desperate and traumatized.

“I would wake up at 4a.m., prepare my younger cousin for school, prepare breakfast for the rest of the family, clean the house, and I had to ensure all the work was done before leaving for school,” Sharon recounts.

“On Saturdays, I would start doing the laundry very early in the morning, I do general cleaning of the house, wash dishes, then go to Kariobangi to pick bales of flour for my aunt’s shop. I would carry six bales (one at a time). So I would make six trips.”

A one-way trip would take Sharon about 30 minutes’ walk. But returning from Kariobangi to her aunt’s shop in Lucky Summer would take longer – because she had to carry the bale of 12 packets of flour, weighing 24 kilograms, on her back.

As weeks turned into months and months turned into years, Sharon’s absenteeism from school becamerecurrent.

Sharon thought she had seen it all, but the worst was yet to come, to add to her misery.

Her aunt stopped paying her school fees and assigned her more backbreaking responsibilities.

She was forced to clear heaps of gravel (changarawe and kokoto) for her aunt’s construction project.

For several weeks, Sharon made countless trips filling up a bucket with the gravel and carrying it on her head until she delivered enough required for the construction.

“I first had to dothe house work early in the morning. Then proceed to Kasarani to carry the gravel. I used to carry so many buckets that I lost count, but they were more than 20 buckets in a day. Then I would go home in the evening to continue Read More…The agony of child labor trafficking in Kenya  The agony of child labor trafficking in Kenya  The agony of child labor trafficking in Kenya  The agony of child labor trafficking in Kenya