Slave and her child outside building
Photo: Michael Hylton

“For all my life as a slave, I herded animals. When I came back in the evening, I had to milk the animals, cook, serve dinner and clean up the tent. I was insulted and beaten by my masters whenever I forgot something or did not do things properly, or when I was late. I was never allowed to eat with them.

“For all my childhood until the moment I left, the abuse never stopped.

“My master often came to find me in the bush and would rape me. I have four children, of whom three belong to my master and his brothers. My master never recognised my children as his.”

Senegal boy in school

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M’barka was rescued with the help of Anti-Slavery’s project, and lodged a complaint against their former masters. She now lives in freedom with her children and receives regular support including education classes, financial help and regular visits from the network of volunteers that Anti-Slavery built in the region to support people who escape from slavery.

“I now want to have a house, to provide an education to my children and I also want to learn. I want my rights and rights for my children.”