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Miriam’s experience at Ella’s

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My understanding of the Akan adage that says ‘’until the Lions learn to tell their stories, the tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter’’ became much clearer when I started my internship at Ella’s.

My name is Miriam, and I am an international student studying MSc Clinical Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London. I undertook a six weeks internship at Ella’s as part of coursework and my experience there is one, I can confidently say has reoriented me.

Before starting the internship, I had read and heard about human trafficking but had never seen or had an encounter with a victim of this cruel act. When I received the news that I had got the placement, I had many thoughts…what were the women like? Are their stories true? Will I be able to deal with all that emotional information? I was eager to know and learn. And as the saying seeing is believing goes, I have seen, and I now believe. Human trafficking and modern-day slavery are not mere concepts but rather, ongoing real exploitation and a violation of the basic right of people, and it needs to be treated as a matter of global concern with all urgency. Given the devastating and long-term detrimental effects this act has on individuals and the global economy at large, I believe it is about time it gets the needed attention, education and open dialogue among nations to come up with the measures needed to curb this menace. 

My knowledge and perception about human trafficking and modern-day slavery as well as its effects have broadened from working at Ella’s. And having worked closely with these wonderful women for six weeks, I can confidently say that they are the strongest women and the best teachers I have had in my life. I read and heard their stories, and I kept asking myself; How could anyone survive this? They have made me a better judge of character and have also made me realise that the best thing that anyone can have is hope and support which is what Ella’s stands for. The highlight of my experience at Ella’s was the day I saw one of the women graduates. I have never seen anyone that happy and the fact that she was that happy gave me great joy in my heart and a sense of purpose to help other people especially women who have had to endure such hardship.

The few weeks I spent working with the women at Ella’s has also shaped my career thoughts.  It has made me certain now more than ever that there is a need to provide care and support to women and children in all forms possible. I have hence decided to focus on trauma if I get the opportunity to further my education so I can help more vulnerable people through my services.