Many young people from Myanmar (also known as Burma) are crossing the border into China to look for work. Away from their families and with no local connections they are an easy target for traffickers.
Naga* is a 25-year-old mother of two from Lashio in Myanmar. Desperate to provide for her family, she took a job collecting tea leaves in Lincang, China. Things went as planned for three months, until another worker on the plantation trafficked her and sold her as a wife to an elderly farmer. Naga did not know the local language or even how to get home if she escaped.
At home in Lashio her parents hadn’t heard from her for two months so they contacted the local church. Tearfund’s partner Cedar Fund has trained local churches to raise awareness of trafficking, linking them with Chinese churches in places where the youth have been migrating. These churches are from the same ethnic group and speak the same language as the Myanmese communities.
Through the church network, Pastor John of a church in Lincang sought Naga out. The farmer demanded the price he had paid for her to be returned before he would let her go (around £3,300). But with the pressure of the church and local leaders he was forced to give her up. Thanks to your support the church is being empowered to demand the return of people like Naga.
Naga is now safely back with her children and says, ‘If there was not the help of Pastor John and the church I would have lived in darkness for the rest of my life.’
*Name has been changed to protect identity
- Ask for this terrible cycle of trafficking to end and that those responsible will be brought to justice.
- Pray for more livelihood opportunities within local communities so people like Naga do not feel forced to leave their families.
- Give thanks that the church is uniting in this way and ask that links will continue to grow so more people like Naga can be saved.