After experiencing exploitation Amari* was referred to the Independent Child Trafficking Advocacy (ICTA) service. A Barnardo’s independent guardian supported her and worked with other professionals to develop her confidence, skills, and resilience. She is now living independently and pursuing her dream of becoming a paediatric nurse.
Amari ﬂed Eritrea at the age of thirteen for fear of being recruited into the army. She wanted a future where she would feel safe, and her dream was to become a paediatric nurse. On her journey to the UK after escaping her fears, Amari was exploited by others which was to continue when she arrived in what she hoped would be a safe country.
At 16, Amari was identified as a victim of traﬃcking and referred to the Independent Child Trafficking Advocacy (ICTA) service. After a move from another part of the UK, she eventually settled in Greater Manchester. Following her experiences, it took a lot of gentle and consistent work to build a trusting relationship with Amari. Her traﬃckers were still in contact and had a strong inﬂuence over her for several years.
Building resilience with Barnardo’s support
We are one of the few organisations in the UK to provide direct, specialist support to trafficked children, helping them cope with the experience and emotional trauma. We run specialist Independent Child Trafficking Guardianship Service (ICTGS) services where our support workers help children and young people understand what is happening with social care services, the police and immigration, in ways that they can understand.
With the support of a Barnardo's independent guardian, Amari slowly began to build the resilience she needed to be able to focus on herself. She also started engaging in work that would help her develop the skills she needed to fulfil her dreams.
Living a new and fulfilling life
Amari spoke of her wish to be an independent woman with an education, a decent job, and her own home. Her independent guardian worked closely with the professionals around Amari to create a safe and nurturing environment, which gave her the space and support to achieve her dream. She was given a say in where she wanted to live and study, and the level of the support she felt she needed. The professionals listened and responded, and this gave Amari a feeling of empowerment.
Now Amari is in college and working towards a health and social care qualification. She has her own flat and is truly independent. Through Barnardo’s unwavering support, she has the confidence, strength, and resilience to help her build a new and fulfilling life.
* Amari's real name has been withheld to protect her identity.