“Forever Far from Home: The Heartbreaking Story of a Young Woman Murdered Abroad”


More than 100,000 Ugandan youths have left the country in quest of better jobs.  And, in some cases, a more affluent living abroad.

The majority of them, however, have had their aspirations and dreams dashed by accounts of pain, abuse, and sexual exploitation. While some have even returned home dead. And others with life-threatening injuries.

Natukwasa Elizabeth recounts the heartbreaking story of how one of her cherished sisters died in Malaysia, shattering the pleasure and dreams of her family. The family had long hoped that she would help them overcome poverty.

Catherine came from Kampala one day and told the entire family about the opportunity she had received in Malaysia thanks to a group of Nigerians claiming to be looking for a group of female store attendant. They promised an incredible monthly remuneration of 3 million Ugandan Shillings,” 

Catherine had recently graduated from University, and was working as a cashier for a new company in Uganda. Her monthly salary of 300,000 Ugandan shillings was insufficient to support her. Natukwatsa stated that her sister was overjoyed with the opportunity that had come knocking on her door.

Catherine left for Malaysia on February 10, 2017, and after just two months, it seemed as though her goals were coming true because she was able to send money to her family.

Elizabeth, however, narrates with tears that the family began learning after seven months that their daughter wasn’t a shopkeeper but a prostitute.

This sent the family on tension and soon their daughter started sending messages to them by social media that showed she was living a terrible life.

Like many others, Catherine returned as a corpse to her family on February 1st, 2019, and they waited at Entebbe Airport, drenched in sorrow, to receive their daughter’s lifeless body.

According to information from a friend of Catherine in Malaysia, shortly after arriving in the country, she was taken to a family where she was to work as a maid rather than a shopkeeper.

To her shock, her boss quickly turned brutal, and she was only able to put in six months of work before she fled to the country’s streets and began looking for survival. She allegedly fled from her duties and was subsequently found and murdered by her old supervisor, who suspected her of doing so.

Young Ugandan women between the ages of 15 and 29 experience a variety of challenges in the job market, including greater unemployment rates and lower salaries, according to data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics and the International Labor Organization. As a result, a lot of young people decide to work overseas and leave the nation.

With a population of roughly 45 million and an average age of 15.9, Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world.

However, Ugandans, particularly those living in rural and undeveloped areas, are prone to exploitation because there aren’t enough work possibilities, high-quality educational institutions, and social welfare mechanisms to efficiently accommodate for a young population. Many of them are also motivated by this to look for possibilities abroad.

One of the numerous heartbreaking tales of Ugandans living abroad, particularly in Arab nations, who attest to being denied food, overworked, denied leave, harassed, racially abused, underemployed, and denied medical assistance, among other things, is Catherine’s experience.

December2019, new vision reported on the 30 young Ugandan girls who were rescued from Saudi Arabia back to Uganda over exploitation.

These young women, like the majority of other young females, had gone to Saudi Arabia to work as Kyeyo in the hopes of having a better life, but the majority of them wound up in detention centers there after protesting about the exploitation of their employers.

Fortunately. Peace Rugambwa, the leader of the Bonna bagaggawale Nyekundiire group in South Western Uganda, was able to save these girls.

Only a small number of these victims are saved, and hundreds more remain in their exploiters’ control until they pass away.

In 2017, the minister of labor, gender, and social development reported the deaths of 48 Ugandans in Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain between January and August of that year.

According to this story, minister Janet Mukwaya stated that out of 48 casualties, 38 committed suicide, and that all the deceased were buried in deserts because they lacked travel permits, which were supposedly seized by the businesses they were employed by.

While some of these Ugandans leave the country lawfully through labor export
businesses, others are trafficked by illegitimate labor export businesses.

There are over 1.5 million Ugandans working abroad, according to Foreign Affairs.

While some of these Ugandans traveling abroad are being trafficked, others do so lawfully with authorized labor export urgencies.

According to statistics from the Department of Foreign Affairs, a total of 837 victims of trafficking were reported in 2013, 429 of whom were victims of transnational trafficking and 408 of whom were victims of internal trafficking.

According to the Gulf Africa Review, Saudi Arabia and Uganda negotiated a contract in late 2015 that might have given Ugandans up to two million employments in the oil-rich Gulf country.

However, the agreement was cancelled when the Ugandan Parliament forbade the transportation of migrant workers to Saudi Arabia over exploitation.

The Ugandan government forbade its people from working in Jordan and Saudi Arabia in 2017.

Additionally, the labor ministry declared they will establish deals with such nations to attempt to shield employees from mistreatment and exploitation on the basis that they are the victims of exploitation by their employers.

The contracts should guarantee maids agreed-upon wages, eight-hour workdays with breaks, and access to their phones and passports.

Following the ban, the government has continued to offer advice for all other types of work abroad, with requirements like supplying a copy of a valid passport, an employment contract, a work permit, a certificate of medical fitness, a copy of a return ticket, clearance from Interpol, and a recommendation from the local council.

Despite the effort by the government, the situation of these workers seems not to have seen much hope for a better life abroad as many continue to cry out.

More troubling with the state of these workers is that anything could happen unprepared for that requires going back home as soon as possible like the current Covid-19 outbreak that has seen most of these workers stuck in the outside countries.

A despondent woman named Victoria, who was speaking during a live video chat at NBS on April 7 at 9 p.m, said she is currently living in the city of Xienxien with more than 100 other Ugandans who became trapped in China as a result of the global Covid-19 shutdown.

She described the appalling circumstances of these trapped Ugandans in China, including their lack of access to food, freedom of movement even in areas where others do, and medical care.

Victoria said that even when residents have the option to do so, Africans are unable to acquire food or make purchases from open businesses. “We are terribly stuck here. First of all, we are unable to purchase anything from the supermarkets; when you enter and staff members learn that you are African, they ask you to leave; if you refuse, they call the police, who just advise you to go; and once the police arrive, they tell you to leave.” She was upset.

She stated that they are also refused access to medical services in addition to food. “If you’re African, they have you do the Covid-19 test, and they only let you see the results if they discover out you’re positive, “Unless you are a victim of Covid-19, you might never find out the results of a check-up,” she warned.

About100 Ugandans who are stuck in the same place, according to Victoria, have formed a group to demand amnesty. She said, however, that she had made numerous unsuccessful attempts to get in touch with the authorities they had hoped would help them.

“I phoned the Ugandan Ambassador, but he informed me there were no plans to rescue us since people need help everywhere, even in Uganda, and the government was busy with the problem in the nation as a result there is no help available.” She spoke.

The call out 


The government should take action and devote more protection to these Ugandans in addition to signing agreements with these nations.

Because Uganda benefits financially from its citizens who work overseas, more should be done by the government to safeguard these citizens.

Additionally, there are several illegal export labour firms and, more often than not, individuals who use deception to lure these young people abroad with promises of better remuneration that, once they arrive at their destination, never materialize.

The government must implement a system for monitoring these people and businesses, and it may also implement a system for monitoring all Ugandans who are exported abroad.

The youth and Women 

Psalms128:2; While work is a necessity for everyone to live a better life, with stories of human trafficking, primarily involving women and young people, being reported on a regular basis, it is preferable to eat little with life than battle for a lot that could cost life.

Notto say we shouldn’t work abroad, but if we must, let’s be cautious and intelligent about those who approach us promising lucrative chances but in fact have ulterior motives. We must be shrewd enough to stay away from individuals and recruitment agencies that are not accredited.

Even while using just those businesses that have been approved by the ministry of labor may appear expensive and time-consuming, doing the right thing when the moment is right is always gratifying. Follow the right path to land a job and the right path to prosperity.

Psalms10:22–23 “Your wealth comes from the Lord’s blessing, not your own. You won’t get richer by working hard. To take pleasure in doing wrong is dumb. People with intelligence enjoy knowledge.




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