Medaille Trust praises Sir Mo Farah for his bravery in telling the story of how he was trafficked to the UK and kept in domestic servitude.
In a BBC documentary to be aired tomorrow night, Sir Mo reveals how at age eight he was brought to the UK from Somalia, given a false identity and forced to work as a domestic servant. Sir Mo’s father had been killed four years before in a civil war in Somalia. The BBC quotes Sir Mo Farah saying he had to do housework and childcare "if I wanted food in my mouth". He says the woman told him: "If you ever want to see your family again, don't say anything."
Reacting to the story, Medaille Trust CEO Garry Smith said “Right now, right here in the UK, there are thousands of cases like Sir Mo’s. In our communities, vulnerable children are facing appalling horrors at the hands of cruel and predatory criminals. They feel there is no escape or hope. But as we hear in Mo Farah’s story it just takes someone to look, listen and act. In his case that was his PE teacher who not only helped him to be fostered by another family but also encouraged him on his athletic journey. It is this hand of hope which victims need and which when offered helps them to rise, sometimes to great heights, as we see with Mo Farah.
At Medaille Trust we hope that Sir Mo telling his story will encourage those who are currently in domestic servitude to know that they can escape and receive support to rebuild their lives and pursue their dreams.
Over the last 15 years Medaille Trust has provided refuge to thousands of trafficked victims and supported them to live independent and happier lives. We recently launched the Sr. Ann Teresa Bursary to help enable victims of trafficking and modern slavery to pursue education and training. We will continue to reach out and do all we can to offer refuge and hope to those who seek to escape the clutches of criminals who exploit the most vulnerable in our society.”