I went to Search for A Better Life in Saudi Arabia, I Came back With Broken Spine Cord

The escalating incidences of Kenyan women facing humiliation and abuse in Arab countries have become a troubling trend. Many have tragically lost their lives while seeking opportunities abroad. Amidst the complexities of these experiences, Mary’s harrowing ordeal stands out as a poignant example.

Mary, like numerous other Kenyan women, embarked on a journey to Saudi Arabia in search of a brighter future, hoping to alleviate the financial struggles of her family back home. However, her aspirations took a devastating turn when she fell victim to a heinous act of violence.

Initially, Mary found solace in her employment as a house manager, facilitated through the assistance of a friend who aided her with the necessary paperwork. Yet, the promising start soon soured as her employer’s demeanor shifted, subjecting her to mistreatment and isolation from her loved ones.

Compounding her ordeal, Mary’s employer withheld her first month’s salary under the pretext of previous expenditures. The situation deteriorated further when Mary resisted coercion to participate in religious practices, resulting in a violent altercation that left her with a broken spine after being pushed from a balcony.

Amidst the anguish of her injuries, Mary was coerced into signing incomprehensible documents, leading to the withdrawal of her case. However, amidst the darkness, rays of hope emerged as fellow patients in the hospital, appalled by her plight, connected her with the Kenyan community in the Gulf region.

United in solidarity, the Kenyan expatriates rallied to her aid, facilitating her repatriation to Kenya. Despite returning home physically incapacitated, Mary finds solace in the support of her community as she undergoes medical treatment in her village, where she grapples with the financial burden of regular medical expenses.

Mary’s story serves as a sobering reminder of the perils faced by vulnerable migrants seeking opportunities abroad and underscores the urgent need for greater protections and support systems for individuals navigating precarious employment situations in foreign lands.