TRIBE Hike for Freedom: Hannah’s Story

You’re free like a bird. When I climb the mountain I feel like everything that I have gone through has ended. Everything about my life is going to be ok. The mountain makes me feel free, it gives me freedom.

 

Hannah is a witty and driven woman who has always dreamt of opening her own restaurant. After her mother died, she was approached by a friend with a proposal that she could earn more money and go to school if she worked abroad. Her father worked very hard on his farm and she wanted to make a better life for her brother Sean.

When Hannah arrived in the UK, she was taken to a house, with windows locked shut, and she was not allowed to leave. She was forced into sexual exploitation. The traffickers told her that if she tried to get help or call the police, she would be arrested and imprisoned. Hannah was raped and abused over a period of three years.

One day, she managed to run away. She was haunted by what had happened; daily nightmares and flashbacks tortured her. A phone call from her brother, Sean, made her even more fearful and stressed – he was being threatened by her traffickers since she had run away.

Hannah’s PTSD symptoms became so overwhelming she went to the doctor for help. Her doctor referred her to our project partners at the Helen Bamber Foundation for more extensive support.

At the Helen Bamber Foundation, Hannah has been supported to move on from the trauma she experienced, so that she is no longer tormented daily by her past. At the start of the year, she joined the Helen Bamber walking group and started to take part in monthly walks as part of the TRIBE Hike for Freedom: Fitness and Wellness programme.

When Hannah goes to the Hike for Freedom training sessions, she sees other women around her who she can relate to, who have experienced similar things. She sees great women and it makes her feel strong and helps her to forget about her difficult situation.

You’re free like a bird. When I climb the mountain I feel like everything that I have gone through has ended. Everything about my life is going to be ok. The mountain makes me feel free, it gives me freedom.

Hannah has enjoyed taking on a leadership role in the walks, taking the position at the front of the group to lead the way. She often sings and laughs, and sees it as her role to keep the other women going and stay positive.

I was proud that they chose me to do that. I didn’t go to school but I was able to lead. It was about making people happy

Most of all she’s feels that now she’s not alone. Spending time with other strong women who have had similar experiences makes her feel like she has a family. They are women from all over the world but they understand each other and support each other in a unique way.

Hannah feels that if she can climb a mountain, she can do anything she puts her mind to. Her message for the world is: “Help other people. Be happy and be yourself.”

2020-09-28T09:29:59+00:00