Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile – Surviving violence, creating hope, rebuilding lives


Baobab Voices

Ade’s story

Many of Baobab’s young people do not want to be identified, but are keen to share their experiences of the abuses they have been subjected to, in order to prevent further abuse. 982 children were identified as victims of trafficking in the UK in 2015. This is the story of one of them…

Kidnapped from his country

I grew up in Nigeria. My dad is Muslim and my mum Christian. They were always kind. I love my family, they understand each other. One day I went to school and on my way back I just saw a car parking next to me. Two men came up and they just took me into their car. They drove a long, long way before they took me inside a ship.

Forced into sex work

Ade and two other boys were taken to Senegal where they were forced into sex work.

man holding his head in his hands

Escaped to safety but sent to Immigration Detention

After 3 years, Ade was taken to Mauritania and then to Tenerife. From there the wife of a trafficker helped him to escape to the UK. At the airport, they put me in a room and started interviewing me. Because my English at that time was really bad. I couldn’t say something better to them so that they could understand me.

Ade was put into Immigration Detention. His claim for asylum was refused. The Home Office they don’t believe. They don’t believe your age, they don’t believe your story. They will just make their decision. To be honest, they don’t give you a reason. They will just say “You’re a liar, you’re a liar.”

Attempted to take his life

After his application for asylum was rejected and he was refused bail, Ade attempted to take his life. Early one morning I just take this washing liquid and I just drank it. I don’t know what happened next. I just saw myself in hospital. Why did I drink the liquid? Because I was so tired, so confused about my life. I thought if I pass away or die all this stress will finish. Just go. That’s it. That’s the end of life. But fortunately what happened is I stayed alive, so I thank God for that.

I don’t want anyone to suffer like I have

Ade came to Baobab Centre in the early 2000’s. In 2011 his asylum appeal was successful and he was granted leave to remain for 5 years. He is now working and studying towards a career in Health and Social Care.

back view of man holding his head
organic graphic shape

“I never had any freedom like this before in my life. Except when I was 8 or 9 in my country. What happened to me does make me feel like life is too short to treat ourselves like slaves. So I don’t want anyone to suffer like I have.”

He is not alone

Ade’s story is devastating, but unfortunately he is not alone. When he shared his story with us in 2015, 982 children were identified as victims of trafficking in the UK. With an estimated 3,000 children held in slavery. The situation for vulnerable children has become more precarious since then. Which is why Baobab’s work is so vitally important, and why we need your support to help us reach more children.

This film was made by Melanie McFadyean and Fram Robertson for the Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile.