Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Kenyan Teachers Allege Exploitation in Somaliland
Elm Secondary School in Hargeisa, Somaliland. A group of Kenyan teachers who work at the school claim that their employer subjects them to labour exploitation. PHOTO | COURTESY


It came disguised as a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity: a teaching job at a prestigious international school in Hargeisa, Somaliland, with a salary of Sh50,000 a month, free air ticket, work visa, meals and accommodation, and paid tuition outside of lessons.

“That meant I would be saving nearly 100 per cent of my salary,” says Paul*, a teacher who returned home recently from Hargeisa.

It sounded like the opportunity of a lifetime, but when Paul got there, he quickly realised all was not what he had looked forward to. “It’s like a concentration camp,” he says. “You don’t feel like a human being.”

Paul is one of many Kenyan teachers who have been trafficked into Somaliland through unscrupulous recruiters for Elm Schools, also known as Young Muslim Academy. The recruiters work in cahoots with corrupt immigration officials in Somaliland to smuggle in Kenya teachers for cheap labour.

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