A Nigerian lady, Gloria Bright, 32, recently arrived in Nigeria after being rescued from Lebanon where she was a home help. Bright’s case is similar to that of another Nigerian, Omolola Ajayi, 23, who was also recently rescued by the Nigerian government from the Middle Eastern country. Both of them said they were recruited to teach English in the country, only for them to be turned to home helps. Bright shares her experience in Lebanon with TUNDE ADEKOLA
Where are you from?
I am a native of Eruku in Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara State. I have a diploma in Accounting.
When did you leave Nigeria for Lebanon?
I left Nigeria on October 25, 2019.
Why did you choose to go to Lebanon?
I went there to work; I was told that I would be working as an English teacher there. The arrangement was that I would be teaching their children English, but unfortunately when I got there, I was doing the work of a home help. I signed up to teach for two years; that was agreement we reached. But I could not even wait for the two years to be over before I cried out for help because it was not easy in Lebanon.
That was why I had to cry out for help and tell people to help me return home.
Were you working in Nigeria before you decided to go to Lebanon?
I was not doing any work in Nigeria; I decided to go to Lebanon because I could not get a job in Nigeria. I thought it would be better to try my luck outside the country. I am married and I have two children; things were not okay for us. I had to go out and do something so that we could feed and I could sponsor the education of my children. If I had got a job here, I wouldn’t have gone to Lebanon.
What was your experience there?
My experience in Lebanon was not nice; it’s a place where they take advantage of girls and women. I will like to appreciate God for bringing me home safely. Things were tough for me there; I couldn’t even sleep comfortably. I was sleeping in what we refer to as parlour here and on bare floor. That was why I had to cry out for help and tell people to help me to come back home. I could no longer cope with the pain that I was being subjected to.
Did you see other Nigeria women there in Lebanon living like that?
Yes, there were other Nigeria women there but I don’t know their number.
You said you signed a two-year contract over there; what was the term of the contract?
The contract was to work with them for two years and be paid salary on a monthly basis, but they were not paying me salary.
How much were you supposed to be paid?
They are supposed to pay some people $200 (about N72,000) and some $1,000 (N360,000) but they don’t pay these salaries because they didn’t have dollars in Lebanon. It was a problem there; they had problem with dollars. They were not paying most of their housekeepers.
Were you paid for the two months you worked?
No, I was not paid. I was not paid any money. There was no money.
What advice do you have for Nigerian women?
I will advise Nigerian women to stay in their country; it is our fatherland. I want them to know that life here is not as difficult as it is over there.
I also want to appeal to the government to help us get jobs so that we can stay here and enjoy in our fatherland. That way, we will have no reason to go to foreign countries to look for jobs. We want to stay here to enjoy what God has given to us; no one should go to a foreign land to suffer.
Where are your children?
They are in Nigeria here and they are doing fine.