I cannot take a single lemon…

Traidcraft Exchange

Since 23 March, we've lost 232 days of freedom

Lockdowns, restrictions and social distancing have affected our families, our friendships... and our happiness.

We've felt the cost of living a limited life. But for us, giving up our freedom is temporary.

For people like Morzina - who is trapped in slavery because of loans she was forced to take in desperate times - freedom has rarely been anything more than a distant concept.

The story of her lemon tree - told in her own words - shows this better than anything.

5 years back, I planted a lemon tree outside my house

For the last 2 years, it has produced fruit

The sad thing is we cannot eat the fruit of the the tree planted with my own hands... outside my own home.

The people of the Mahajan (debt collectors) take it all

If we go near the tree they beat us and threaten to burn the house down

We cannot take a single lemon

Modern slavery... is slavery. It hasn't gone away.

The injustice you see in the lemon tree story is all too common and because of this pandemic, things are getting worse.

But this Christmas, we can stand with those on the road out of slavery, and refuse to let coronavirus force them into debt.

Together we can provide the support networks and training that give people like Morzina the tools they need to move forward - from emergency food supplies to the skills they need to find new, paid work.

Your support today can give families - threatened with a life held captive by debt and poverty - the chance to escape slavery for good.

We've taken suggested donations amounts off the form because in difficult times, we only want you to give what you can afford.

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In crisis... there is hope

Over the last two years, Morzina has taken part in a project run by Traidcraft Exchange, called ‘Muktee’ (Freedom), helping people leave slavery behind for good.

She's joined with others like her to demand that their basic rights are met. She's learnt new skills to help her earn a decent income.

Thanks to the support of people like you, she’s been able to leave slavery behind - and reclaim her lemon tree.

"This year with the help of the Muktee project I got back my ownership of my lemon tree.

During this pandemic I have earned 3500 taka by selling lemons from my lemon tree."

We’ve seen time and again that a brighter future is possible – even in the middle of this crisis.

But for every story of success there are many more people whose journey out of slavery is seriously under threat.

We can't let this be the Christmas where families are forced back into unpaid slave labour.

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