EVELYN CHUMBOW‘s mother always dreamed of giving her daughter a better life. Evelyn dreamed of it too. She watched “The Cosby Show” in her home in Cameroon and dreamed of becoming an attorney in the US. When the Chumbows were presented with an opportunity to send Evelyn to the US to get an education, they immediately packed up her belongings and put her on an airplane with a Cameroonian recruiter.
As it turned out, Evelyn was not going to the US for an education. She was going to work as the recruiter’s slave.
When Evelyn reached the US, she was forced to cook, clean, and take care of the children of that recruiter, Theresa Mubang. She was never paid for her work, and any hope that she might escape her miserable life was undermined by the constant beatings she received from Mubang.
For seven years of her young teenage life, Evelyn lived in constant fear and worked day and night. She never road a school bus. She never went to the prom. She never got to hang out with friends after school. She never joined a dance team. Instead, she was a modern day slave, not in some far-flung country, but right here in the US.
After all those years of captivity, Evelyn finally escaped. She enrolled in GED courses and then community college and now studies Homeland Security at University of Maryland University College. Her trafficker, Theresa Mubang, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for what she did to Evelyn.
Today, Evelyn is a powerful and dynamic activist against modern day slavery. She has recently been featured on CNN and ABC and has done speaking events for the Break The Chains Campaign. She’s evidence that we only have to look in our own backyards to see people being treated like the slaves we read about from the 19th century.
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