“We worked from 4:30 am to 8:00 pm, with only 2 hours of break in between…We were not paid."

Laadu and Sugra farmed crops and raised their boys on a few acres of land but found it incredibly difficult to make ends meet. When an acquaintance told them of a way to make more money at a brick kiln a few hours away, they sent their children to Sugra’s parents and went to the kiln.

However, when they reached the massive kiln—nearly 8 acres of isolated land—the truth emerged. The promise of a good job was a lie, and they were trapped at the kiln.

The work was grueling and the conditions were terrible; they toiled for hours under the hot sun making thousands of clay bricks. With only makeshift homes built with branches and torn plastic sheeting, they were often exhausted and sick.

When Laadu recalls the abuse, he says, “We worked from 4:30 am to 8:00 pm, with only 2 hours of break in between…We were not paid. The contractors and supervisors were full of verbal abuse. And no matter what, we were not allowed to leave this kiln.”

After months of living in this nightmare, the couple was secretly planning an escape until—just at the right time—rescue arrived.

In a coordinated rescue operation with a local partner, IJM helped rescue 125 people from the brick kiln, including Laadu and Sugra.

Today, everything has changed. They are enjoying lives of freedom and independence, farming their land and sending their kids to school.

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