How many adults carrying their secrets, their losses, their scars around like a millstone?
The BBC documentary, The Real Mo Farah (aired Wednesday, 13th July) was such an eye-opener into the trafficking of children and what it actually means, and what the consequences are long term. It showed how psychologically painful it must have been growing up away from your family under a false identity, hit by loss after loss.
Although more current times have been a dream come true for Sir Mo in terms of achievement and having his own family, for your name to be world famous, and it’s not your name, but the name of another child you didn’t know, whose identity you were forced to adopt because you were being trafficked, is unimaginable.
Hearing how Mo’s own father had been murdered when he was only four, followed by being taken to his uncle’s, then taken to the UK when he thought he was going to another relative, and his relative’s address to be taken off him and thrown away, to then be essentially a servant aged just 9 or 10… There was so much trauma.
The teacher who saved him highlighted the importance of recognising the symptoms of loss and questioning when things aren’t obvious. Reports of poor behaviour, poor performance, he was distracted, unkempt, and ‘parents’ not attending meetings were all signs that things weren’t right at home. It was a blessing that Mo trusted his teacher enough to tell the truth.
Even his running was a sign of unresolved grief. All his feelings were channelled into his sport and acted as a distraction.
He has carried this trauma his entire life. While he was lucky enough to be reunited with his mother, twin, other siblings, and got to meet the real Mo Farah, he still has a lot of trauma to work through. It got us thinking, how many others are out there? How many trafficked children who are hiding away, or are now adults carrying their secrets, their losses, their scars around like a millstone?
We are here to help and we’re happy to apply for funding to support anyone who needs it.