By Kate Kirby
Gordon College News Service
June 10, 2010
In 1980, Beatrice Fernando travelled 3,385 miles from Sri Lanka to Lebanon in search of employment as a housemaid. She left her three-year old son behind, hoping to earn enough money to send home. Instead of finding a job, though, she fell prey to a criminal enterprise where she was forced to work 20 hours a day without pay. Fernando was underfed, beaten, forbidden to speak, and cut off from any communication with the world outside the walled compound of the house she cleaned. Like nearly 27 million others around the globe, Fernando became a victim of the lucrative modern-day slave industry.
On June 24th, Fernando will share her story at the Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street in Lowell, MA. Starting at 7:00 p.m., “Slavery in the 21st Century” will be one of 14 free programs open to the public in conjunction with the Civil War and Slavery exhibit, “Forever Free.”