Culled from Renew America
Louis Etongwe helped free domestic slaves in the Washington, D.C., area. "I was horrified because I thought — not in this day and age that there could be some who would trick someone's child into slavery — not like this." Louis points out how even the smallest action to fight slavery can make a big difference.
A telephone worker in Virginia, he first learned about slavery in his own community. A young woman appeared at his cousin's door for Thanksgiving. She had run away from captivity as a housemaid nearby. Louis and his wife offered shelter to the young woman although it placed him at odds within his own Cameroonian community in Virginia. Then he learned of several other Cameroonian girls also held as slaves. Traffickers were tricking young Cameroonian girls into thinking that domestic work within "respectable" families in the U.S. would gain them access to education and a better life. Instead, these young women were forced to work excruciating long hours with no money and no chance for education. Louis established communication with these victims of slavery and arranged for their escape when the master of the household was away. They too were given shelter at Louis' home.
Louis flew to Cameroon, visiting the rescued girls' families. The parents were in shock and still in mourning, as they had been told the girls were dead. The Maryland Attorney General successfully prosecuted the traffickers and Louis continues to make a difference.
"Know your neighbors, ask them questions. I have never felt so excited in my life to be doing what I am doing. When you sow a good seed, it has a multiplying effect and that is the most important thing."