For most teens, that means vacation, and Amara, 16, looked forward to spending the warm and lazy days with all her friends. The daughter of Somali immigrants to the Netherlands, Amara had been working hard at school while also helping out at home. She was ready for a break.
But her grandmother in Somalia was ill, her mother and stepfather said, and wanted to see Amara one last time; so the girl flew with her stepfather to Africa. Once there, her stepfather suggested she give him her passport and phone for safekeeping. She agreed.
Then he left.
As it turned out, Grandma wasn’t ill at all. Nor had she asked that Amara come and visit. But there she was, without a passport, without a phone, no money, and no way to get back home. Worse, there was no longer any real “home” to go to.