Beatrice Fernando was raised in Sri Lanka as the youngest of 13 children in an impoverished family. In an attempt to forge a better life for herself and her son, she accepted a housekeeping job in Lebanon that led to abuse and enslavement. She was able to escape under dire circumstances, and through a long homecoming and reconciliation process has now become a staunch activist against human trafficking and modern day slavery.
Mrs. Fernando’s story became the basis for her 2005 testimony to the U.S. Congress, which advocated for the abolishment of slavery. As the founder of the Nivasa Foundation and a volunteer with the Anti-American Slavery Group, she has made steps to increase awareness and end slavery. She has authored the memoir In Contempt of Fate, as well as spoken at numerous institutes and organizations across the country.