20 Participants from nine families were trained to be foster parents. This will give trafficked girls in Cambodia a chance to lives, safely, in a family setting while on the journey of restoration.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Penfold as Country Director, Hagar Cambodia. Steve is both a leader and public health professional with more than 17 years' experience in NGOs. “Hagar has a track record of reaching victims of extreme levels of gender-based violence, abuse and trafficking. What I see deeply ingrained in Hagar is the patience, compassion, professionalism and innovation needed to enable vulnerable women and children to rebuild their lives and stand on their own two feet." Steve is looking forward to leading the team and working with donors, beneficiaries and partners to develop programs, research and social enterprises to enable that to happen as well as building local capacity, working to maintain a 97% local staff rate.
Your Support Gives Kalyan Hope
With her black sharp eyes, Kalyan is a friendly and energetic woman. It is hard to believe that she has had such a dark past. When she was 15 years old, she was trafficked for sexual exploitation by her mother. Now, aged 18, she is a beautiful young woman living in a group home project supported by Hagar.
Kalyan is grateful to Hagar for providing her with a range recovery services, in particular counseling. “When I came to Hagar, I learned a lot, the programs made me feel relieved and happy until I forgot all the painful memories,” she said. Hagar has changed her life completely.
Despite Kalyan experiencing serious trauma, she has enjoyed success in Hagar’s educational programs. She achieved an outstanding study record in Hagar’s Community Learning Center while she was living in the Girls Recovery Shelter. Kaylan was loved by all the teachers and was seen as a top student. Although studying Khmer language was challenging for Kalyan because her mother tongue is Vietnamese, she can read and write Khmer well now. “I am always the number one student in the class, or sometimes I am number two, but I had never gone to number three, so I get a reward every month,” she said.
For the past 12 months, Kalyan has been living in a group home. She prefers life in the group home more than in the shelter because she has more freedom and independence. She has her own room and can go out alone after informing her caregivers. “Living together with other children in the same home is fun, yet sometime we also have arguments. Luckily we have good caregivers who always help, give advice and solve problems,” she said.
In her group home, Kalyan receives food and daily accessories. She also receives a monthly wage for her own personal spending and is able to supplement her income by beading creative art products (pictured). Kalyan is now studying grade seven in Beltei International Institute in Phnom Penh. She goes to school on a bicycle provided by Hagar’s Education Assistance Program. In secondary school, her study record is not quite as good as her primary results because she is competing with affluent class mates who can afford extra classes and tutors. Kalyan believes that she is also disadvantaged by being the oldest in the class and is subject to further discrimination for having a Vietnamese name.
Kalyan still loves her study but feels that it will take too long to finish high school. Consequently, she plans to join the Employment Empowerment project and train to work in a hair salon. “I know that I am completely adult now, I want to have one particular skill for myself, before I leave Hagar,” she said.
Once she learns the job skills, Kalyan would like to go back to live with her mother who has just been released from prison. She forgives her mother for what she did to her, believing the law has punished her enough. Hagar will work closely with Kalyan through the reunification process.
1 woman continues to work at JOMA woman continues her on-the job training as an accountant at JOMA woman started on-the-job-training at the Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel woman started on-the-job training at the Hanoi Westlake Intercontinental Hotel woman received reintegration support including living expenses and rental fees
27 Counseling sessions with women
In Their Own Words
“I agreed to take part in a TV programme on human trafficking to tell my story so that other vulnerable people will have courage to seek help and start their journey of recovery and development the way I have been doing at Hagar.”Thien, 21 year old survivor of labor trafficking
“I am very thankful to have Hagar support my sister and be with her through all the ups and downs. I know it is tough but you have been always trying very hard to empathise and encourage my sister.”Ha’s elder brother. Ha is a 17 year-old survivor of domestic violence
“I find it very useful to participate in the business skills training course at Hagar. It helps me to better run my own small plate business as well as other business plans in the future.” Na, 50 year old survivor of domestic violence
Cambodia Programme Updates
Two girls were admitted to Hagar and began to receive counselling this month.·
Hagar house mothers were taken out for a day of fun and relaxation together. They expressed that they felt respected and valued this Mother’s Day by the expressions of love that were shown to them by Hagar managers and leadership.
One Hagar client, an asylum seeker, was finally given official refugee status by the Refugee Office of the Cambodian Government, after three long years of waiting.
3 children reintegrated into kinship care or families of origin
17 CLC clients began attending music classes conducted by the creative arts team twice every week
Clients participated in a Legal and Protection orientation to prevent criminal activities, fighting and conflicts
158 Follow-up visits to Hagar clients were conducted by the case management team
My name is Rany. I am sixteen years old. I am originally from Prey Veng province, but for most of my childhood I have lived in Phnom Penh city. I remember many things from when I was young. My life was very difficult and the memories are hard to forget. My father never allowed me to go to school. He forced my sister and me to beg for money at the Russian market while he spent most of his time drinking alcohol. Luckily, Hagar found us. They gave us a safe place to live and the chance to receive education. Life at Hagar was easy and I was able to study very well. I even went on a trip to the beach with other kids. I had never experienced life like this before. I was eventually transferred to live in a community in Takeo province with a foster family. My father has continued to look for me, so it is important for me to live in a separate community until I grow up and can live independently by myself. At first, I didn’t want to come here to the foster family. I didn’t have any friends here. I used to cry while I was all alone. I am trying to fit in with my foster family and I always help out with housework after school time. Over time, I have started to feel at home in the community. My foster parents usually encouraged me to continue studying until I finish my education. They care for me, and when I was sick, they looked after me. My neighbors are also good to me. Even though they know about my background, they don’t lookdown on me. They have shown me sympathy. I am in grade 10 now, and I have my own goals. I want to study tourism and be a tour-guide. I especially hope to work with tours from Korea, and to know the Korean language. Every day, I wish for time to fly by so that I can graduate from high school, go back to Phnom Penh and pursue my goals. I have always encouraged myself by remembering that every person has their own value. I believe that as long as I pursue higher education, nobody can look down on me. Now I know that I can make my own good choices for my future. I believe in God because He has raised my up. Now, I feel like I am a beautiful lotus that has grown out of the mud.