It has been an encouraging first year for Hagar Vietnam. Early stories from Hanoi bring hope. As one example, 18-year old Trang looks back on her devastating past: “I feel more self-confident and strong now. I have the right to decide for myself what I can do and what I want to do. I can live a life without fear.”
Over this past year, Trang and 12 others from backgrounds of domestic violence and trafficking have travelled a complex journey. In August, this first group completes their formal training. Hagar’s enterprise partner, Joma Bakery Café, will employ them. For most, this will be their first-ever experience with safe and dignified work. Still, we know that reintegrating to community can be a vulnerable time. Social workers are working with each woman to determine an individualized plan. Some will be supported in transitional housing. Each will be provided a stipend, to ensure living and childcare costs are adequately covered. Then, Hagar will provide on-going support and follow-up services for up to two years.
A second group of 14 Vietnamese women have already begun their own journeys. In 2010, we anticipate serving over 50 abused and trafficked women. Sex trafficking and violence against women has been a hidden issue in Vietnam. Only recently have these needs begun to be publically addressed.
From Agnes Lam, Hagar Vietnam Country Representative, “These women are amazing. They came in with the typical symptoms of trauma, and now they are glowing. It’s really amazing to see the transformation. And, as a Vietnamese-American, I love doing this work. It is my way of giving back.” We all appreciate the support of Global Giving donors and hope that you will continue to empower abused and trafficked Vietnamese women.
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Hagar USA, Inc.