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.
257 Clients received counseling services in January
8 women and 14 children are receiving care in recovery communities
85% of our students took their second term catch up exam and passed
Following the opening of Hagars Joma café in Phnom Penh, 3 of Hagar’s clients have been placed in jobs with Joma. Five other clients have also been placed in jobs – 4 at Hagar catering and 1 as a hair dresser
A 13 years old girl named Marry is in love with the Creative Arts programme. She is an outstanding student at Hagar’s Community Learning Centre.
Marry says she likes playing football very much and is always excited for football class. She says that football makes her stronger, healthier, and allows her to sweat out all the stress of school as well as her past experiences.
“I love the feeling of hitting the ball and many people come to cheer me on, and it makes me want to play nonstop,” she said.
Besides football, Marry enjoys hip-hop dancing. She likes watching and practicing hip-hop dancing to songs on TV. She would like to perform some day in the future.
But there is more to the Creative Arts programme than just fun and entertainment. Marry says she can use her beading skills to earn some money as well.
“I earn some money, about 3 USD, whenever I bead products,” she said.
The Creative Arts Programme provides a variety of arts opportunities to clients, including drawing, painting, sewing, designing, beading, etc. Clients are able to focus on what the skill they enjoy. Some students enjoy drawing while others enjoy sewing.
Creative arts plays an important role at Hagar, encouraging client productivity as well as creativity. Clients have the chance to show off their talent through different performances. Marry hopes to see all children at Hagar pay more attention in creative art classes. She wants them to stay away from trouble by being involved in creative arts.
BPR clients created bowls from strips of magazine paper and paper mache masksl A client has started running a small business early this month in Kompot province after succefully completing motor repair and maintanence training provided by Hagar.
This month, four local businesses visited hagar to build a relationship around future partnership related to job placement and training.
On October 8th, Hagar client Yong Sokchea travelled to Kompon Som province for a court date wich was delayed to the end of the month due to an absent witness. As part of the Refugee Project’s “limited strategic interventions” initiative to support refugee clients whohave chosen to pursure their own small business enterprise, Hagar provided one client with materials to expand his food cart business.
When girls join our shelter, they do so because they have no place left to turn.
Theavy expresses it well--after her home was broken apart by violence, her father brought her to Thailand. Living on the street, they were caught by immigration officers and returned to Cambodia. Tracking down her mother she found that her other parent was living on the streets too. ‘I felt so lost and so unsafe’ she recalls. An NGO referred her to Hagar; at first she was afraid and found it hard to trust anyone at the shelter.
‘But little by little, I realized that housemothers and counselors really cared for me- especially when I got sick and they stayed with me day and night.’
Despite the healing and love Theavy has experienced, where she wants to be is back with her family. This is Hagar’s desire too; from the moment a girl joins us, our case workers are out first finding and then meeting with the family and community that girl came from, assessing whether it is a safe place for her to return and how we can support that process. We support in different ways – sometimes through helping find or improve housing, sometimes through providing some ideas and training around income earning opportunities – and through counseling not only with the girls but with their families too.
So while we have reached more than 200 girls through our work, the impact is even broader than this; reaching over a thousand direct family members as well as others in the communities we visit and engage with.
Theavy is not back with her family yet, although she is in touch with them. She is studying hard and wants to be really successful in her education. Her dream for the future is exciting and humbling ‘I want to become a teacherand help my parents so that they don’t have to beg on the streets anymore.’ The road home will be a difficult one, but Hagar is committed to walking this road with her. Each time someone is ready to rejoin their family orcommunity it is a deep moment of success for them; so far this year we have celebrated with 8 girls who have taken this step. Please help us to continue walking this long but immensely valuable road by supporting our work on Global giving.
Last month, we celebrated a milestone in our recovery program for trafficked girls. Since its beginnings, Hagar's program has supported 200 girls on their journeys toward wholeness. Many dreams have been realized. Dreams for education. A career. A loving family. Many new futures are being envisioned.
Here is the story of one girl, named Srey Mao:
Sold by her own family to a brothel, Srey Mao remembers the pain and the trauma of the place. She lived for a long time under the impression that her sole value was the $500 her family received for selling her. Not so anymore. It has been a journey over years. But now Srey Mao says confidently, "Now I know I am priceless. I am more valuable than money."
When you support Hagar's project on Global Giving, you bring more dreams to girls like her.
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