Hagar USA, which supports the work of Hagar International

Hagar does whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to restore broken lives.
Dec 6, 2016

Sophea's Impact

Sophea was born into an abusive family. Her mother was violently abusive and her father was passive. Perhaps thinking he was saving her, Sophea’s father sold her to a family friend when she was four years old. Sophea says, “If my father thought he’d saved me from cruelty, he was wrong. The woman who took me was even more cruel than my mother…I was not allowed to go anywhere and didn’t have enough food to eat…I tried to run away from her many times but each time she would catch me, beat me up and bring me back to her house.” Sophea was then sold as slave labor from one family to the next for many years. One day a man came to the house she was in and talked about a dormitory 10 kilometers away and invited her to live and study there. Sophea explains, “I didn’t dare say anything, but in my heart I was planning a way to escape and go to this dormitory. That night, I stole one of the children’s bicycles and cycled as fast as I could.” As it got later in the night, a group of people told her that it was too late for someone her age to be out alone. The group contacted the village chief who allowed her to stay at his house. The family she ran from found Sophea and wanted to take her back but the village chief refused because he knew they were abusive towards her. A few weeks passed and the village chief was able to contact someone from Hagar. Sophea arrived to Hagar soon afterwards. 

Sophea was never allowed to go to school though she desired to learn. Since escaping the family who enslaved her and coming to Hagar, she embraced the opportunity to start school. Commune Chief Chhun says, “She’s a successful student and I’m so happy to hear that she’s giving back to the community, helping empower girls like that little girl, hurt and abused, that she used to be.”Sophea started her senior year in University back in September of 2016. She has tried to volunteer to help in community outreach-helping disadvantaged children in the villages. Sophea says, My passion to help girls like me has become stronger…I dream of opening up a shelter for girls who experienced abuse, like me.”

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Sep 9, 2016

Thank you for helping Ve find healing

Hagar Provides healing
Hagar Provides healing

Ve* is a young girl who came to Hagar in June, traumatized and lacking trust. 

Ve’s father is an alcoholic and a violent name.  For years, her father was abusive, but one night he came home drunk and raped her.  

Ve didn't know what to do.  The only think she could think of was to take her own life and almost immediately attempted to commit suicide. Her mother found her and took her to the hospital, saving her life.  After attempting suicide three more times, Ve's mother decided they needed help.  

Hagar first went to Ve's home, and found that she wouldn't speak and didn't trust anyone.  Once she came into Hagar's care she saw the staff’s sincerity and effort in reaching her. Ve has gradually entrusted Hagar and started to share her story.

After being counseled by Hagar staff, Ve has started to show improvements.  She has more self-confidence and started to feel the joy of life through simple activities such as biking, writing in her diary and talking to those people she loves. When she started to open up to others, she realized that not everybody looked down on her as she had thought. 

Ve still has a long way to go, but because of you, the staff at Hagar Vietnam will be there with her every step of the way.

*names have been changed to protect identities

Sep 7, 2016

You helped Bopha find new life

Hagar Provides healing
Hagar Provides healing

Bopha is eighteen years old and she was raised by her parents in a north-eastern province of Cambodia. Her father is a logger and mother sells groceries. Bopha is from a large family and she is the second eldest daughter of six siblings. To help support their family, Bopha’s older sister went to work in Thailand and Bopha started work at a garment factory in Phnom Penh and she moved into a small rented room close to the factory.

Bopha worked there for 9 months and during that time she was approached by a female colleague at the factory. Her colleague told her about the benefits of working in China, including a better job and a higher salary. Bopha was persuaded by the positive job prospects and agreed to go to China for employment. Bopha says, “I was so happy when I got a job in China with a high salary.” Bopha travelled to China alongside a number of other women, recruited through the same company in Phnom Penh.

Upon arrival in China, Bopha and the other women were accommodated in a shared house and required to hand over their passports. Suspecting that they had been tricked and fearing for their safety, they were given no choice but to comply. “I suspected that they were lying to me about working, but I couldn’t refuse…I felt hopeless and tried to follow them,” tells Bopha. A few days later a man informed them that they were going to be married to Chinese men. Bopha was taken by the marriage broker to a remote area, a significant distance from the city and sold to a family for marriage. Over a number of months, Bopha experienced sexual abuse and forced labour. She was given limited access to food and she didn’t receive medical care. Bopha says “I felt hopeless and didn’t get support from him. He forced me to work at the farm while I was sick”.

Two months later, Bopha came across another Cambodian woman working in the same town as a domestic worker. The woman told Bopha that she had saved some money and the pair decided to escape together. They travelled for three days through the forest until they eventually reached the Cambodian Embassy, where Bopha contacted her mother. Bopha stayed at the embassy for around three months, before she was brought back to Cambodia on the 9th November 2015.  Bopha was pregnant by the man she was forced into marriage with

In January 2016, Bopha came to Hagar. Bopha stayed with Hagar at the Women’s shelter for a number months to receive essential services such as counselling, medical care, case management, food and safe accommodation.

Bopha gave birth to a heathy baby boy in February 2016 and she was reintegrated back into her home community in the north-east of Cambodia, to live with her parents. Throughout Bopha’s reintegration, Hagar’s team of counsellors also worked with her family, to ensure that both Bopha and her family had the support they needed during this period. 

Bopha and her son are doing well and she speaks of her plans to develop skills through vocational training. Bopha would like to find a job in the food services industry in either a coffee shop or restaurant to support her son.  She is proud to be a girl!

 
   

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