Thank you for giving to empower the lives of women. With this update, we want to share a little bit about Nga*, a survivor who has recently arrived at Hagar Vietnam. To protect her identity, we have changed her name.
By supporting these women, you have become a part of their story as they journey to recovery.
Nga, 16 years old, survivor of human trafficking, 1 month at Hagar
Nga is a new client who joined Hagar Vietnam in early August. She was trafficked to China last year when she was only 15. Due to the family’s poor economic situation, Nga’s mother wanted her to look for a job. An elderly woman living in the neighborhood approached Nga’s family and told Nga that she could work as a babysitter for the her daughter in China. Nga’s mother agreed to let her go with the woman’s son to China, hoping she could earn some money to support the family. However, as soon as Nga arrived in China she was sold to a brothel. The next 15 days were a horrible nightmare as she were sexually abused by many different men.
Nga tried desperately to contact her family back home. Nga’s parents finally received the shocking news and were able to contact police to rescue her. The 15 year-old girl returned home hopeless and afraid for her future. Nga became quiet, unmotivated, and depressed. She ate very little, slept a lot, and had almost no connection with others.
Through a referral by the Center for Communication and Counseling Services, Nga was introduced to Hagar Since then, she has received comprehensive services for recovery and empowerment including safe accommodation, health care, counseling, therapeutic art activities, and career orientation. Nga meets with her counselor every week to learn coping skills. Being very determined to be a hairdresser, Nga was recently selected to participate in a 9- month training course by L’Oreal. Nga has shown her excitement to start the very first step to build her own life in Hanoi. To support Nga to the fullest, her case manager visited her parents in her hometown, listened to their difficulties and explained about the services provided to Nga and urged them to encourage Nga to do her best.
Nga still has a very long way to go but we are so proud of her. If you’d like to continue the journey with survivors like Nga, here are a few suggestions:
Thank you again!
Meet Linh. Because of YOU Linh now has hope!
I wasn’t afraid of poverty. I didn’t know another way. What got me was the loneliness. Would my dream of a complete and happy family ever be reality?
When I was little, my mom passed away. She wasn’t my real mother—but my adopted one. I’ve never known my biological family. Afterwards, my adoptive father stopped caring about everything in his life—including me. I was neglected and treated badly so I ran away, becoming homeless at fifteen.
I fell in love with a guy I thought could turn things around for me. Although he didn’t have a job and we weren’t technically married, we were going to have a baby! We never expected our daughter to suffer from congenital heart disease. My boyfriend couldn’t handle the baby’s cries of pain. He turned to alcohol and violence. Again, taking it out on me.
I found Hagar in my darkest days.
When Linh came to Hagar, it was clear her greatest need was her baby’s heart surgery. Together Hagar, along with East Meets West and a group of individual sponsors, were able to provide the treatment. Hagar also took Linh to the hospital for a check-up where it was discovered she had a tumor in her neck which needed attention. At first, Linh was frightened and unsure of whether or not she’d be able to get help because of everything that had just been given to her for her daughter. However, Hagar’s counselors helped to calm Linh, and she underwent her own successful surgery.
Currently, Hagar is helping Linh secure an ID card—as well as her family record— so she can finally be an official Vietnamese citizen right as she celebrates her 33rd birthday. This will allow Linh to access the social services she needs to build a stable life. She’s also participating in a career orientation so she can start working. Linh can’t wait to be a hair dresser!
According to Linh, if Hagar hadn’t been there to help her overcome her darkness, she’d still be living on the streets. Now she’s able to work hard to provide a good life for her child—one in which, unlike Linh, she’ll always know her mommy.
“Hagar has been my second home. If it had not been for Hagar, my son would not have been born healthy and I would not have been able to start my life again”. - Hong, 40-year-old survivor of domestic violence
“I’d been approaching many organizations before I reached out to Hagar because I couldn’t find any solution for my problems. Thanks to the introduction by the Child Helpline, I was able to come to you and together with your social worker, I’ve made my future plan. Hopefully together with your responsive support, my son and I can woke up after this nightmare.” - Pham, 36-year-old survivor of domestic violence
Because of you!
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
* 33 counselling sessions conducted with clients
Linh’s Story – “I am no longer alone”
Linh, 32, was introduced to Hagar in December 2013. She came to us with a two-year-old baby who had a congenitalheart disease. Linh had nothing and no one to call for help.
Linh had been adopted by a farming couple at a very young age. Her life totally changed when her adoptive motherpassed away. Depressed following his wife’s death, Linh’s adoptive father did not care about anything in his life,not even Linh. He neglected her and treated her badly. Finally, Linh ran away and became homeless at the age of15. With no job, no money and no education, she had to struggle every day to manage her own life.
“Poverty was not scary. What made me obsessive was loneliness. I was dreaming of a complete and happy familyevery night. I do not even know my biological parents. Who are they? Where are they living? How have they beendoing? Do they still remember me?” Linh asks these questions over and over again, in tears.
With a strong desire to have a family of her own, Linh decided to share life with a young man she loved. Shebelieved he could bring a safe life for her with love and care even though he did not have a stable job. They starteda new life without a marriage certificate.
Linh was extremely happy when she gave birth to a daughter two years ago. However, the baby was diagnosedwith congenital heart disease and her boyfriend became violent and alcohol-addicted. He could not control hisanger when he heard his daughter crying in pain. Day by day, Linh desperately suffered from his violent abuse.Once again, she chose to run away from her offender, taking her daughter to search for help. Fortunately, she wasintroduced to Hagar in those darkest days of her life.
After an initial assessment, it was clear that Linh’s greatest need was to secure enough money for her baby’s heartsurgery. Hagar cooperated with East Meets West and a group of individual sponsors to make her dream thissurgery come true. With the baby’s medical needs met, Hagar brought Linh for a health check-up, and she learnedthat she had a tumor in her neck which required surgery. This unexpected news frightened Linh. She hesitated toaddress her own medical issues because she was worried that her daughter’s medical needs were more important;however, after receiving counseling services, Linh made the decision to receive treatment. Both Linh’s and herdaughter’ surgeries were successful.
“If we had not been supported by Hagar and other organizations and individuals, my daughter and I would havenot been able to overcome darkness. We would have been living on the streets without hope for the future. Now, Iwill take care of my daughter and work hard to bring a good life for my child. At least, it will be better than mine”,Linh shared.
Hagar’s next step is to provide legal support to Linh, including working with her to obtain an ID card and her familyrecords so that she can become an official citizen before she celebrates her 33rd birthday, enabling her to accesssocial services and build a stable life.
Linh is also receiving counseling services on career orientation so that she can begin working as soon as possible.She shows excitement at learning to be a hair-dresser. Hagar is confident that Linh will take advantage of theservices provided and turn over a new leaf in her and her daughter’s future life together.
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Director of Development