Forcefully taken from her family at the age of four, Sophea was subjected to years of compelled service. Although her mother didn't treat her well and abused her from a young age, life got worse for little Sophea. Over the next eight years, she was made to serve many different families who treated her with much violence. They starved her and beat her up until she submitted to their commands. She tried to escape many times and also attempted to commit suicide by jumping off the window but only managed to break her ankle.
Learning about a Christian dormitory offering education and lodging, Sophea made up her mind to escape and stole away in the dark of night on a bicycle belonging to a child in the family she was at. The villagers whom she met disallowed her to continue travelling because she was such a young child. They sent her to the commune chief was filled with compassion for her and let her stay in his house.
The chief and his wife went to great lengths to keep her safe. She was extremely fearful and any sound would cause her to run and hide under the table. It had been a long time since she had felt kindness and this made Sophea feel light and warm inside; it was as if she was loved. The chief sent her to school and referred her to Hagar to help her to heal emotionally.
Sophea has been with Hagar for 12 years and today she is doing well in her studies. She just started her senior year in University, studying to be a social worker in the hopes of giving back to the community and help empower young girls like the little girl she used to be. She regularly meets the chief's children in Phnom Penh and she misses him and the family. They fondly remember her as their sister and daughter and hope to see each other again.