Hoa - Tricked by A Friend
At 27, Hoa is a bridal make-up specialist and a hairstylist in training. She has a superb eye for beauty and the most beautiful people in the world is her family.
But life had dealt some very severe blows to Hoa. Some years back, a series of calamities hit Hoa’s family. Dad was in a motor accident and Mum was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Both Hoa and her brother shared the financial responsibility to care for the family and they left school.
While at work, Hoa made friends and grew very close to one lady. She poured her heart out to her newfound friend who recommended her a job in Singapore – to learn nail art which could bring in more money than her current waitressing job. Poor unsuspecting Hoa did not realise she was being tricked. Excited at the prospect, Hoa provided all the information that her friend needed.
Hoa did not arrive in Singapore. She landed in Malaysia and found herself in a brothel. The owners forced her to serve the customers – 15-20 men a day. Hoa later contracted HIV but the owners showed no sympathy and continued working her until she was no longer physically well. Then they threw her out on the streets.
A kind passer-by gave Hoa some money and she managed to contact her mother. Despite being in a frail condition, Mum went throughout the community taking loans from people so that she could travel from Vietnam to Malaysia to bring Hoa back.
Hoa was immediately admitted to the hospital for treatment. She had contracted tuberculosis and was on the brink of death. With the help from HAGAR, Hoa received emergency healthcare attention, and support for her severe malnourished state. HAGAR also helped see her through the follow-up treatment and education on understanding HIV and how to manage with the disease.
Later, Hoa was ready to work and enrolled in a course for hairdressing with the support of HAGAR. She received much encouragement from the trainers, that helped her gain confidence in her skills development. Through HAGAR’s economic empowerment programme, Hoa has found her hope again.
“No one asks me about my past. Teachers and friends are so friendly and understanding. I don’t feel like I am less than anyone else, thanks to them. My mother told me to work hard, as the worst has passed.”
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