Kim, survivor of human trafficking

Bursting with curiosity of the world beyond her home, 18-year-old Kim joined her friend for an adventure to neighbouring Cambodia. She had heard of stories where people who left had brought good fortune and wealth to their families and liberating them from poverty. It was a golden opportunity to a whole new future and she was drawn to the incredible offer.

It certainly became the adventure of her lifetime. Only when she was across the border in Cambodia did Kim realise she had been tricked to work in an illegal business. The café was dabbling in prostitution activities. In a sting operation, the police investigated the dealings and questioned everyone – including Kim.

Thankfully, Kim was able to prove her innocence and she was helped by Hope for Justice, an organisation that provided her safe shelter for nearly two years.

Hagar Vietnam worked closely with the authorities and Hope for Justice [in Cambodia] to bring Kim back home.

It was an extended process especially with the ongoing pandemic that impeded cross-border travel. Kim gave up many times – she felt extreme isolation in a foreign country where she could not speak the language or get used to the culture and food. The sheer impossibility was so discouraging and Kim went into depression in her “invisible room”, but HAGAR did not give up on her and continued to encourage her and press on with the authorities.

When she was finally able to return to Vietnam, Kim had to serve the 3-week quarantine – the final step before she could go home. During this period, Hagar Vietnam supported her quarantine needs and also worked with her to come up with a vocational training plan and prepare her for the reintegration.

“I feel grateful and completely trust in HAGAR’s support…Before I went to Cambodia, I only had my family, but now when I come back to Vietnam I have a second family, that is HAGAR.”

Besides focusing on their recovery, HAGAR also looks into effective community reintegration and helping survivors through the transition as they resettle back home. After such a long time away from home, this is important for them so they do not become vulnerable to re-exploitation due to isolating circumstances. This includes working with their families and communities as well. When you partner with HAGAR, you are building stronger communities and breaking the stigma associated with trafficking survivors.