With this holiday quickly approaching, I thought I'd share a little story I received via email from Hagar International:
Two years ago, Veata had dreamed of a different future. She signed on with a Malaysian employment agency. But her dreams were smashed when she was trafficked to an abusive employer. Finally, she escaped. Found wandering the streets in a strange country, Veata was thrown in prison because she didn't have a passport.
Things got worse. Veata was raped by a prison guard. Nine months later, still in prison, her daughter was born. Finally, Veata, her baby, and 11 other trafficked women returned home to Cambodia. But Veata still wasn't free. She was imprisoned by thoughts of hatred and hopelessness.
Veata is now at Hagar's Shelter. She feels loved by her caregivers. She's learning to love her child. Soon she'll begin Hagar's Career Pathways program, and she'll have the freedom to make choices about her life.
If you want to celebrate your mom, and moms around the world, consider making a donation to Hagar in honor of your mother. If you donate $50 or more, you'll get the cute tote bag pictured above, which just happens to be courtesy if my in-real-life friend's online boutique, Stop Traffick Fashion.
And if you want to know more about Hagar, here is some information from their website:
Hagar is an international organization committed to the recovery, empowerment, and reintegration of women and children who have suffered human rights abuses. In particular, Hagar serves women and children who are victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation.
Established in Cambodia in 1994, Hagar launched programming in both Afghanistan and Vietnam in 2009.
Over time and in response to pressing societal needs, Hagar has been serving an increasing proportion of human trafficking victims. In 2004, the U.S. State Department named Hagar founder Pierre Tami as one of its six international heroes in the struggle against the modern-day slave trade.
To help women overcome their traumatic pasts and achieve true healing, Hagar provides long-term, individualized services. For women, this includes counseling, literacy education, job readiness skills, and vocational training. Most women experience their first formal work experience in a Hagar business. In Cambodia, 80% of women served are living independently in community, two years after receiving Hagar services.
Children come to Hagar from a variety of backgrounds. Some have been abandoned, some born with disabilities, and others abused by people they loved. The common denominator is that each child has been cast out, and each child needs time to heal. Services include residential care, trauma counseling, and education.
Although each individual's journey is different, each woman and child walks through three critical steps: recovery, building resilience, and reintegration.
Happy Almost Mother's Day!