'I thought I would never smile again...' Nazia, aged 18, survivor of human trafficking
by Wei Ng
Our Campaign Storyends 10 Dec 2016, 11:59 PM
I'm Wei, and I've been volunteering in Hagar for a few years. I'm a social worker, and I help women and girls like Nazia (her name is changed to protect her identity) who were subjected to severe forms of abuse and exploitation.
Nazia was in grief and depression when I first knew her. She came to Singapore, thinking that her work will help her family get out of abject poverty. She was completely devastated when the reality was so far from her expectation.
After a long period of therapy and support, she regained her confidence and hope. The ultimate satisfaction that any social worker can get is a simple "Thank you" from the people we've helped. But much more than "thank you", I am blessed and privileged to see that Nazia is able to smile again. Today, Nazia is helping other women in the shelter for our group therapy. Her recovery and resilience is a constant encouragement to me and all at Hagar.
I like long distance running as it's a form of stress relief for me. I've signed up for the half marathon (21 km) at the Angkor Wat run as I hope to challenge myself beyond the 10km runs that I've completed in the past. For the additional distance I will be running which symbolises my continuous commitment to support women like Nazia, your contribution will go towards these women's recovery.
Please run the journey of recovery with me, for these precious women.
Show your support for survivors of trafficking as they overcome their physical and mental limits in the Angkor Wat Marathon on December 4, 2016.
Women and children who have undergone severe extreme human rights abuse often grapple with a damaged self-esteem, and lack confidence. Some carry with them scars on their physical body throughout their lifetime. Express your encouragement by donating to their Run for Freedom! Your donation will help them recover and achieve their dreams for the future.
In Singapore, Hagar has been running a trauma recovery and resettlement programme for girls who are trafficked here for sexual and labour exploitation. Singapore is a transit and destination hub for trafficking activities. Unscrupulous employers target those who are looking for employment opportunities and their lack of knowledge to trick them into our country. Upon being rescued, Hagar assists them by providing them with legal protection, trauma recovery, education and vocational training. The final step is helping them reintegrate back to their local community and minimising any re-exploitation.
A registered charity in Singapore, Hagar is an international organisation operating in 10 countries worldwide to raise public awareness on human rights and tangible support for survivors. Hagar staff and supporters around the world will be joining these survivors in this remarkable run. We are forming a Hagar Singapore contingent, and if you wish to join us, visit our website today.
Hagar is an international NGO committed to the recovery and economic empowerment of women and children who are survivors of extreme human rights abuse, particularly in the area of human trafficking, gender-based violence, and sexual exploitation.
We are in 10 countries worldwide. For women and girls, the threat of sexual exploitation and abuse is grave, and 10% of these clients have intellectual disabilities. Hagar receives into our care those who have suffered the worst of human conditions and many are referred to Hagar by the local government and non-governmental organisations in the country. We walk the whole journey with each individual, ensuring holistic healing, legal and physical protection, social rehabilitation, education and economic empowerment for eventual reintegration into society.
In Singapore, we provide legal aid, trauma recovery services, and skills training for girls trafficked to Singapore for sexual exploitation. Further to that, Hagar also assists by coordinating their return to their home country and resettle them in their communities upon conclusion of their court hearings in Singapore.
The ultimate goal is to help each of these trafficked and abused survivors get over their painful past, realise their innate potential and put them on the path of self-sustainability where they will be able to help themselves in the long run. Our purpose is singular. We do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to restore a broken life.