Hagar is founded by Pierre and Simonetta Tami and sets up its first shelter for destitute, abused and abandoned women and their children in Phnom Penh.
As women fled abuse in the aftermath of civil war and genocide, we worked where we saw the need.
Forty women and their children reintegrate to seven hectares of Government-donated land on Koh Kor island near Phnom Penh.
These women grew vegetables and fruit, farmed rice, and tended livestock and fish. Through this program, we saw that for restoration and dignity, people need the opportunity to live in communities again.
As the problem of trafficking becomes clear, Hagar realizes that women need financial stability if they are going to achieve independence and break the cycle of poverty.
Social businesses are just part of Hagar’s Whole Person approach to trafficking, which would develop over the next five years.
Hagar’s Pierre Tami is recognized a few years later for this pioneering work.
Hagar begins to work with children from abusive and exploitative situations whose families can’t be part of the recovery journey.
Seeing that there is a huge gap in services for vulnerable and marginalised children, Hagar establishes House of Smiles, a residential care facility for children with disabilities, in a district outside Phnom Penh.
With offices in Australia (2002), Singapore (2004) and the USA (2005). By 2013, Hagar would have offices in New Zealand (2008), the UK (2011) and Hong Kong (2013) as well. Through fundraising and advocacy for those who need it the most, these offices take Hagar’s impact around the world.
The US Department of State recognizes Hagar founder Pierre Tami for his work towards ending modern-day slavery and human trafficking.
Pierre Tami recognized as one of the world’s most “Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs” by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
In Cambodia, Hagar opens an aftercare program for girls from sexually exploitative circumstances.
Hagar’s Community Learning Centre established in Cambodia, pioneering catch-up education for kids who would otherwise lose the chance for a full education. Eventually, these children reintegrate into full-time schooling.
“Although I struggle, I know education is the bridge to a good future. In addition to learning how to read and write, I also now know my rights and how to protect myself.” - Rangsy
We change our model of economic empowerment, to focus on building relationships with local businesses. Hagar clients are trained with soft skills, so they are better equipped to succeed in the workplace. We also advocate for their rights with local employers. It’s real life, and it’s real work.
“As I started to make more friends and build relationships through the programme, I found that those connections helped me access better opportunities, including a better job with a higher salary.” - Hagar Client
Hagar Afghanistan is founded, with its first shelter opening in 2009. Hagar’s Trafficking In Persons Capacity Building Project follows in 2010, raising awareness of trafficking in Afghanistan.
Now, after five years, community stakeholders are correctly identifying victims of trafficking, and treating them properly – referring them for care and support instead of treating them like criminals.
Hagar Cambodia pioneers recovery work for boys who have been victims of sexual abuse and exploitation, whose cases are often overlooked or denied.
Hagar Vietnam established. Along with projects to reach abused and vulnerable women, Hagar expands its social business relationships (and impact on clients) by partnering with Joma International, providing still more professional employment opportunities for clients.
After 4 years of commitment to Afghanistan, we are finally able to build on the foundations we’ve laid. We open a Transitional Care Centre to help women escape abusive circumstances and build new lives in safety.
Hagar Vietnam opens its Transitional Care Centre for Women, enabling us to support more complicated cases of abuse and exploitation through the whole recovery process.
Hagar launches a satellite office in Battambang, Cambodia, providing closer support for rural clients and their families through their whole journey.
This year, we also implemented a refugee program on behalf of the UN High Commission for Refugees in Cambodia.
Hagar Afghanistan launches its Forgotten No More Boys programme, the only project reaching trafficked boys in the whole of Afghanistan.
In this newly-opened nation, there is a great need to support the recovery process for survivors of severe human rights abuse - for as long as it takes. Hagar Myanmar's mission is to work with clients as they journey to wholeness, providing shelter and counselling as well as educational and vocational training.
As we celebrate 20 years of restoration, made possible by your support, we are also passionately focused on the future. We invite you to journey with us for another 20.
Will you take the next step with us? Join us for another 20 years of doing whatever it takes.