Anh, now 22, was just 18 years old when she was trafficked to China and forced to be a prostitute. For more than a year, she suffered her “darkest days” full of pain and sorry.
After 13 months of abuse, Anh was able to escape and leave China. But the welcome to her home village, a small ethnic minority group in Yen Bai province, was much cooler than she expected.
Instead of a warm welcome, Anh found herself the butt of jokes and the object of scorn. She didn’t dare go out of her house for fear of what the neighbors would say and do and the probing questions they would ask.
And there were the nightmares. The horrors of her experience kept haunting her every night.
“I tried many ways to come back home but when I was home, it was not home anymore,” Anh said.
After two years back in her community, Anh was introduced to Hagar by the Yen Bai Women’s Union. At first, she refused to work with the Hagar counsellor, she simply wasn’t ready to face her deep sorrow. But after two months of support by Hagar, Anh asked for counselling. She decided to face the traumatic experiences in the past and wanted to turn a new leaf.
It has been a long journey, but Anh is regaining her sense of value and strength. She decided to pursue hair dressing and Hagar cooperated with L’Oreal to provide her with vocational training. She worked very hard and graduated second in her class of 34!
Despite her success, Anh’s family unexpectedly encouraged her to return home and marry a young man in her village. The pressure was so strong that Anh felt she had no choice but to follow their wishes. During the time Anh was getting married, her counselor and her case manager worked very closely with her through phone calls and home visits.
Demonstrating a newfound strength and resilience, Anh talked to her parents and her husband and persuaded them to allow her to finish her training in Hanoi. They agreed! In July, 2014, Anh graduated, moved back to her community and started her own beauty salon.
“Thanks to Hagar…I can lead my own life independently and happily,” Anh said. “I am looking forward to providing the best hair dressing services to my beloved people, including Hagar staff!”
Today, you can give women like Anh, a chance to live a “happily ever after” ending to their story. Your support will mean a world of difference to their lives.