About us

Our mission, vision and history

Our Mission

Communities free and healed from the trauma of human trafficking, slavery and abuse.

Our Vision

For those affected by trauma and those who support them, HAGAR is an expert in care and recovery.

When healing happens, the cycle of trauma stops.

Our Values

Respect: We believe in the right of all people to be heard and treated with respect and dignity.
Integrity: We commit to act ethically and honestly, striving to do the right thing in all times and in all circumstances.
Compassion: We want compassion and kindness to be evident in our attitude, communication and in active, practical ways.
Excellence: We hold ourselves to high standards, listening and learning from those we support, our partners and each other, to continuously improve all that we do.

Our History

Hagar was founded in 1994 in response to the prevalence of extreme domestic and community violence affecting women and children in post-civil war Cambodia. In 2008, Hagar began operations in Afghanistan to support women and children facing the worst forms of gender-based violence and human trafficking. The following year, HAGAR established an office in Vietnam to care for women who were affected by the growing magnitude of exploitation and abuse. More recently, Hagar began delivering programmes for women through our support office in Singapore, and we are partnering with organisations in Myanmar to increase their capacity to provide Trauma-Informed Care .

With 25 years of experience, HAGAR has transformed into an internationally renowned leader in recovery services for survivors of human trafficking, slavery and abuse.

The HAGAR Story

The Hebrew name Hagar means “one who flees” or “one who seeks refuge.” The story of Hagar and her son, Ishmael, is the story of millions of exploited, abused, and trafficked women and children.

In around 2000 BC, Hagar worked in a foreign land as a domestic servant for a rich man called Abraham and his wife, Sarah. Sarah was unable to bear children and, following a common practice of the time, Sarah offered her servant to Abraham. When Hagar became pregnant, Sarah grew jealous and threw her out of their home. An angel found Hagar alone in the desert. He promised a blessing on her child, naming him Ishmael, which means “God hears.” In response Hagar declared: “You are the One who sees me.” The story of Hagar is known to many faiths including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

HAGAR is committed to providing sanctuary and hope to women and children like Hagar and Ishmael, walking the whole journey with each one.

Our Team

Jimson Cheng

Board Chairman

An authority in life sciences and healthcare, Jimson is currently a partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ Singapore office overseeing the Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice for Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Wielding more than 17 years’ experience in executive search and leadership advisory, he is also active in human resources, legal professionals, and services sector practice groups. Jimson’s professional experience spans across Asia, United States and Europe in senior management roles. His interest in social causes brought him to be involved with work in orphanage, prison ministry and has a passion for the under-privileged and marginalised youths. Also serving on the board of Hagar International, Jimson’s personal interests include travelling the world with a backpack, immersing himself in different cultures and languages, sports and career coaching.

Jimson Cheng

Board Chairman
An authority in life sciences and healthcare, Jimson is currently a partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ Singapore office overseeing the Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice for Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Wielding more than 17 years’ experience in executive search and leadership advisory, he is also active in human resources, legal professionals, and services sector practice groups. Jimson’s professional experience spans across Asia, United States and Europe in senior management roles. His interest in social causes brought him to be involved with work in orphanage, prison ministry and has a passion for the under-privileged and marginalised youths. Also serving on the board of Hagar International, Jimson’s personal interests include travelling the world with a backpack, immersing himself in different cultures and languages, sports and career coaching.

Paul Chan

Board Member

Currently the Director of Financial Services with Great Eastern life, Paul is also the Chairman of the International Certification & Standards Board of Asia Pacific Financial Services Association (APFinSA) and a Past President of the Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore (IFPAS). Aside from his professional achievements, Paul serves on the Board of Trustees of World Revival Prayer Fellowship, and has been actively serving in various ministries of the church including preaching, supervising cell groups and mission work including the church involvement in supporting Hagar’s work. Paul holds an MBA, the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation, Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP) and the Chartered Wealth Manager (CWM) qualification. He has also co-authored two books with Dr B C Ghosh, Strategic Planning for SMEs in Singapore & Malaysia, and Smart Retirement Planning.

Paul Chan

Board Member
Currently the Director of Financial Services with Great Eastern life, Paul is also the Chairman of the International Certification & Standards Board of Asia Pacific Financial Services Association (APFinSA) and a Past President of the Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore (IFPAS). Aside from his professional achievements, Paul serves on the Board of Trustees of World Revival Prayer Fellowship, and has been actively serving in various ministries of the church including preaching, supervising cell groups and mission work including the church involvement in supporting Hagar’s work. Paul holds an MBA, the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation, Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP) and the Chartered Wealth Manager (CWM) qualification. He has also co-authored two books with Dr B C Ghosh, Strategic Planning for SMEs in Singapore & Malaysia, and Smart Retirement Planning.

Dominique Choy

Board Member

Dominique is a founding member of HCSA Dayspring that helps at-risk women and children. As the current Chair of HCSA Dayspring Management Committee, she has been active in raising funds for Dayspring’s two initiatives since 2006. Trained in Hospitality Management from the University of Hawaii, Dominique has honed her skills in Hawaii and Singapore. She also has over 20 years of experience as a realtor specialising in the sale and rental of private properties in Singapore. Dee’s passion in cooking has led her to complete a culinary course conducted by the famed Culinary Arts and Hotel Management school, Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Dominique Choy

Board Member
Dominique is a founding member of HCSA Dayspring that helps at-risk women and children. As the current Chair of HCSA Dayspring Management Committee, she has been active in raising funds for Dayspring’s two initiatives since 2006. Trained in Hospitality Management from the University of Hawaii, Dominique has honed her skills in Hawaii and Singapore. She also has over 20 years of experience as a realtor specialising in the sale and rental of private properties in Singapore. Dee’s passion in cooking has led her to complete a culinary course conducted by the famed Culinary Arts and Hotel Management school, Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Chua Eng Hui

Board Member

A senior consultant with RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, Eng Hui is a member of the Criminal Law practice under the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice. Eng Hui started his legal career in the Attorney General’s Chambers where he served as a Deputy Public Prosecutor for 5 years from 1987 to 1993. In 1993, he was transferred to the judicial service where he served as a District Judge before moving on to private practice. Eng Hui has extensive experience in Criminal legal practice, having handled numerous crime law cases all the way up to Court of Appeal level. In addition, Eng Hui also has substantial experience in cases involving corruption, fraud and deceit.

Chua Eng Hui

Board Member
A senior consultant with RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, Eng Hui is a member of the Criminal Law practice under the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice. Eng Hui started his legal career in the Attorney General’s Chambers where he served as a Deputy Public Prosecutor for 5 years from 1987 to 1993. In 1993, he was transferred to the judicial service where he served as a District Judge before moving on to private practice. Eng Hui has extensive experience in Criminal legal practice, having handled numerous crime law cases all the way up to Court of Appeal level. In addition, Eng Hui also has substantial experience in cases involving corruption, fraud and deceit.

Koh Eu Beng

Board Member

After having spent 20 years in the Technology Industry spanning roles in Business Development, Sales, Marketing and Manufacturing, Eu Beng is currently Associate Director at NUS Business School. He has a burden for youths and young adults, and is involved in church and organisations reaching out to this group. Eu Beng also firmly believes that the Corporate world can and should make a bigger, positive impact to the social sector, and is studying various means to help accelerate it.

Koh Eu Beng

Board Member
After having spent 20 years in the Technology Industry spanning roles in Business Development, Sales, Marketing and Manufacturing, Eu Beng is currently Associate Director at NUS Business School. He has a burden for youths and young adults, and is involved in church and organisations reaching out to this group. Eu Beng also firmly believes that the Corporate world can and should make a bigger, positive impact to the social sector, and is studying various means to help accelerate it.

Lee How Giap

Board Member

Armed with 27 years of experience working with Philips, AT&T, Lucent Technologies and Corning; across 3 countries, Singapore, Indonesia (4 years) and China (16 years), How Giap spent considerable time over the last 2 decades on his regional career. Having retired from Corning in April 2011, his last position was as the Vice President of Manufacturing for Corning Greater China Telecom. He also held many other positions, prior to that, including, President of Corning Optical Fiber for Greater China, General Manager of a joint venture in China (Lucent Technologies) and Plant Manager for AT&T in Indonesia. Elected for an early retirement from the corporate world, so that he can move from achieving “success” to “significance”, How Giap is now using his skills and experiences to educating young people, engaging in charitable work and consulting work with SMEs locally and regionally. How Giap and his wife, Alice, worship at the Covenant Evangelical Free Church in Woodlands.

Lee How Giap

Board Member
Armed with 27 years of experience working with Philips, AT&T, Lucent Technologies and Corning; across 3 countries, Singapore, Indonesia (4 years) and China (16 years), How Giap spent considerable time over the last 2 decades on his regional career. Having retired from Corning in April 2011, his last position was as the Vice President of Manufacturing for Corning Greater China Telecom. He also held many other positions, prior to that, including, President of Corning Optical Fiber for Greater China, General Manager of a joint venture in China (Lucent Technologies) and Plant Manager for AT&T in Indonesia. Elected for an early retirement from the corporate world, so that he can move from achieving “success” to “significance”, How Giap is now using his skills and experiences to educating young people, engaging in charitable work and consulting work with SMEs locally and regionally. How Giap and his wife, Alice, worship at the Covenant Evangelical Free Church in Woodlands.

Sylvia Lee

Board Member

Sylvia’s career experience spans the gamut of refinery operations, and engineering design to talent management, and strategic HR. She left the corporate world in 2008 to pursue personal interests and eventually started Lotus Culture in 2010 – a social enterprise which provided employment for sexually trafficked and exploited women and girls in Cambodia. Its mission was to help rebuild lives. Despite these efforts, Sylvia realised quickly that beyond addressing the symptoms of human trafficking, more needs to be done to tackle the root causes. In 2012, she set up EmancipAsia Ltd. to raise public awareness about this societal issue, to engage the masses and empower individuals, communities and businesses to take action to combat this heinous crime.

Sylvia Lee

Board Member
Sylvia’s career experience spans the gamut of refinery operations, and engineering design to talent management, and strategic HR. She left the corporate world in 2008 to pursue personal interests and eventually started Lotus Culture in 2010 – a social enterprise which provided employment for sexually trafficked and exploited women and girls in Cambodia. Its mission was to help rebuild lives. Despite these efforts, Sylvia realised quickly that beyond addressing the symptoms of human trafficking, more needs to be done to tackle the root causes. In 2012, she set up EmancipAsia Ltd. to raise public awareness about this societal issue, to engage the masses and empower individuals, communities and businesses to take action to combat this heinous crime.

Micaela Cronin

Board Member and CEO of Hagar International

Micaela has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 25 years. She has extensive experience leading organisations that provide specialist services to vulnerable and disadvantaged children, young people, and their families. An internationally recognised leader in the community sector, Micaela has held key leadership roles throughout her career. These include President of the Australian Council of Social Services and a range of government appointed roles to advise on child protection and broader social reform issues. In 2014, Micaela was awarded the Robyn Clark Memorial Award for service and leadership in the children, youth, and family services sector.

Micaela Cronin

Board Member and CEO of Hagar International
Micaela has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 25 years. She has extensive experience leading organisations that provide specialist services to vulnerable and disadvantaged children, young people, and their families. An internationally recognised leader in the community sector, Micaela has held key leadership roles throughout her career. These include President of the Australian Council of Social Services and a range of government appointed roles to advise on child protection and broader social reform issues. In 2014, Micaela was awarded the Robyn Clark Memorial Award for service and leadership in the children, youth, and family services sector.

Michael Chiam

Executive Director

Having spent close to 20 years serving in the international humanitarian sector, Michael is no stranger to global poverty issues and social evils that are prevalent in impoverished and oppressed communities in the developing countries. Michael brings with him extensive programme and executive experience having provided direct oversight of numerous global development projects in about 25 countries worldwide. Immensely grateful for the chance to marry both his life mission and his career, Michael’s personal mantra keeps him focused and rooted even in turbulent times – “You only live once, so make the life in your years count.” Outside of work, Michael also volunteers with The Navigators as a mentor in the 20-30’s ministry. Michael has a MBA in NGO Leadership and serves on the board of Hagar Social Enterprises Group.

Michael Chiam

Executive Director
Having spent close to 20 years serving in the international humanitarian sector, Michael is no stranger to global poverty issues and social evils that are prevalent in impoverished and oppressed communities in the developing countries. Michael brings with him extensive programme and executive experience having provided direct oversight of numerous global development projects in about 25 countries worldwide. Immensely grateful for the chance to marry both his life mission and his career, Michael’s personal mantra keeps him focused and rooted even in turbulent times – “You only live once, so make the life in your years count.” Outside of work, Michael also volunteers with The Navigators as a mentor in the 20-30’s ministry. Michael has a MBA in NGO Leadership and serves on the board of Hagar Social Enterprises Group.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you answer the cries of human suffering. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you. Help us transform lives.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you answer the cries of human suffering. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you. Help us transform lives.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you answer the cries of human suffering. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you. Help us transform lives.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you answer the cries of human suffering. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you. Help us transform lives.

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