As the world celebrates International Women’s Day this March 8, we throw a spotlight on the heroes in HAGAR who have survived extreme odds, and whose hearts are bent on caring for women who have been abused and exploited.

Asal, Survivor, Hagar Afghanistan

“My father sold me into marriage with an 80-year-old man, and he sold me again to other men. Now I have learnt about my rights. I have learnt that I don’t have to accept violence, that I can get a divorce. I thought my father had the right to sell me. Now I know this is not true.”

Loi, Survivor, Hagar Vietnam

“I have overcome all the stigmas and complexes of a victim to become who I am today. I work, I go to university. I am building my life and my future. If I can do it, so can you.”

Sophea, Survivor, Hagar Cambodia

“I want to help poor people improve their living conditions and raise awareness to prevent trafficking and abuse. To succeed and achieve the big dream, we need to study hard, learn to work with others and don’t forget to take care of ourselves, take time to relax and be happy.”

Isabelle, Volunteer, Hagar Singapore

“I can’t imagine how these women can go through so much pain and yet still be able to live on. When I hear what they have gone through, I tell myself I can do something to help, even in the smallest form.”

Anna, Staff, Hagar Singapore

“I feel like I have learnt from them more than I have given to them. Their sense of duty to support their family back home in spite of all their hardships and setbacks they experience here demonstrates their resilience. That inspires me as I hear their stories and what they have gone through.”

Wei, Volunteer, Hagar Singapore

“Whenever I feel like giving up, I remember the resilience that [she] showed in the face of the pain and suffering she endured, and I am deeply encouraged to continue on in my passion to help survivors of human trafficking.”

Sreyna, Staff, Hagar Cambodia

“We walk the whole journey with them, behind them, alongside them. You don’t give up on them. Our clients are not broken anymore. People around the world should care. It is about a life, a life becoming whole.”

Esther, Staff, Hagar Singapore

“Beyond the hardship and injustices that these women have had to endure, I can see that they carry treasures in them and have so much potential to excel. They deserve to live a full life and I want to do whatever I can to help them find it.”

Ha, Staff, Hagar Vietnam

“Through my colleagues, I learned how humans can empathise with and support each other in the deepest sense. I see it every day in the way my colleagues look at a problem and devote to their work and the women and children we are working with. They are the motivation and inspiration for me.”

Lynette, Staff, Hagar Singapore

“The pressure and long hours are worth it, because it is a human life at stake. God placed these precious lives under HAGAR’s care, I want to do everything I can to get them back on a steady path to recovery and freedom.”

Asal Hagar Afghanistan
“My father sold me into marriage with an 80-year-old man, and he sold me again to other men. Now I have learnt about my rights. I have learnt that I don’t have to accept violence, that I can get a divorce. I thought my father had the right to sell me. Now I know this is not true.”
Asal, Survivor, Hagar Afghanistan

Loi Hagar Vietnam
“I have overcome all the stigmas and complexes of a victim to become who I am today. I work, I go to university. I am building my life and my future. If I can do it, so can you.”
Loi, Survivor, Hagar Vietnam

Sophea Hagar Cambodia
“I want to help poor people improve their living conditions and raise awareness to prevent trafficking and abuse. To succeed and achieve the big dream, we need to study hard, learn to work with others and don’t forget to take care of ourselves, take time to relax and be happy.”
Sophea, Survivor, Hagar Cambodia

Isabelle Hagar Singapore
“I can’t imagine how these women can go through so much pain and yet still be able to live on. When I hear what they have gone through, I tell myself I can do something to help, even in the smallest form.”
Isabelle, Volunteer, Hagar Singapore

Anna Hagar Singapore
“I feel like I have learnt from them more than I have given to them. Their sense of duty to support their family back home in spite of all their hardships and setbacks they experience here demonstrates their resilience. That inspires me as I hear their stories and what they have gone through.”
Anna, Staff, Hagar Singapore

Wei Chern Hagar Singapore
“Whenever I feel like giving up, I remember the resilience that [she] showed in the face of the pain and suffering she endured, and I am deeply encouraged to continue on in my passion to help survivors of human trafficking.”
Wei, Volunteer, Hagar Singapore

Sreyna Hagar Cambodia
“We walk the whole journey with them, behind them, alongside them. You don’t give up on them. Our clients are not broken anymore. People around the world should care. It is about a life, a life becoming whole.”
Sreyna, Staff, Hagar Cambodia

Esther Hagar Singapore
“Beyond the hardship and injustices that these women have had to endure, I can see that they carry treasures in them and have so much potential to excel. They deserve to live a full life and I want to do whatever I can to help them find it.”
Esther, Staff, Hagar Singapore

Ha Staff of Hagar Vietnam
“Through my colleagues, I learned how humans can empathise with and support each other in the deepest sense. I see it every day in the way my colleagues look at a problem and devote to their work and the women and children we are working with. They are the motivation and inspiration for me.”
Ha, Staff, Hagar Vietnam

Lynette Hagar Singapore
“The pressure and long hours are worth it, because it is a human life at stake. God placed these precious lives under HAGAR’s care, I want to do everything I can to get them back on a steady path to recovery and freedom.”
Lynette, Staff, Hagar Singapore

Working for the last 25 years, we have witnessed incredible courage amongst women who have suffered some of the most horrific forms of abuse and violence. We’ve also had the privilege of working alongside some of the most compassionate people who serve despite the risks that endanger their lives, making personal sacrifices just to help one young lady in distress.

In Afghanistan, women face a multitude of hurdles to gain economic independence if they are not “endorsed” by a male counterpart – a father or husband. Our staff have received death threats and worry about the safety of their families but continue to press on in helping abused women and children who seek refuge and economic security.

Travelling across the provinces of Cambodia, case workers follow up on each client, communicating regularly with them to ensure their well-being and that their needs are being met. The roads aren’t smooth but we don’t give up meeting with them and caring for them until they are restored to wholeness and empowered to live self-sufficiently and independent lives.

Our staff in Vietnam face a unique set of challenges. Categorised as a developed nation, foreign aid has been pulled back but despite the reduced funding, the team continues to persevere in helping women who have been trafficked across the borders into China as brides or for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. It is hard to ascertain the number of victims because not all of them ever return or are rescued. For those who do, they hardly speak of their encounter but it is clear that the trauma has left very deep wounds.

Healing and restoration takes time, but at HAGAR, we don’t give up on them. We walk the whole journey with them, until they are recovered and beyond that, empowered with skills and literacy to start a whole new life. We have seen that it is possible – to rise above their setbacks, and fears and traumas, and to be active changemakers in their own community, building a better world for vulnerable women and children through their lives.

Seen through the lives of survivors, our staff and volunteers, their resolute commitment and remarkable dedication to making change shows us this broken world is not without hope! We are motivated everyday to do whatever we can in our capacities to give, to care and to empower. Would you join us and these strong women in this race of restoring lives? Find out how you can take action here. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

Would you join us

and these strong women

in this race of restoring lives?

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