HAGAR Singapore has been working to support Tania and Priya in their recovery journey for the last three years. Victims of sex trafficking, both girls have been struck by an unexpected crisis recently and we are calling out for urgent support to help them tide over this difficult period.
Tania is a trafficked survivor and her young child met with a road accident a few days ago. The child has suffered severe leg injuries and the crushing medical bill is taking a toll on Tania. Separated from her drug addicted husband and the sole breadwinner at home, she needs to find money to pay for her daughter’s medical treatment at all costs.
Update as at 22 August: Tania’s daughter’s leg condition has stabilised and she’s recovering well from the medical treatment. We are hopeful for a full recovery of her leg in the coming months. Exams have just been over and she was able to complete all the papers. However, Tania is still not able to find a job yet and she has to undergo an operation for her piles. She’s been feeling rather anxious about her financial situation and the future ahead.
Priya is another Hagar beneficiary plagued by many tragic experiences. Sold as a child bride, Priya suffered at the hands of her abusive husband. Despite her successful escape, she was trafficked at 14 and forced to become a sex worker. Priya has been progressing well in her recovery until last week, when a series of flash floods engulfed her hometown and destroyed all her padi fields whom she and her 6 siblings depend on for a living.
Update as at 22 August: The monsoon rains continue to pour causing rivers in the northern parts of Bangladesh to swell and flooding has caused damage to public infrastructure and the livelihoods of entire villages. The government has responded by setting up temporary shelters and distributing food staples and necessities to help the locals tide over the flood crisis. Priya and her family have received an initial sum of money from HAGAR to help them cope with their daily meals and basic needs. It will take many months before the padi fields can be restored for replanting of new crops. In the meantime, Priya has found short-term work as a laundry worker to help keep the family going.
For many of the recovering survivors that we work with, they have zero or almost no safety net. Almost all of them come from backgrounds of poverty and abuse, which unfortunately contributed to their vulnerability to being exploited. Often, we see their lives battered by a series of tragic events one after another. When unexpected life events (like deaths and accidents in the family) hit them, they are completely devastated and thrown off balance.
Although demands arising from such crises are outside of HAGAR’s provision of care to our clients, we still do lend them a hand so they are not re-engulfed by the financial debts that make them vulnerable. Through the EMERGENCY MEDICAL FUND, we hope to put their minds at ease so they are not fazed by such setbacks but can stay stable in such situations.
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*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the person profiled.