Hagar Helps a Survivor of Trafficking Rebuild Her Future

As a young teenage girl, Hoa* was trapped working in a brothel, forced to serve 15-20 men every day until she was no longer physically able to work anymore. Thrown out, Hoa found herself homeless and living on the streets. It was the actions of a kind stranger that would mean the difference between life and death for Hoa.

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This is Hoa’s story.

When Hoa was younger, her father was in a motorbike accident where he suffered severe brain damage and was no longer able to work or support his wife who was fighting her own battle with cervical cancer.

It became the responsibility of Hoa and her brother to find work and support the family. Leaving school, Hoa and her brother went in search of work. Hoa found work as a waitress and befriended an older woman whom she grew so close to she called ‘sister’.

This trusted friend suggested Hoa go to Singapore to learn nail art and told her she knew someone who could help her get there. Keen to earn more money to support her family, Hoa readily agreed and set off on a trip that would change the course of her life forever.

Hoa never arrived in Singapore.

Instead she was trafficked to Malaysia where she was forced to work in a brothel and made to serve 15-20 men daily. After a time, Hoa became extremely ill, contracting HIV and then tuberculosis and was no longer able to physically work. Unable to serve clients Hoa was kicked out onto the streets. Desperate and alone, Hoa held little hope for the future until the actions of a kind stranger set her on a path of healing and wholeness.

A woman, going about her daily routine, noticed Hoa on the streets one day and gave her money to contact her family. This small gesture of kindness would mean the difference between life and death for Hoa.

After contacting her family, Hoa’s mother desperately sought loans from everyone she knew so she could go to Malaysia and bring Hoa home.

By the time Hoa finally arrived home in Vietnam she was extremely malnourished and close to death. Hoa was immediately admitted to hospital for treatment and it was during this time Hoa and her family were told of the programs available through Hagar.

Hagar offered Trauma Recovery Care to Hoa and also assisted with practical help like emergency healthcare, travel expenses for medical appointments and much needed nutrition for Hoa and her whole family.

We are happy to report that Hoa is slowly becoming healthier and more confident each day, and after only five months of treatment, she is now enrolled in a hairdressing course with the support of Hagar.

Hoa is beginning to heal after a very traumatic experience and has once again found a safe place among family, friends and teachers who love and support her.

Through the programs at Hagar and the kindness of a stranger, Hoa has found hope again.

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“No one asks me about my past. Teachers and friends are so friendly and understanding. I don’t feel like I am less than anyone else, thanks to them. My mother told me to work hard, as the worst has passed.”

Hoa, survivor of sex trafficking.


*Hagar pursues the highest degree of care and protection for its clients; names have been changed and images do not necessarily reflect the individual profiled.


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