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usa@hagarusa.org

Empower Women with Possibilities this International Women's Day 2024

Despite it all, I remain unbroken

Like any loving parent, Lua wanted what was best for her and her daughter. She worked tirelessly at her small sidewalk stall in Vietnam, but it wasn’t enough.

When a customer approached her with a dream opportunity – the chance to have a high-paying job in the UK – Lua filled in the form, paid the (sizeable) fee, and submitted her identity documents.

Lua put everything into the opportunity for the promise of a better future.

But when Lua arrived in the UK, she realized she’d been deceived into the hands of traffickers.

She was trafficked to a cannabis growing operation where she was imprisoned, strictly supervised, and prohibited from going outside. She was forced to work, was not paid, and received food rations once a month. When Lua didn’t meet the traffickers’ expectations, she was brutally beaten or maliciously starved.

Miraculously, Lua’s case was discovered by the Salvation Army UK and she was referred to Hagar for support and repatriation to Vietnam. After months of intensive care, trauma counselling, legal aid, job training and business support, Lua has walked through what she calls the darkest period of her life.

“I am so thankful to have Hagar by my side through this time to help me,” she says. 

Today, Lua is the proud owner of a successful cafe, has reunited with her daughter and family, and is forging a life free of exploitation.

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