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Empower Women with Possibilities this International Women's Day 2024

After two years of support, Mony is now thriving in community

Mony rebuilds her life

A story of resilience unfolds in Cambodia. After two years of support and care from Hagar, Mony* is rebuilding her life and thriving in her community as a seamstress.

When Mony turned 18, she moved from her small village in Cambodia to the capital city, Phnom Penh, to start work at a factory. Soon after, an old friend from her hometown reached out and reconnected with her.

This friend told Mony about an opportunity to change her life. By moving to China and marrying a Chinese man, she would live comfortably, escape the poverty she knew too well, and help her family. After years of struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table, Mony wanted to help her parents. Mony decided to go and began the long and arduous journey overland from Cambodia through Vietnam to China.

When she arrived in China after an arduous overland journey, she met her new husband and started to settle in.

It did not go well.

After just a few weeks, her husband sold her to a different Chinese man to be his wife. Mony stayed with him for a year, but then that man planned to sell her again.

When Mony learned about her husband’s intentions, she fled.

She was arrested by Chinese authorities as an undocumented migrant and held in custody for three months.

Thankfully, Mony was eventually transferred to the Cambodian embassy in China and repatriated home and referred to Hagar.

At Hagar, Mony was welcomed with open arms. Her house mother cared for her like her own daughter. Her social worker tirelessly worked to procure her identity documents and find her family. And her counselor met with her regularly to help her process her trauma.

For two years, Hagar’s frontline staff walked the whole journey of restoration with Mony. Day in and day out, they supported Mony to rebuild her life. She trained as a seamstress, reconnected with her family, and reintegrated back into community.

Today, Mony designs and sews clothing and can support herself and dream about her future.

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