Tuân* was just two years old when he was trafficked from Vietnam to China along with his mother. His mom had been promised a good job across the border, only to be sold to a local man who abused them.
“I was terrified,” she says.
When her husband died, Tuân’s mother was forced out of the house and left homeless. Together, she and Tuân scavenged for scraps and trash they could sell on the street. As Tuân got older, he sometimes found odd jobs in construction.
One day, Tuân and his mother were arrested by local police for being illegal migrants and put in a a detention center which felt like a jail. With no identity documents or proof of visas to work in China, they were sent back to Vietnam. But after many years in China, they had lost touch with all their relatives. Tuân did not know any Vietnamese language.
They had no connections, no family support, and no place to call home.
Through Hagar’s partnership with Vietnam’s Women’s Union, both Tuân and his mother were referred to Hagar programs in Vietnam. They received immediate support and care, including a case worker to support them on their healing journey, safe accommodation, daily meals, and essential items.
Tuân’s experience of arrest and incarceration in China left him deeply traumatized. He lived in constant fear of being arrested again. With little command over the Vietnamese language after spending so much time in China, he felt disconnected and lost.
Through dedicated and consistent support, Tuân slowly began to stabilize. His case worker helped him develop fundamental life skills, access language classes and medical care, and receive trauma counselling. His healing journey has not been easy, but every day, he takes strides towards independence and lasting freedom.
With Hagar’s support, Tuân has become conversational in Vietnamese, is gaining confidence, and beginning to dream about what his future might hold.
*Name and image changed to honor survivor privacy