A foreign company with branches in every province of Cambodia advertised that they could provide overseas job opportunities with good salaries. One agent approached villagers in remote areas and offered jobs for single women…but in this case the “women” were 14 – 17-year-old daughters of illiterate parents. Parents received a token payment for their daughters who were taken to the capital for “job training” prior to their overseas assignment.
Once in the capital, the girls were locked in a house, and forbidden to go outside, or leave the premises. They were given little food, no clothing or personal needs, and when any of them fell sick, no medical attention.
This was very different from what the girls expected and had been told. They began to have serious misgivings and wanted to go home. They were forbidden to contact their families or relatives.
Luckily, one of the girls managed to escape and tell the tale. Police raided the house, and 20 girls were brought to CCPCR Shelter, where they were taken in and well cared for while a human trafficking investigation got underway.
It’s been said that it takes a desperate situation for God to do a miracle. If that is true, then we have just such an opportunity that we’d like to share with you concerning the future of the CCPCR Rescue Shelter in Phnom Penh Thmey.
At any given time, the CCPCR Rescue Shelter is “home” to 30 young girls, between the ages of 9 and 19, who are survivors of human trafficking, sexual exploitation and/or domestic violence. The girls often come from the rural areas and villages, and although their individual circumstances vary, the things they’ve gone through are beyond belief … certainly things no child should ever have to know about, let alone experience.
Some were forced into prostitution as pre-teens. Others suffered abuse and violence from neighbors and relatives. Still others were actually bought and sold without knowing what was happening to them.
But it’s amazing what a little love can do to turn a situation around. The girls often arrive very withdrawn and silent. But in a few short weeks, with lots of love and encouragement, they begin to talk and laugh and smile, and focus on their futures. It’s beautiful to see! At present most of the girls attend public school, plus receive a variety of vocational training options at the Shelter. Earlier this year one of the girls graduated from High School, and two more girls have just started their senior year.
Over the past 7 years we at Family Care Cambodia have assisted the shelter by finding sponsors to help cover their monthly operational needs: rice, cooking gas, and salaries for English and computer teachers. We also teach art therapy classes and help by channeling whatever extra funds we can come up with toward maintenance and special improvements as often as we can.
Funding that the Shelter had been receiving from other donor organizations has recently failed, and we are in need of securing sponsors for the upcoming year’s budgets in order to keep the Shelter doors open.
In the past month they received 10 more young girls, rescued from a trafficking maneuver. These girls are very precious and thankful to have a safe home….but it’s put a big strain on already overtaxed resources. The dedicated staff continue to hold on (some going without salary when budget restraints occur) because of their love for the girls.
The entire budget to operate the Shelter is $43,800 per year. This can be broken down into a budget of $3,650 per month, or $122 per child per month, based on the average of 30 girls (though the number fluctuates). This covers all the basics needed to keep the Shelter open and sustainable.
Please help us keep the Shelter doors open. We've invested a lot in this particular project over the years and really believe that rather than see it close down, God would have us do even more there.
If you can help with a one-time gift, or a monthly pledge of $122, or any amount, we’d be very grateful! We believe that keeping the Shelter open is a great cause and what better gift could be given than to continue caring for these dear girls who have gone through so much already, as well as keeping the door open for other girls who will be needing help and rescue throughout the year!
Ann and Alex Soldner
Project Managers of Family Care Cambodia