The Young Living Foundation and Hope for Justice collaborate beautifully to support these girls, and I’m eternally grateful to have been apart of this ❤️ Each center has “House Moms”, who provide outstanding trauma informed care. It was fascinating seeing how much the girls respected and adored these ‘Moms’!
“Lighthouse” is a short-term (3 months) crisis intervention center for girls ages 0-18. The girls’ situations are investigated (how they became trafficked, if it’s safe to return home, etc.). It’s common for families to sell their daughters to work, or to be tricked by a job opportunity. The goal is to prevent institutionalization. The girls receive medical treatment and counseling, and are extensively prepared for facing their trafficker in court. Counseling includes a dollhouse-like structure to familiarize the girls for what to expect. Many girls experience challenging behaviors due to their trauma, so they receive ongoing tools to manage behaviors in a healthy way.
“Dream Home” is a residential center (up to 2 years), for girls ages 13-18 (25 girls currently live here). With the help of social workers, House Moms, and their peers, the girls focus on healing, their education, stabilization, and becoming empowered to end the cycle of exploitation. The girls work on recognizing their worth, beauty, and power. The government collaborates to ensure stable reintegration and that a home is safe before a girl can return. Girls without kin are taught how to provide for themselves by building a foundation for their future, including attending school.
“Shine School” is a 1-2 year program where girls can catch-up on school. HFJ is the only NGO recognized by the Ministry of Education, meaning when they graduate, their diploma is formally recognized without it being attributed to their past trauma. Most jobs in Cambodia require a grade-9 certification (equivalent to our grade 12). They rediscover their love for learning and set goals for their future! They gain confidence in their past story propelling them forward to achieve big things, believing they are worthy of living a free life. They restore their identity, no longer a victim but a student!