COVID-19

Impact & Response

Dear Hagar family,

What is currently unfolding across the globe is an unprecedented moment in our history, bringing with it uncertainty and concerns for the future. However, Hagar remains as committed as ever in its mission of transforming the lives of women and children overseas who have survived human trafficking, slavery and abuse. We are striving to ensure that those we work with have a future, beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, where they thrive.

Stay tuned to this page as we will be providing regular updates on how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting the countries and communities we work in, our Hagar survivors and the extra steps we are taking to ensure they are safe and healthy.

Message from our Global CEO

For over 26 years now, Hagar International has been supporting some of the most vulnerable women and children in the world – the survivors of human trafficking, modern slavery and abuse. Over this time, we have had the privilege of successfully transforming tens of thousands of lives and also to be a catalyst in stopping these things from occurring for good. In a time of crisis, like the one the world faces now with COVID-19, our work with some of the world’s most vulnerable people is even more important than ever.

COVID-19 is affecting people across the globe, including our highly vulnerable clients in the countries where Hagar serves. We have plans in place in each of our countries both to protect our staff and also to continue to serve our clients as best we can. These plans include undertaking client counselling remotely, holding training on-line, using technology to complete other activities in safe ways and, where possible, having staff work remotely, while we pass through this challenging period. We will regularly update and revise these plans as the situation unfolds.

We will continue through this time of uncertainty to do all we can to help serve our clients whilst maintaining the safety of our staff. As is Hagar’s motto “we will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes to restore a broken life” and we won’t let COVID-19 stop this important calling.

We thank you for your continued amazing support and partnership at this challenging time. It enables us to continue to free and heal the 40.3 million people in the world currently affected by human trafficking, modern slavery and abuse.

Regards,

Dr. Andrew Catford
Global CEO, Hagar International

Cambodia Covid-19 Update

Cases in Cambodia reached 30,094 by the end of May 2021. Lockdown has been extended in most parts of Phnom Penh and Takmao and there are travel restrictions too. Businesses are closed and gatherings of more than 10 people are forbidden.

The vaccination campaign has continued but is slow to deliver in affected provinces due to the limited number of vaccines.

Hagar Cambodia continues to provide social assistance to our clients and communities who are most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, face to face community activities have had to be conducted online. Online studying has been challenging for clients in communities.

157 clients and their families who have been most affected by COVID-19 received food support in the past month.

 

Survivor in Focus

Kakada is 22 years old, living in Phnom Penh. He returned to live with his mother and stepfather about a year ago. He currently studies International Business Management at university.

Kakada also loves to run own business rather than work for others. He was selling some second hand products (bells and bags) online when he had free time from his study. His business went really well and he could make money to support his living costs and study. However, things became extremely challenging and he has to stop his business in April due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Unfortunately, the supplier that he sourced his second hand items from had to shut down.

Since his school and business have been closed, Kakada stays at home with his mother. His mother is able to give him some daily food and he also gets some support from his friends from church. He is helping his mother with house chores and doing self study at home. Kakada said:

“It is a difficult time for me as I am an adult. I really don’t want to depend on others as they are also in a difficult time as the result of the coronavirus outbreak. I feel concerned [that] when the school re-opens and my business is still not working that I need to pay for stationaries, research and food.”

“It is a difficult time for me as I am an adult. I really don’t want to depend on others as they are also in a difficult time as the result of the coronavirus outbreak. I feel concerned [that] when the school re-opens and my business is still not working that I need to pay for stationaries, research and food.”

The case manager has assessed his needs and Hagar is going to provide emergency support including a food package and hygiene materials to Kakada for 3 months from May to July. The case manager will reassess his needs after this period. Kakada expressed: “I am happy that Hagar is going to support me during this hard time. Thank you very much for thinking of me and helping me!”

Afghanistan Covid-19 Update

Afghanistan has now entered the second wave of COVID-19 with a significant increase in the number of cases during May 2021. The country is not in lockdown at present, but all schools and universities are temporarily closed.

19 of the 55 Hagar Afghanistan staff have received one or both doses of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. Presently the vaccines that have been delivered to Afghanistan in the last few months by the WHO-COVAX programs have run out.

The Hagar Afghanistan staff are, however, working hard to continue to support clients during this difficult time. 

However, beyond COVID-19, there has been significantly more unrest in Afghanistan. On 8th May 2021 there were three explosions outside a girls school in Kabul, devastating the lives of many.

Survivor in Focus

Yasamin, is a survivor of domestic and gender base violence and manages a beauty salon business.

When we recently reached out to her, we learnt that she unfortunately had no work due to the salon being closed due to COVID-19. Despite not earning any income, the salon owner is still demanding that she pays rent. He biggest fear is losing the salon as the owner will evict her if she doesn’t pay rent. Yasamin said:

“It is a really tough time for me. I hope this situation gets better.”

We are keeping in regular contact with Yasamin to offer support during this challenging period.

Vietnam Covid-19 Update

During June, the number of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam have continued to rise. 37 of the 63 provinces and cities of the country have cases of COVID-19.

Social distancing has been applied, with schools and universities closed since May. In this time, Hagar staff have been providing remote support, collaborating with government officials and the Women’s Union in key locations in order to support those in need.

The lives of survivors have become more difficult because of COVID-19. Livelihoods have been affected with job losses and income reduction. Case managers regularly communicate with them online to make sure they are safe, in good health and have enough food.

Survivor in Focus

Mai is one of the first clients that Hagar received when we first started working in Vietnam. Mai has been suffering from the trauma caused by domestic violence. Mai, with Hagar’s partnership, gradually escaped the ghost of her painful past to become more independent and self-sufficient in her life.

Thanks to Hagar, Mai had the opportunity to receive vocational training and is currently working at a restaurant. Although the work is hard and her income is low, Mai works very hard to earn enough money to raise her high-school son and manage their living costs. With every day that has passed, she has to live in panic and worry about whether she and her son would have food to eat tomorrow.

Although the case has been closed for nearly two years, our mission of “the whole journey” has included, the case manager following up on Mai’s situation during the pandemic.

“Knowing the difficulty she was facing, Hagar quickly subsidized nutrition to ensure that she was in good physical and mental health. Particularly, understanding the stress and fears of being unemployed, the case manager provides Mai with information about government support packages and guides her on how to prepare and submit the administrative documents to receive this support.” 

Thanks to the care and guidance of Hagar, Mai was relieved and less tense about the economic burden when she finished the registration for the government support package.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you’re supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you’re supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you’re supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you’re supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

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