A servant for formerly exploited children in Cambodia

Karona Kang, 44, started with World Vision as a volunteer. Today, she works with World Vision’s trauma recovery project as a caretaker for girls in Cambodia who have survived horrors like sex slavery, forced labor, physical and emotional abuse, and neglect. She is among 32 staff members who work to help them find healing and wholeness. Here, she tells her story.

By Karona Kang, World Vision Cambodia
Published July 23, 2014 at 10:00am PDT

“Mum! Mum!”

This is how girls have called me. It means that I have more responsibility to take care of them. It is not easy to be a mother since I am a woman who has no biological child. I have to listen to them carefully and help them to solve issues.

Thanks be to God, who teaches me to love others, especially children. I have learned about their issues, and my heart is broken when I listen to their stories. I am in their situation when they are happy, angry, and joyful.

My time with World Vision is an opportunity to know them as survivors from human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and abuse. I am very delighted to be part of their lives and contribute to change the world.

I am happy to see the girls smile, having jobs, and being back with their family with happiness. It is not an accident, but it is God’s plan for my life to have many children.

But it is not easy to make them happy and bring them back to a normal life after they are traumatized by tragic experiences. It takes time and help from other staff to bring them back to health and restore their hope.

More importantly, I need help from God. Thanks to Him, I got healing, and many girls have, too.

Matthew 13:1-9 always encourages me to work harder. I have tried my best to give good soil for the seeds, and I hope they absorb it as much as they can. A fruitful life for the girls is my goal.

Child sexual exploitation in Cambodian is a major concern for me and for all. We must work together to prevent it. Thank you, God, for giving me opportunity to serve these children.

About World Vision’s trauma recovery project in Cambodia

Since 1997, the project has since served nearly 1,000 children and young women, ages from 9 to 17 years, who have been successfully reintegrated back to their families and communities or placed in long-term foster or small group homes.

The project provides trauma recovery and healing services to girls who have survived trafficking and abuse. These girls are given the opportunity to attend non-formal education and vocational training sessions to help them with income-generating activities once they are reintegrated back to their communities.

Read a story about a Cambodian girl who escaped sexual slavery and experienced healing at World Vision’s trauma recovery center.

Two ways you can help

  • Please pray for children around the world whose circumstances leave them vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, neglect, and slavery. Thank God for compassionate caregivers like Karona who serve as a reflection of God’s love and compassion for girls who have faced horrors that no child should have to endure.
  • Make a one-time donation to support World Vision’s global work against human trafficking. Your gift will help provide safe places for trafficked and vulnerable children, as well as counseling and vocational training to help them recover from their traumatic experiences. Additionally, you’ll help reunite trafficked children with their families and support the appropriate authorities to identify, investigate, and prosecute perpetrators of this crime.

Highlights

  • World Vision operates a trauma recovery center in Cambodia to provide a safe place for girls as they recover from abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. The project offers counseling, education, and vocational training for the girls, as well as reintegration with families and communities when possible.
  • Karona Kang, originally a volunteer and a staff member since 2009, offers her thoughts on what it means to care for these vulnerable children.

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