Hagar: A Mother's Dream

Lua*, like any loving and devoted parent, only wanted the best for her daughter and herself. Even while working tirelessly at her sidewalk stall in Vietnam, Lua knew it wasn’t enough and dreamed of a brighter future.

One day, a customer approached Lua with what seemed like a dream opportunity – a high-paying job in the UK. Filled with hope, Lua eagerly filled out the forms, paid the (substantial) fee, and submitted her identity documents. She put everything into the promise of that brighter future — believing she was paving the way for a better life.

However, upon arriving in the UK, Lua's dreams turned into a nightmare as she realized she had been deceived into the hands of traffickers…

Lua was trafficked into a cannabis growing operation, imprisoned, and subjected to strict supervision and prohibited from going outside. Despite her forced labor, she received no pay and was provided with minimal food — once a month. She was starved or ruthlessly beaten whenever she couldn’t live up to her traffickers’ expectations.

Miraculously, the Salvation Army UK ascertained Lua’s situation and she was referred to Hagar for assistance and repatriation to Vietnam. Through months of trauma counseling, intensive care, legal aid, vocational training and business support, Lua found the strength to overcome the darkest period of her life.

"I am so grateful to have had Hagar by my side during this difficult time," Lua reflects.

Today, Lua stands as a beacon of resilience and hope. She is the proud owner of a thriving cafe, reunited with her daughter and family, and forging a life free from exploitation. She is making her dream of a better life come true!

Lua's journey is a testament to the transformative power of support and empowerment in the face of adversity. Her story serves as a reminder of the importance of organizations like Hagar in restoring dignity and hope to survivors of trafficking. Unseen is proud to be partnered with Hagar USA to help expand their programs and allow them to impact even more vulnerable people like Lua.

*Name changed for protection.

Photo courtesy of: Hagar USA