Tag Archive: 儿童助养计划

The scourge of human trafficking: Is there hope?

By Edmond Lee
Communications
World Vision Malaysia

The world is moving
In 2015, Europe faced an unprecedented refugee crisis. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that 1,011,700 migrants arrived there by sea and almost 34,900 by land.

Many of these refugees hailed from Syria, where the civil war rages on, driving families from their homes and forcing them on a dangerous journey to the safety of Europe’s shores. They face uncertain futures, but to them, that is preferable to almost certain death.

Unfortunately, where there is human suffering and desperation, there are people ready to exploit it.

The tragic costs of human trafficking
Closer to home, news broke in May 2015 that 28 illegal human trafficking camps had been found along the border between Malaysia and Thailand, near which were found 139 mass graves filled with the bodies of migrants. This case, and the subsequent trial of 92 human traffickers in Thailand, threw more light on the horrific spectre of human trafficking.

The scale of the problem is staggering: an estimated 21 million people have been trafficked worldwide – victims of a ‘business’ that has made $32 billion in profits. Sadly, 5.5 million children have been caught by this dark trade, forced to beg, perform hard labour, or even become sex workers.

Although traffickers often prey on refugee children, more commonly they lure underprivileged children and youths into their sinister web by the promise of steady work abroad.  Economic desperation at home often places enormous pressure on migrating young people to succeed and send money to their families; helping their families survive can make even the worst hardships seem worthwhile.

Occasionally, victims of trafficking escape or get rescued, but continuing poverty and suffering is driving more people into the arms of criminals every day. What can stem the tide?

A reason to stay

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Sauphorn with a large harvest of corn.

If economic desperation is a key reason people choose to leave, then economic opportunities can persuade them to stay. Take Sauphorn, a woman in Leuk Daek, Cambodia. Previously, during the dry seasons, she didn’t have the water to grow crops.

“I felt so upset when we didn’t have much food,” she says. “My children would get sick because they didn’t have enough.” In this vulnerable state, Sauphorn could have been swayed by the opportunity to earn an income abroad to care for her children at home.

But after World Vision arrived in her community, she was empowered to keep her children healthy through health and hygiene education, and has even gone on to train others in her community. By learning best practices for farming, her yields have more than quadrupled.

World Vision is transitioning out of her community soon, but she isn’t worried. “World Vision has already strengthened me for 10 years.” With her newfound confidence and expertise, others in her community gain the resilience to stay.

Education empowers
Traffickers often prey on the less-educated, but they would have a hard time in Leuk Daek, Cambodia. Families now have food security and know the value of education, so more and more children are able to go to school, where they can learn more about their rights and how not to be taken advantage of.

One such student is Bunteum, who is now 22.

His parents struggled to feed their family of 10. But through World Vision, they learned life skills and agriculture expertise that enabled them to provide for their family.

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Bunteum now shares his knowledge as a school teacher and advisor to the Youth Club.

By taking part in the World Vision Youth Club, Bunteum learned about children’s rights and how to help his community. He worked alongside World Vision to raise awareness on education, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and of course, human trafficking.

All of this had a lasting impact on Bunteum’s life. “After I joined the club, I understood about my future. I could prepare my plan,” he says. He finished school and has returned to his community as a primary school teacher. He also consults with the Youth Club, educating and empowering a new generation of children.

Having hope keeps them safe
In 2013, the UN adopted a resolution to make 30 July the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. Raising awareness is indeed important, but awareness alone won’t keep vulnerable children and families away from human traffickers; not as long as the economic rewards seem to outweigh the risks.

But what is true in Leuk Daek is true everywhere: by giving communities access to education, economic opportunities and social protection, children and families won’t succumb to the risks of trafficking and exploitation in order to survive. The promise of hope and self-sufficiency will keep them safe at home, where they belong.

By sponsoring a child, you can give families hope and help them resist traffickers. Click here to become a child sponsor today.

Building Relationships with my Sponsored Children

“Sponsoring a child was not an instantaneous decision but definitely a meaningful one.”
Yu Foong Sin, Child Sponsor of 3 children

It was the concept of building a relationship with the sponsored child that interested Foong Sin the most when she was deciding to sponsor a child. After learning more about World Vision’s work, she decided to take the step to sponsor a child in 2011 – Thi Pan, a little girl from Vietnam.

When Foong Sin received Thi Pan’s profile, she had the thought of visiting her someday.

She did.

Foong Sin
Foong Sin joined a child sponsors’ visit to Vietnam in 2012. She finally met Thi Pan face to face, and even her parents. Foong Sin was happy to know that Thi Pan’s parents were committed to her education and well-being. She also saw firsthand the dedication and commitment of the World Vision staff in reaching out to help and transform the local communities for self-sustainability. Due to the remote location of the communities, the staff had to travel the long distances on harsh roads but they didn’t mind. It was a heart-warming and eye-opening experience for her.

Foong Sin first got to know about World Vision and its work through a roadshow event.  Because of that, today she is a dedicated volunteer for World Vision roadshows, with a mission to tell others about the concept of child sponsorship.

“It is pure joy to see a child thrive and all it takes is giving a small portion of what we have. For those contemplating to join the child sponsorship journey, be assured that you will not regret it as you’ll be making a real difference. Knowing that my small giving can give the children better opportunities in life truly encourages me as a child sponsor,” says Foong Sin who now sponsors 3 children – from Vietnam, Myanmar and China.

Having a Heart for Children

“Our first encounter with World Vision was through its child sponsorship programme. It has truly been life-changing and fulfilling to see our sponsored children growing up healthy, happy and with the hope of a better future.” Eric Tham & Diane Vo, Child Sponsors of 3 children

A couple who has the heart for children, Eric and Diane first sponsored a child in 2010. When they started to volunteer their time and service at World Vision, they learned more about the impact of World Vision’s work among children and communities in need. As a result, they decided to sponsor two more children.

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The epitome of their sponsorship journey was their visits to the sponsored children’s home in Myanmar and South Africa. They saw for themselves how World Vision’s development projects were empowering the local community. The dedication and care of the staff working among the sponsored children and the communities truly touched them. It was a wonderful time of bonding as they interacted with the local people. Most of all, it was priceless to be able to play and spend time with their sponsored children! They were finally able to see them face to face, instead of just looking at the photos they had been receiving.

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“Today, as World Vision’s volunteers, we are doing what we can to inspire others to join us on the child sponsorship journey! We believe that we are not only changing the lives of our sponsored children; they have in fact changed ours, too,” said Eric Tham.

Be a part of World Vision’s work in helping children and communities in need. Sponsor a child today at www.worldvision.com.my/sponsor-a-child

From a Sponsor’s Heart (Part II)

By Chew Sue Lee

It’s refreshing to see the community in action, especially when you live in the city where individualism takes first place. We stayed at one of the communities one of the nights, and after dinner, we had fellowship with the community. Obviously that place being the only place where there was electricity, it was where everyone gathered. And we had fun together. How different it is from us being at our homes, where every family is in their individual houses, and every family member is in their own room! 


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Meeting my sponsor child and her mom was really special. She’s a really sweet girl whose mom obviously loves her very much. Margareta is no longer just a name to me but a person with a face, with a history and a story. Perhaps that’s the value of joining World Vision’s child sponsorships programme versus just paying a donation to a community. Because in having a sponsor child, at least for me, i feel not only compassion and a desire to help my kid, but the whole community. Because I know that if the community my child lives in is in dire straits, then my child too can’t move very far in life. We know that most times poverty is not so much an individual problem, but a societal problem caused by failed social structures, systems and flawed leaders. I guess that’s why God calls us to seek justice for all, and to usher in His Kingdom. We all have roles to play and perhaps for some of us it’s doing the work, but for some of us, it would be providing the resources for others to do the bulk of the work.


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Sue Lee and her sponsored child, Margareta

Being in Indonesia and talking to some of them villagers also helped me look at Indonesian workers in Malaysia in a different light. They are people with stories, with perhaps difficult backgrounds, and they have families whom they are trying to give a better living to. I guess it’s true that unless you step into a person’s shoes, you can never pretend to know what their life is like and the kinds of things they are dealing with.

I can learn to be more emphatic towards them.

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I hope more people will consider sponsoring a child through World Vision. We live a blessed life and we too easily take things for granted – no water for 10 minutes…”WHAT?!” The daily amenities we have each day, should be and is cause for great thanksgiving.

Cheers, Sue Lee

From a Sponsor’s Heart (Part I)

By Chew Sue Lee, Child Sponsor

The Singkawang Sponsor visit spanned over 5 days in December. We were in Pontianak/Singkawang visiting the many community projects handled by World Vision or Wahana Visi (as the Indonesians call the organisation).

A bulk of the projects curently focuses on providing clean water to the communities, by helping them to build water tanks. Amazingly the water is clean and fresh as it comes straight from the source up in the mountains. Before these tanks, many of the communities had to transport unclean water from a far away river, consuming much of their time. They had no toilets and no running water, and that in itself is a cause of many health problems such as diarrhea etc. There are many more communities without running water but the communities themselves are now seeking to help their neighbors obtain fresh water supply.

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World Vision also helps to set up kindergartens (also know as PAUDs = Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini) at these little villages. Providing pre-school education for the rural children is important because without it the children really struggle when they enter primary school. Of course World Vision also works hard to encourage children to finish at least their primary school education as many drop out due to the usual reasons of “it’s more profitable to work than study” or because children have to take care of their siblings, or it’s too difficult to get to school (some children walk over an hour to get to school, no matter the weather).
The situation is even bleaker for those wanting to finish secondary school as they have to pay monthly school fees which many of them can’t afford. Other things World Vision helps with, is teaching them how to save and invest in the local credit union (even little children!), as well as simple but important things like providing mosquito nets to families.

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What’s cool with World Vision’s work there is that they work hand in hand with the community. So whatever good that comes out of the village is a credit to the people there as well since without them, nothing can be accomplished. They are the ones to build the water tank, to dig the trenches for the pipeline, to build the school etc. World Vision just provides the resources, the expertise and the support. So it’s cool to see World Vision working together with the people, empowering them to improve their standard of living for a better future. The World Vision field staff there are amazing people who are full of passion for the work and for the people they are serving. Theirs is not an easy job!


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The children Malaysians sponsor benefit from all these World Vision projects, obviously, and our RM65 or 80/month perhaps goes further when collected together to be used for the community, rather than just as a handout for the children. And what amazed me about these communities is that in talking to the adults, you don’t get the sense that they pity themselves. They have a lot of dignity and even though they are less fortunate, they are generous people, and full of love and care for each other.

Cheers, Sue Lee

p/s do look out for Part II of Sue Lee’s story in Singkawang!