Our hope for every survivor we serve is that they will live their lives in sustainable freedom. We don’t want them to be free only while they reside in one of our aftercare campuses. Our desire is that each girl will have the opportunity to live in a safe community and enjoy freedom throughout their lives. This big vision is the reason we are passionate about quality holistic programming, which is intentional and strategic. High security, good nutrition, education, vocational training, trauma counseling, medical help, social work, and legal advocacy are all important pieces of our overall commitment to long term freedom. If we fail to empower the survivors in our care with the opportunities they will need to make good choices for their lives, their chances of failure escalate. That’s why, at Rapha International, we mean business.
As 2021 begins, four survivors are preparing to launch into their new lives. Not long ago, they were girls being served in one of our SE Asian aftercare campuses, but today, they are young women who are excited about independence and opportunity.
Suvanna and Nila have recently completed their last semester of university, where they have both been studying accounting! Rapha International is currently providing internship opportunities for both young women in the bookkeeping department of the same aftercare campus where they began their healing process. This is the final step in completing their degrees in accounting, and upon their graduation from university, our staff will help Suvanna and Nila research job opportunities with fair pay and healthy work environments and will mentor them through the interview process. We are very hopeful that one of these graduates might decide to take a position in our own bookkeeping department!
Many of the girls served by Rapha International are not able to take part in a full high school or university experience. Trafficking and sexual exploitation often rob children of the opportunity for education altogether or cause them to fall so far behind their peers in an age appropriate classroom that the shame and humiliation of being years older than their classmates prevents them from progressing or finishing. In these cases, it is very important for the girls we serve to be provided with basic education. They will be less likely to be deceived or manipulated in business or employment if they possess basic skills of reading, writing, and math. When it comes to sustainable freedom, we mean business.
Vinita and Keo are currently piloting a drink cart business, selling coffee, tea and specialty drinks. Street food and drink carts are common throughout SE Asia with the right recipes, basic business/people skills and “location location location” being keys to success! The drink cart pilot project has been a success, and is already turning a profit! Vinita and Keo are excited about soon branching out into separate locations and growing their small businesses. This is exciting because this successful microbusiness means that these young women are much less likely to be coerced or manipulated into a life of trafficking, abuse, or forced prostitution. Fair paying jobs and microbusinesses not only empower the young women we serve to remain safe and free, but often provide the same opportunities for siblings and entire families!
Your special year-end gift is needed today because there are many girls like Suvanna, Nila, Vinita and Keo who deserve the opportunity to live in sustainable freedom. Your support today means that we are able to walk alongside underage survivors- from the moment they first walk through the gates of Rapha wearing the weight of deep trauma, to the day that they proudly serve us their special lime iced tea from their drink cart! When you support Rapha International, you are providing an opportunity for a life of sustainable freedom. Join us today in this great mission of healing, hope and freedom. Help us defy and overcome all the challenges we’ve all faced in 2020 by considering a sacrificial investment in the amazing futures of the girls that we together are privileged to serve.
At Rapha, we mean business, and we think you do too.
*Names have been changed for privacy and protection.