Why are you involved in this work?
I chose to do this work because it’s my passion and I like helping others since my childhood. I strongly feel that a career like this is a gift that allows me to journey into the lives of vulnerable people by assisting them in obtaining social justice and enhancing their wellbeing and quality of life.
What keeps you going?
I wanted to provide a positive change for other children and families who needed the help. My parents have taught me how to care for others since I was a young child. They have exposed me to real challenges people face and experience in their daily lives and to assist them in finding solutions to solve issues. Both my parents are my mentors and have helped me shape my values to continue doing the work I do today.
Why is this work important to you?
Every day, I see so many people going through various challenges in life. SUKA Society gave me a platform to understand these challenges from a broader perspective. One particular case that stood out for me was when I met a trafficked survivor from India. This girl was brought to Malaysia by her own brother and sister in law to work with a family in Johor.
After two days of staying with the family in Johor, the survivor realized that the house was operating as a brothel. She saw men walking in and out of the house every day for sex related services. She was eventually forced into prostitution and was tortured mentally and physically. One day, she managed to contact her mum in India to make a report to the police and immigration. The girl was rescued the very next day. Her brother and sister-in-law, including the brothel owners, were arrested. However, the damage was done as she had been raped repeatedly by 10 to 15 men.
When I first met her at the government protection shelter for trafficked girls, she had bruises all over her face and body. She did not want to eat or talk to anyone. I gave her time and space to settle in and told her she can talk to me when she was ready. One day, she approached me and spoke to me. She started joining my therapeutic sessions, and from there we started building mutual trust and a connection with each other.
After six months, her case was settled and she was to be sent back to India. By that time, her physical bruises had healed but inside she was still broken. That was when I wanted to help her further by finding a way to help her integrate back into the society.
I sought help from NGOs and other support groups in India to provide her with continuous support and therapy. I knew that it will take time for her to heal again completely and it would not be an easy task. It was then that I realized that I have to do more in journeying and caring for survivors of human trafficking; by providing them with the necessary support not only in Malaysia but also once they are back in their own country.
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