Hagar exists to restore the lives of women and children who have survived severe abuse, slavery and sexual exploitation.
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Hagar Australia

Dear Hagar Australia friends and supporters,

After four wonderful years, I will be leaving Hagar Australia.
I feel so sentimental and am forseeing a few tears and lingering hugs as we move towards the end date.
I have accepted a role with The Freedom Fund, a private equity fund that has raised $50million USD to invest in the most effective front-line efforts to end slavery. I will move with my family to New York city to take on the role of U.S. Managing Director. This is exciting professional challenge is complementary to Hagar's goals. We are currently talking about appropriate roles the I might play with Hagar Australia and U.S. governance.
I know with the utmost certainty that we, as a tribe of committed supporters, have achieved great things for survivors of severe abuse and the systems and courts they have to interact with.

With the greatest of thanks for this incredible experience.


Kate Kennedy, CEO Hagar Australia

Of course, Hagar will be very sad to lose Kate at this exciting time of our program and network development. But, actually, after all, “it’s not about us!”. In fact, Kate’s appointment to lead The Freedom Fund’s U.S. operations is a tremendous opportunity for advancing the cause of fighting trafficking and slavery worldwide. This is what it’s all about! Happily, Kate’s new role will be complementary with Hagar’s work, being to manage the interface with the U.S. State Department and the United Nations on advocacy and action against trafficking and slavery. A key focus of the Fund is to look at financing recovery services and supply chain transparency, which are core to Hagar’s mission. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that Kate leaves Hagar Australia in excellent standing and with the very best wishes and gratitude from the Hagar Australia Board and staff.

Under her leadership over the past four years, Hagar Australia has been clearly recognised in this cause, and her new appointment is a great credit to the work she and her team have done here. I am assured that Kate will maintain and build the network for this work and stay in close contact with Hagar in the process. So we all look forward, through this opportunity, to seeing the cause of fighting slavery and trafficking, and to restoring affected lives, enriched and expanded.

Our Board has already moved to appoint Susie Condron as an interim Executive Director to maintain our focus and help us to secure a new CEO to head the work in Australia. Welcome, Susie, and thank you for your willingness to step in at this crucial time to ensure continuity with our stakeholders, especially our wonderful supporters, government and the wider network. A copy of the position description for our new CEO quest can be viewed here.

Bill Hurditch,
Chairman, Hagar Australia
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The New York Times recently published a report alleging that U.S. soldiers had been instructed not to intervene in the sexual abuse of boys in Afghanistan, even in cases where the abusers were allies in the Afghan forces.

In an interview with the Refinary, Hagar Afghanistan Country Director, Sara Shinkfield has spoken up about the prevalence of abuse and the lack of support services available to survivors. 

"One thing that has surprised me is the age of these boys is much younger than I anticipated... what we’re seeing is the majority are between seven and 12, and that’s just heartbreaking." Sara said, speaking of Hagar's research into the abuse. 

Hagar is the only organisation offering recovery programs for survivors, through partnerships with International Human Rights Commission, the Child Protection Action Network and local government ministries. Since the program was established at least 47 boys have been helped, many of whom have been successfully and safely reunited with family.

Read the full article to understand more about the issue and how Hagar is providing comprehensive recovery for survivors.
A clever young Hagar supporter recently animated the Hagar journey through Srey Mom's story. With over 700 steady cam shots of hand drown graphics, Holly Penfold weaved what the 'whole journey' at Hagar means into a three-minute video. 

Please click the video above and take three minutes to follow Srey Mom's journey.

Hagar staff also interviewed Holly in Cambodia, where she shared her passion in raising awareness about girls like Srey Mom. What an incredible young woman!

We prioritise walking the journey of restoration and healing with each individual so that they will grow in resilience and independence and ultimately live in and contribute to their community of choice with strength and dignity. Thanks to the support of the Australian community, we are thrilled to report the following highlights from 2013-14. To view the full 2013-14 Annual Report on our website, click here.

  • 1,239 women and children in Cambodia, Afghanistan and Vietnam were supported through protection, recovery, economic empowerment and reintegration
  • 451 survivors were provided safe accommodation
  • 1,606 survivors accessed counselling services
  • 135 women and youth were placed in jobs
  • 269 women and children reintegrated to family and community in Afghanistan and Cambodia
  • 3,760 people were directly reached through speaking engagements in Australia
On the first week of spring, 360 ladies gathered at Carousel, Albert Park for Hagar’s annual Lunch to Liberate. At this sell-out event, guests were treated to Food & Desire’s divine culinary offerings, Moet and PashaMama wines and a fabulous gift from Husk. 

We were honoured to have Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja as our special guest to share her experience after visiting Hagar Cambodia earlier this year.

For the first time we were joined by a Hagar survivor from Cambodia, Ra Long (right). Though Hagar's Client Care Manager, Sreyna Sam (left), Ra bravely shared the story of her harrowing up-bringing and sexual assault, and her emotional recovery journey with Hagar. There was not a dry eye in the room when Ra proudly said she has now found happiness, she is in a loving marriage and is studying pharmacology at university in Phnom Penh. 

The lunch was an overwhelming success with great feedback from all who attended. Cheyka Keebaugh, Co-founder of The Big Group and Real Housewife of Melbourne commented, 'As a first timer to the Hagar's ladies lunch, I was excited to see such a great dynamic group of woman and how passionate everyone was ... The emotional speech made by a survivor was raw and heartfelt and made me have a greater understanding of what can be done to improve the life of so many women. I can't wait to attend next year's lunch and I really hope to see it grow and grow . There is no stopping a group of woman who have a passion and desire to help.'

A special thanks goes out to all our event partners and donors. We are forever grateful for your ongoing support.

See more photos on our Facebook page.
Hagar is currently recruiting for volunteer positions in Australia and Cambodia. Please share the incredible opportunities with your networks and encourage them to apply.

Hagar Australia - Program and Administration Intern
Hagar is looking for a committed Intern to join their Melbourne-based team to assist with the preparation of project reports, grant proposals and communications material. This dynamic position would suit an international development student or graduate (or equivalent tertiary qualification). There may be an opportunity to extend this volunteer role to a three-month paid position from April 2016. See the full position description.

Hagar Cambodia - Grant and Proposal Writer
Hagar is seeking an exceptionally bright and adaptable volunteer to join their Phnom Penh team to assist local staff with the preparation of grant proposals for agencies including the UN, DIFID and World Vision. Previous grant-writing experience desired but not essential. See the full position description.

Hagar International - Events and Communications Coordinator
Hagar is seeking an events volunteer to join their Phnom Penh team to assist with the coordination of international visits, events and meetings in Cambodia. Previous event management experience desired. The full position description will be uploaded to our website soon.

Please contact Tess on 03 9257 2369 for more information

51 clients, who are unable to return to their own family, were supported in foster families or kinship care.

13 clients were reintegrated into their communities

28 children were supported with counselling and education and 96% demonstrated an improvement in their resilience in the first six-months.

Despite an increasingly unstable security situation, all clients are safe and progressing in their recovery.

A highly qualified teacher was hired to provide education to women and children who are unable to leave the shelter due to security risks.

One client gave birth to a healthy baby boy, both mother and son are doing well!

12 legal counselling sessions were provided

Staff celebrated mid-Autumn festival with clients to create happy memories and encourage cultural traditions.

Hagar has launched groundbreaking research that explores the recovery of male survivors of trafficking.
Men and boys comprise a signification portion of trafficked victims in Cambodia and yet there are very limited comprehensive recovery services available. This research is a significant first step in ensuring survivors have the opportunity to recover and live safely in the community.
Read more about the research here.

Our end of year appeal is about to be sent out to all Hagar supporters. This year we are supporting our children's recovery programs across the world. If you think your community, church or school group would like to be involved, contact Mel on 0427 672 426.

Hagar is an active participant in the Attorney General’s Supply Chains Working Group where experts from government, business, industry, civil society, unions and academia are examining ways to address serious forms of labour exploitation in the supply chains of goods and services.
Our CEO presented to key staff from DFAT and Attorney General’s department to inform their whole-of-government international strategy to address human trafficking.
Hagar is proud to collaborate with government to advocate for the protection and recovery of survivors.

Hagar is honoured to have the support of some very generous commercial donors. 

One such supporter is Georgie Dragwidge (pictured), owner of Georgie’s Harvest at the South Melbourne Market. Georgie first came to know of Hagar’s work two years ago as a guest at a Hagar event. ‘As a mother of two, I was appalled to think that children can be treated with such disregard. Hagar helps those that no one else will and to see these children have a second chance at life is critical.' Georgie said.

For Hagar's Lunch to Liberate, Georgie donated a masterclass dinner for 12 with acclaimed chef, Steve Earl from La Bimba Restaurant.

Georgie also introduced Hagar to Michael Pavlou from Azalea Flowers (pictured) at South Melbourne Market. Michael generously donated a bunch of flowers for each week of the year.

Thank you Georgie for your incredible and unwavering support of Hagar!

After witnessing first-hand the life changing work Hagar does in Cambodia whilst on the Hagar study tour, Mandy Henderson of Thread Media felt the need to give back to Hagar.

Mandy came up with the brilliant idea of 'Ready to Share', a clothes-swap with a twist. Prior to the event, guests spring cleaned their wardrobes and donated pre-loved high-end clothing and accessories. On the day, guests had the chance to purchase these stunning pre-loved designer garments via silent auction.  
I loved this day! I've come away with some gorgeous outfits and a greater awareness of the what Hagar does. It's a win win.’ said guest, Maryse Gibson.

Over sixty ladies enjoyed guilt-free shopping whilst raising over $6,000 for Hagar. 

When long-term Hagar supporter, Jo Cooper embarked on creating a cookbook that reflected her Chinese and Australian heritage, she was emphatic that she would use this opportunity to support Hagar and raise awareness for our work. 

We are thankful to Jo and her publishing partner, Vanessa Rowe, for spotlighting Hagar in their cookbook, Our Tamarama Kitchen, and for their ongoing commitment.
Hagar Vietnam has received some incredible feedback from two of their clients. They talk of their healing and dealing with their past. These are measurable successes for Hagar and we wanted to share them with you.

“I have suffered too much in this marriage without knowing I am a victim of domestic violence. Since joining Hagar, I have been counselled and provided with many useful tools that help me understand my problems comprehensively. I am still confused about my life, but thankfully I have Hagar staff to share my feelings and thoughts with. I am not as scared of my future as I used to be anymore...”
 - Lan, mother of three surviving domestic violence

“I have never regretted making the decision to come to Hanoi to participate in Hagar programs. It is not an easy decision at all when I am only 16, but I am going in the right direction. I am enjoying living with other clients at the group home and supporting each other. Every morning when I wake up, I feel excited to go to class. I have learned a lot more and I really appreciate this chance.”
 - Nga, a 16 year old survivor of human trafficking

*Hagar pursues the highest degree of care and protection for its clients; names have been changed and images do not necessarily reflect the individual profiled.
Copyright © 2015 Hagar Australia, All rights reserved.

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