Samaritan’s Purse is training children and teachers how to recognise and prevent trafficking in their communities.
Samaritan’s Purse recently taught sexual abuse prevention to children, ages 12 to 16, at six secondary schools in Lao Cai province, located along Vietnam’s northern border. With sex trafficking common in this area, boys and girls were grateful for the resources to learn how to guard against harm.
During this training, a student named Quang* learned that anyone can be a trafficker. “It is important to know how to protect yourself,” he said.
Hoa* knows just how true this is. She knows a relative who met a stranger online who offered him a job. Tricked by the offer, he was taken to Cambodia and locked in a building with more than 40 other people.
“They had to swim across the border river to escape,” Hoa said. “What we learned today is critical. I will tell others about it.”
Minh*, another secondary school student, also took personal interest in the training.
Every weekday, she walks over 6km to school alone because her parents go to work very early in the morning. Without their protection, she has had some harrowing experiences in this journey she takes regularly.
“In my second or third grade, I met some men without clothes on the way home from school in the middle of the day,” Minh said. “That moment, I felt so terrified and tried to run home as fast as possible.”
As a result of this encounter, she especially valued the prevention principles taught.
MINH IS GRATEFUL FOR THE PREVENTION TRAINING SHE RECEIVED FROM SAMARITAN’S PURSE.
“I learned a lot of new and useful information today,” she said. “What I have learned helps me know how to handle situations of child abuse, such as distinguishing between safe touching and unsafe touching. The lesson also has a lot of pictures that make it more accessible and easier to understand.”
The training also really touched Minh because she has a friend who was abused by a relative during fifth grade.
Minh said she felt uncomfortable when gossip began spreading. People whispered and talked about her friend at school, discriminating against her and disrespecting her.
“Even though she is smart, pretty, and responsible, none of our classmates want to play with her. They even told her that she smells weird. Even our teachers won’t allow her to register for the exam for distinguished students,” Minh said, noting just a few of the various types of trauma that abuse victims experience.
“I feel sorry for my friend and all the victims [of child sexual abuse]. My friend now has skipped school a lot and gotten addicted to social media because of social pressure. She wants to drop out of school.”
Boys and girls at six secondary schools are grateful for the training they have received.
The training included interactive activities for the students. Samaritan’s Purse provided eye-catching resources to augment the training.
Minh says the training Samaritan’s Purse provided gave her a new view on child abuse.
“I remember anyone can be a victim or a perpetrator, and now I know that the guilty person is just the abuser,” she said.
Minh is committed to sharing what she’s learned with other children to encourage and protect them as well.
“I hope I can help other children and students in remote areas, especially victims of sexual abuse,” Minh said. “I wish the best for Vietnamese children and children all around the world.”
In the past 12 months, Samaritan’s Purse has provided training to 30 teachers and more than 50 local leaders. This core group, in turn, provided workshops for more than 1,500 students and over 1,300 community members in order to prevent child sexual abuse in Vietnam.
PRAY FOR BOYS AND GIRLS IN VIETNAM AND AROUND THE WORLD TO BE PROTECTED FROM HARM.
Please pray for these children as well as others around the world to be protected from evil. Pray also for Samaritan’s Purse teams as we help in Jesus’ Name and provide life-saving training.
*Name changed for security