Unfortunately, this evil (although not in the same exact form) still exists in Cambodia. A similarity between now and then is the need for power and currently, it takes the very ugly form of trafficking. Cambodia had to pretty much restart after the fall of the Khmer Rouge and most were left with nothing. Sadly, many turned to and still turn to trafficking for income where even parents and/or grandparents sell their children.
After Tuol Sleng, this is where our day turned to seeing where there is hope! We went to Daughters of Cambodia (http://daughtersofcambodia.org/). This is a ministry where girls and boys (Sons of Cambodia) who were formerly trafficked, are provided opportunities to learn life skills and jobs. The Visitors’ Centre has a cafe where we had lunch, boutique selling products made by former traffickers, and hands and feet spa for women. It’s a great opportunity for these girls and boys to have jobs in a safe environment and where visitors’ can come not only to learn but also support in various ways.
Next stop was AIM (Agape Int’l Missions http://agapewebsite.org/). AIM is in Svay Pak where much of the trafficking is in Cambodia. AIM has boldly set up in the heart of Svay Pak and most of their buildings were former brothels. We got a tour of Rahab’s House (former brothel now converted to living quarters for rescued children & community center), Rahab’s House II, Lord’s Gym (gym open to the community), Employment Center (girls have jobs creating shirts, bracelets, etc). Inside Rahab’s House, they kept 1 of the brothel rooms. Again, you can’t help but feeling sick seeing the room, hearing the stories, seeing the faces of children in the community who you wonder if they are a victim; but when you see what is going on with AIM, hear the stories of rescue, the amount of faith volunteers and staff have to move into the community, you can see God’s hands working there!