What if we could stop trafficking before it starts? This is a question we often ask ourselves, our team, and our community. What if a woman never had to experience the darkness of exploitation? What if kids could just be kids without fear of abuse?
These questions, and the answers, beg us to look deeper – why does trafficking happen? Why are women exploited and children abused? As we grapple with these questions, it becomes clear that to end human trafficking, we need to do more than rescue victims and empower survivors. Those things are important, of course. But when we start to get to the root of the issue, it is actually possible to stop trafficking before it starts. With this intervention, children are protected from experiencing the horrors of exploitation. That is the heart of our Protection Programs.
So what does this look like?
On one of their regular home visits, a social worker from the AIM School notices the family of their student is struggling to make ends meet. There are signs that the parents, although desperate to give their child an education, are considering pulling their elementary-aged child from school to help them sell small snacks at the market. Every dollar counts. However, we know that when a child does not have a safe place to learn and grow, they are more vulnerable. Receiving an education through the AIM School gives this family a chance to break the cycle of exploitation that grips many in the community. The social worker prays with the family and encourages them: “We will work through this together, don’t pull your child out of school.” As she returns to the AIM School, the social worker connects with her team and shares about the situation. “The Church can help,” one of her supervisors says, “I will call Pastor.”
Pastor Vichet is a fierce follower of Jesus. He has grown the Church in Svay Pak by emulating Christ’s love to everyone he meets. When he hears about the family from AIM School, he springs to action. He gathers emergency supplies he has for families in need and sends disciples from the church to deliver them and pray over the family. Because of the Church’s response and help, this family has a chance to get on their feet, find steady employment, and keep their child in school. Our social workers and members of the church continue to check in on the family and make sure they are taken care of.*
Watch the Protection Programs at work –
These are just a few examples of how a community can support its members. Through the AIM School, Rahab’s House Church, Kid’s Club, and all of our Protection Programs, people are being cared for every day. It is because of how these programs work together that we are able to meet needs and make a lasting impact. These aren’t just one-and-done visits. Our staff are passionate about creating lasting change in the community by providing assistance, but also opportunities for growth and security. Our staff are members of this community. They care deeply and are the embodiment of Christ’s love to their neighbors, and each of them has a heart to see lives changed and trafficking end for good.
Our programs – the AIM School, Rahab’s House Church, EFC, the Lord’s Gym, LKC – work closely together to prevent sex trafficking, abuse, exploitation, and the worst forms of child labor in the community with different approaches – the Gospel, education, sports, community outreach, humanitarian aid, and more!Thanny Im, Director of Prevention
AIM’s holistic approach to fighting trafficking is multi-layered and multi-faceted. But it’s only with the support of people like you that our staff is able to support the community and stop trafficking before it starts. At AIM, we work to rescue, heal and empower survivors of trafficking everyday. It is a long and costly process that we are committed to. Protection is not only incredible for the children, families, and communities, it’s the most effective way to end human trafficking!
You can be a part of this work to end trafficking, one life at a time, by joining our incredible community of monthly supports from around the world. The Pulse is the heartbeat of AIM that drives our mission, formed by people just like you who believe no child should ever be trafficked and have decided to take action.
*Based on a true story.