How is a church connected with a SWAT Team? How does a school support an Employment Center? What does the journey of healing for a survivor at AIM really look like?
The answer to all of these questions – like much of AIM – is interconnected. When our founders, Don and Bridget, set out to fight trafficking in Cambodia, they began with a Restoration Home for survivors. However, as they began to understand how complex the issue really was, they realized that a complex and holistic solution was necessary. And so, AIM’s holistic approach was born. Sometimes it’s hard to explain because each pillar of our work relates to all the others.
Here, we’d like to take you through what each of these pillars does and, maybe more importantly, how they work together! Click the images or tabs below to learn about each string in the Web of AIM.
AIM SWAT was created in 2014 as a response to the growing need to rescue women and girls trapped in exploitation. We saw that to really have a lasting impact, we needed to partner with local authorities to investigate instances of trafficking, rescue victims, and assist in arresting traffickers. Along with this, our Legal Team works to find justice for survivors!
Our SWAT Team works in tandem with local law enforcement to rescue girls trafficked for sex. After rescue, we provide free legal support in order to put the trafficker behind bars.
Our legal team advocates for justice on behalf of victims and their families by offering free counsel and representation during any and all court proceedings.
How does this pillar work with others? We’ve already shared how different programs share tips with AIM SWAT. See how they are all connected:
- AIM SWAT
- AIM SWAT receives tips from the Church, AIM School, EFC, and LKC.
- Some survivors pursue education and training to become members of AIM SWAT. Currently, AIM SWAT has survivors on staff as investigators and social workers!
- Minors rescued by AIM SWAT are taken to AIM’s Restoration Home. When space is limited, the girls are then placed in partner aftercare centers.
- Adults rescued by AIM SWAT are invited to stay at Rahab’s House Phnom Penh to receive care. If they choose to return home, AIM social workers are available to follow up and provide support.
- Legal Team
- AIM’s Legal Team works with survivors at all of AIM’s restoration and transitional homes to provide legal services throughout all court proceedings involving their cases.
- AIM’s Legal Team focuses on survivor cases first, but occasionally they assist other programs with legal needs.
Once a survivor is rescued, AIM SWAT social workers stay with them until a plan is created. If the survivor is a minor, we will take her to AIM’s Restoration Home or a partner aftercare shelter, so that she can receive healing and care in a safe and secure environment. Adult survivors are given the option to move into Rahab’s House Phnom Penh – a transitional home where they can safely heal and step into their freedom. No matter where the survivor goes, AIM social workers are available to her whenever she needs them!
Rescued minors move into AIM’s Restoration Home (ARH) in Cambodia where they are loved, valued, and equipped for a new life of freedom. Girls receive vocational training, counseling, housing, education, and more throughout their stay.
Rahab’s House Transitional Home is available for girls who graduate from ARH. This space provides more independence for girls ages 16-18, while still giving them the support they need.
Rahab’s House Phnom Penh is an option for older survivors to receive love and care in a temporary housing program while equipping them reintegrate back into society with a safe and sustainable job.
This pillar is all about facilitating the healing process for survivors and giving them a place where they will be loved unconditionally. Here’s how that relates to our other work:
- AIM’s Restoration Home (ARH):
- All of the residents at ARH have been rescued by AIM SWAT.
- While younger girls are enrolled in school with tutoring on campus, older girls are given the opportunity to pursue various vocational training. Sometimes this happens at ARH. Other times, they can go to AIM’s Employment Center or off-campus to learn new skills!
- Rahab’s House Transitional Home (RHTH):
- Once a girl at ARH is ready to step into more independent living, they can come to Rahab’s House Transitional Home where they will continue to be supported with more independence.
- Young women at RHTH can work/train at the AIM Employment Center (AEC)!
- Rahab’s House Phnom Penh (RHPP):
- Women at RHPP are empowered to pursue their dreams. AIM supports their ongoing education and training. Sometimes this is at AIM’s Employment Center (AEC).
- RHPP is very close to the Church in Svay Pak. Many women attend church here!
As survivors find healing, it is our goal that they would feel empowered and equipped to fully step into their lives of freedom. Whether that is within AIM or outside of AIM, we work with each woman and girl to recognize their gifts, talents, and interests so that they can embrace the life that God has for them!
AIM’s Employment Center (AEC) provides survivors and women vulnerable to trafficking with a safe job that includes a living wage, education, medical care, meals, counseling, and more.
Outside of AEC, survivors are supported with various options for vocational training and continued education. Our goal is to help these women pursue their dreams!
So, as women begin to step into freedom and pursue their dreams, sometimes that means they join us in the fight against trafficking! See how this happens:
- AIM’s Employment Center (AEC)
- Women from RHTH and RHPP can receive vocational training and employment at AEC.
- Vocational Training
- Other vocational training for women and girls can happen outside AIM Programs or at AIM’s Restoration Home!
- Some women decide to pursue careers in education and work at the AIM School
- Some survivors train to work on AIM’s SWAT Team as social workers and investigators!
To truly end trafficking, we need to prevent it from happening in the first place. This is where our Protect pillar comes in. We work to protect the vulnerable and confront demand. Through education, discipleship, humanitarian outreach, and emergency services, our goal is to transform communities so that women and children are valued and protected!
Our school’s mission is to protect at-risk children from being trafficked while providing them with quality education.
AIM Kid’s Club provides at-risk kids with a safe place to learn, play, and thrive in a loving community.
Our goal is for the church to spread the love of Christ throughout the community. This love has led to traffickers shutting down their brothels, the rescues of multiple children thanks to church member intel, and the protection of at-risk kids through humanitarian aid.
The Lord’s Gym in Svay Pak is focused on transforming the hearts of former traffickers, drug dealers, and susceptible youth. Through training, mentorship, and spiritual discipleship, these men become protectors in their community.
Emergency Family Care shows Christ’s love to children and families who are facing extreme poverty, abandonment or abuse, and are most at risk of sex trafficking because of their need and vulnerability. Through EFC, AIM provides safe housing and care for children in cases of abandonment or neglect.
Our Protect pillar is probably the most integrated pillar. Not only do the programs within Protect work together, but they also work with other pillars to end trafficking once and for all. Here’s what we mean:
- Rahab’s House Church –
- The Church works with the AIM School to identify vulnerable families and provide support
- The Church hosts Kid’s Club in Svay Pak for kids in the community!
- The Church informs AIM SWAT of any potential trafficking situations they learn about from community members.
- The Church is the center of discipleship for all programs! The Lord’s Gym, for example, ministers to young men in the community. They are pointed to the church for fellowship and more!
- The AIM School
- The AIM School works with the Church to help identify vulnerable families and provide support.
- Social workers at the AIM School also help to identify vulnerable children who need emergency care at EFC.
- The AIM School can provide intel to AIM SWAT if there is a concern of trafficking.
- The AIM School has space for children of staff members all throughout AIM – including survivors and those vulnerable to trafficking who work at AIM’s Employment Center.
- Some survivors pursue a degree in education and end up working at the AIM School!
- Emergency Family Care (EFC)
- EFC provides daycare for staff of all programs in Svay Pak (except the AIM School, which has its own daycare).
- EFC can share tips with AIM SWAT if they suspect trafficking.
- The Lord’s Gym
- Young men are discipled through the Church
- Lotus Kid’s Club (LKC)
- Staff members at LKC can provide tips to AIM SWAT on potential situations of trafficking.
We know these graphs and descriptions can feel complicated. However, the point here is this – a complex issue requires a comprehensive solution. At AIM, our goal is to continue to meet the needs of the communities we serve so that exploitation and trafficking can be defeated!
What part of this mission speaks to your heart the most? Feel free to let us know below!