26 April 2011

HOPE: [WE] are ending trafficking!

Since 2005, Chab Dai’s vision has been “Christians working together to end sexual abuse & trafficking”. So the question we asked this week to our directors around the world was:
“Do you actually have HOPE that human trafficking is ending?”
And the overpowering response by each was “YES there is HOPE!”
But how could they say yes so confidently you might be asking yourselves? Because of three things: committed people, coordinated people, and people working together.
“There always is!” says Julia, Chab Dai Canada’s Coordinator…
For the past couple of years working in Canada I have met many committed people working against human trafficking who are willing to work together. There was a group of people in Montreal (TIME) who started a group called “Speak Canada”; they made postcards for people to send to the government, to pressure them to write a national strategy for combating human trafficking. This is an example of regular people who are passionateabout ending human trafficking. There is incredible HOPE!”

Helen, International Director & Founder, says confidently, “Yes there is!”…
I wouldn’t be sitting here if there wasn’t HOPE, I would have left a long, long time ago. Collaboration is key because the issue is overwhelming. When I meet 150 people in our member meetings wanting to collaborate and increase their standard of care I can say: yes, there is hope. In the last five years, I have seen huge progress in terms of greater collaboration, better organizational capacity, and a commitment to raising the standard of care for survivors.”
In Cambodia, Yeng (Country Director) also says, “Yes. I have HOPE”…
“One person or one NGO alone cannot put an end to human trafficking. The key is that we need to work together and have the same vision. The thing with human trafficking is that not everyone wants to end it because of the economic benefits people make from it and because of corruption. It is important that the work we do against human trafficking is supported at different governmental levels in the community.”
Joan, Program Director at Chab Dai USA says, "Absolutely… The fact that you are reading this right now means some progress has already been made and there is much more to come!”

Change doesn't take place in isolation. It happens when people join together to make it happen. Mahatama Gandhi didn't act alone, but his passion for India led to its independence. Nelson Mandela' s vision for racial equality revolutionized South Africa and ended apartheid. These are just two examples of people who maintained their HOPE to the very end! The fight against human trafficking and modern day slavery is no different.
Read more about Chab Dai's Core Values on our website.

04 April 2011

Happy Khmer New Year!

Happy Khmer New Year from the Chab Dai Team!
Khmer New Year, or we can say “Bun Chaul Chnam Thmey” in the Khmer language, is the name of one of the biggest Cambodian holidays. The holiday lasts three days and marks the end of the harvesting season, when farmers can enjoy the fruits of their labor before the rainy season begins. Buddhists in Cambodia always make preparations for the new year by cleaning, mopping and decorating around their houses. They believe the angel “Tevada” will attend their houses and bless them all.

During the three days of celebrations, Cambodian people wake up early every morning to cook traditional foods. Dressed in traditional dress, they take baskets of the prepared foods, fruits & drink to pagodas throughout the country, in order to offer it to their ancestors by praying through monks. At home they also have colorful decorations with lights & flowers, for offering prayers to their ancestors.
Khmer New Year is also a very fun time for Cambodian people of all ages. Street corners are often crowded with friends & families enjoying a break from daily routines, filling their free time with dancing and popular games. Along the road during the daytime, people fill plastic bags with water, and throw them at people who drive or walk along the road. They also sprinkle perfume or baby powder on people for fun.

The third day is the most important and fun. Buddhists cleanse the Buddha statues and their elders with perfumed water at the pagoda. It is also thought to be a kind deed that will bring longevity, good luck, happiness and prosperity in life. By bathing their grandparents and parents, children can obtain from them best wishes and good advice for the future.

Khmer New Year is a great opportunity for students, Chab Dai member staff, and also for children in aftercare shelters to return to their home and visit their family. Please pray for their journey and the sweet time that they can spend celebrating with their families.