I’m Not For Sale
“I’m looking for Cambodian girls who are beautiful with the right personality to marry my wealthy clients. Girls like you.” That’s what the marriage broker said to Leakena when he first came to her village. He promised that her family would be given a $500 US dowry, if she agreed.
A dowry like that would pay for the expensive medications needed for her father’s chronic illness. It broke Leakena’s heart to see her parents suffer and continuously struggle to make ends meet. Maybe this marriage would bring some desperately needed relief to her family.
With each conversation, the marriage broker became more insistent. “Other girls are begging me for this opportunity,” he told her. Leakena didn’t want to miss the chance to support her family, so she agreed to become a bride.
Days later, she was flown into China. All her documents were confiscated, and she was handed over to her new husband. The next six years were a waking nightmare for Leakena.
Each night, her mentally ill husband inflicted unimaginable abuses on her. And during the day, she was a domestic slave, given impossibly long, physically demanding tasks to complete.
Despite these horrors, Leakena refused to give up. Whenever she saw the opportunity to run, she took it. Each time she managed to slip away, the local police found her and forcibly returned her to her husband, but they couldn’t diminish her will to survive.
Incredibly, Leakena succeeded in connecting with Ratanak’s Case Management Support Program through a trafficking hotline. Her final escape attempt brought her all the way to the Cambodian Consulate, where Ratanak and the Consulate were able to work together and bring Leakena home to Cambodia!
Today, Leakena is working in her community, and receives support from Ratanak as she continues her journey towards healing. Your partnership has a powerful impact for so many vulnerable and exploited people like Leakena in Cambodia. Thank you for your generous support of Ratanak.
Why We Support Ratanak
Laura + Eric’s Story
Like many donors, we often give in reaction to an event—something that triggers a heightened awareness of the pain, suffering and injustice that so many endure. Our initial support of Ratanak was very much like that. However, as we have journeyed with the organization for almost 10 years now, our reasons for giving have grown.
While travelling in Cambodia, we had the opportunity to see first hand the impact of Ratanak’s programs. It was powerful and inspiring. But, what was equally inspiring was the fact that Ratanak was concurrently investing deeply in their Khmer staff, in the community, and in building collaborative and strategic relationships with NGO partners and the government. Clearly, they’re in it for the long haul, and their impact is impressive.
We appreciate that Ratanak is inspired and guided by God’s love, utilizes intelligent and creative development practices, and is transparent and financially responsible. We fully appreciate how well they do business. We also continue to be moved by the incredible stories of restored lives, which are at the heart of what Ratanak does.
We are huge Ratanak fans, and very proud to support such a smart and effective organization.
From our Directors
This past year was one of ongoing growth and impact in Cambodia as we worked alongside Cambodians to protect the vulnerable and restore freedom.
From working with the Cambodian government in the development of case management resources, to supporting collaboration with Thailand on protocols to better assist Cambodian trafficking survivors, 2019 was filled with important developments.
As we enter 2020 and a new 3-year strategic cycle, we’re excited to build on the momentum you made possible this past year. We will be launching into new and innovative territory as we seek long-term transformation in the lives of trafficking survivors, as well as in the national systems that are required to protect all Cambodians from trafficking and exploitation. To be honest, it feels risky entering into some of these new areas, but we keep reminding ourselves that Ratanak has a history of being willing to take risks when we sense God is calling us forward.
Your dedicated support was instrumental in assisting so many survivors. We hope you have enjoyed learning more about all that you have made possible in our Annual Report. Thank you for joining us in the fight for freedom.
With gratitude for your partnership,
Graeme Illman, Executive Director
Brian McConaghy, Founding Director
Foot Note: Statistics, revenue and expenses are for fiscal 2019: June 1, 2018 - May 31, 2019
Foot Note: Finances audited by KPMG LLP
Foot Note: Increased opportunities in Cambodia required more funds than fundraising growth could match in 2019. Reserves were applied to bridge the fundraising shortfall.