As part of my job here is to understand the local context and the counter-trafficking programs and interventions, I have taken some time to visit organizations (coalitions, shelters, outreach programs, government offices, etc.). While visiting them, I have seen many good practices, some bad practices, and a couple very innovative strategies. For now, I have decided to share a couple of those practices which are of particular creativity or interest.
Chab Dai, a coalition of Christian organizations committed to ending sexual abuse and human trafficking, was given 2 video presentations that are stories about 1) a daughter victim of incest and 2) a boy being abused by a pedophile. The organization had the DVDs translated into Khmer. They have great graphics and are really empowering stories about getting help, getting out, and helping others. The DVDs are meant to spark conversation and have children, who may or may not have been victims, begin to question themselves in a non-offensive way and also think about what they can do and their rights.
It’s a good program; but like so many other, it is impractical in the Cambodian context because once you get out of the main cities, organizations and schools do not have the DVD players or TVs to show this kind of document.
Unlike most projects I have seen that would just look away from this problem and continue on with the program, Chab Dai did something different. They took still frames from the DVD and created a large flip chart book. The books are made so that they can stand on their own with one page facing the audience and one facing the trainer. On the back of each chart is a prompter of questions that the facilitator can ask when telling the story. The questions are phrased about the child in the story so as to be less traumatizing to possible victims. Then, Chab Dai went even further; they refuse to distribute the story books to anyone who has not completed training on how to help a child who decides to confess a current or past personal case of child sexual abuse. In this way, they are guaranteed to have the facilitator be able to respond and willing to respond.
Once a child has gone through learning about the stories, they are more empowered to speak up for themselves and for others. Each child is given a business card with a picture of the two main characters and phone numbers they can call for help. The organization has done some checks back with street children who have gone through the training; many of them, several months later, still carried the cards with them.