Welcome home Flower!

Flower* is not her real name. It is her shining smiles in photos that remind people of beautiful flowers. However, what she had experienced was nothing but bitterness.

LEAVING HOME

In 2004, a relative came to visit Flower’s family. He had been doing business abroad and had no children. He told Flower’s parents that he would like to adopt their 9-year-old daughter and take her abroad. With Flower’s consent, they allowed this distant relative to take her away. 
After, she lived in Vietnam and later Cambodia, helping her uncle with household duties every day.

SOLD BY HER UNCLE

After living in Cambodia for two years, they moved to Thailand.
Things changed when her uncle sold Flower to a factory owner who made fishing devices.
In April 2006, Thai police rescued Flower and sent her to a relief station in southern Thailand.
In October 2013, Flower finally set foot on the journey back home. It had been 10 years since she left her homeland.

Things changed when her uncle sold Flower to a factory owner who made fishing devices.

SUPPORT FROM WORLD VISION
Through the End Trafficking in Person (ETIP) project, World Vision China worked closely with World Vision Thailand to welcome Flower home.

This project, by World Vision China’s Advocacy Department, is a 5-year extension of a previous project with the same goal of ending human-trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

With three main working areas, namely policy, prevention, and protection measures, World Vision China collaborates with partners to help disadvantaged groups and victims of human-trafficking in the region. Protection measures help victims to reintegrate into their home society and start a new life.

Arranged by World Vision’s liason, “Baby Back Home,” a nationwide organisation dedicated to reuniting abducted children and their families, two volunteers picked-up Flower with a bunch of fresh flowers as a gift at the airport.

Taking photos with the volunteers, Flower smiled heartily for this long-waited reunion with family, as well as for a new start of her life!

AFTER RETURNING HOME

She returned as a 20-year-old adult woman. In the past 10 years, her hometown didn’t change much, neither did her family members. But long-time separation made everything so strange to her. She could not speak Chinese but only Thai. She was back to her hometown, but that didn’t mean everything would be fine with her life from then on. She still needed help with her reintegration.

Searching for resources available, World Vision staff found Qi Chuang Social Services Network, which was willing to provide support with Flower’s case.

During the first home visit, World Vision staff identified the language barrier as Flower’s biggest practical problem. After learning this, Qichuang reached out to students from Guangdong University of Foreign Affairs.

ENLISTING THE HELP OF LANGUAGE ANGELS

Three students who just returned from a study tour in Thailand volunteered to form a “Thai language angels” group to help Flower learn Chinese. Tutorials were given either face-to-face or via online chatroom.

She was back to her hometown, but that didn’t mean everything would be fine with her life from then on. She still needed help with her reintegration.

Flower has since met her “angels” twice and online learning group has also been set up. In follow-up visits, Qichang staff found that her language ability has improved greatly.

However, staff at World Vision China and Qichuang, as well as the “Thai language angels” all know that Flower’s reintegration journey has just started.

They hope that more individuals and organizations with diverse resources will join hands in the future, so that more people like Flower will be able to go back home.

*Name changed to protect identity