Terre des Hommes Netherlands supports a shelter and a drop-in center in Pakse, in the south of Laos close to the border with Thailand. Project partner Village Focus International (VFI) runs this project. Women and girls – often victims of trafficking – looking for help, can walk in for advice. Depending on their needs and problems, they are referred to the shelter where they find a safe haven for a longer period of time. The women and girls can recover in the shelter and receive medical help and education (most girls are illiterate) or the possibility of vocational training like weaving and dressmaking. The large piece of land that belongs to the shelter is used for educational purposes and to grow food for the shelter. The girls learn how to breed fish and grow vegetables and plants. This is very useful because most of the girls come from rural areas. When they return home, they – often with a small loan – are able to earn their own living. VFI is also campaigning to make more people and children aware of the dangers of child trafficking. VFI has a good cooperation with the Laotian authorities. Since 2010, VFI is part of the Anti human Trafficking Committee‛ of the government. Also other ngo’s take part in this committee, but VFI is the only one with a shelter. VFI also cooperates well with the immigration officers at the Lao-Thai border. Lots of the girls who end up staying in the shelter, were referred to this by the officers.

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