January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, so AIM has been focusing on empowering you to learn more about the problem and how you can be part of the solution. By raising awareness, we are all better-equipped to fight trafficking together. One shining example of someone who raises awareness of trafficking is our very own Kimloi.
Kimloi has become a fixture at AIM’s Kids’ Club, one of our most important Prevention-focused programs. Her loving smile and bright personality light up the room, and the children just adore her. She’s one of the many faithful team members in Cambodia who carry out the day-to-day work of our programs, and she has a personal passion for protecting the kids from trafficking through education and awareness.
When Kimloi was a young girl, she knew that Phnom Penh could be a dangerous place for kids. Although her family had financial struggles, her mother wanted her to have a good education, which Kimloi is thankful for. She came into contact with AIM through Kids’ Club when she was 11 or 12 years old. She shares, “I heard about God [at Kids’ Club], I heard about Christ and his mission, but I did not receive him yet.” Pastor Ratanak and his wife Dary invited her to church and other youth activities, and eventually she decided to commit her life to Jesus. After that, she began to volunteer at Kids’ Club regularly. That’s when a particular interaction solidified her commitment to raising awareness and educating the children at Kids’ Club.
“One time I saw a suspicious man and approached him and asked ‘Why are you here? What do you want?’ and he told me he wanted to buy sex with me.” She was shocked and disgusted… this man was in the same area as AIM’s Kids’ Club and all the children she loved and served daily! “Because I know about these situations, I can protect myself, but I don’t want any kids being found by a man like that,” she shares. “This is why I want to teach all the kids and let them know what they should do when they see that a guy like that is coming to them… I want to protect my community.”
Kimloi and the AIM Staff at Kids’ Club teach life lessons to the children to inform them about the dangers around them, while encouraging them to do well in their education and develop healthy relationships. These lessons empower the kids to recognize danger, report any warning signs of trafficking to our staff, and flee from potential predators. “I like to help at Kids’ Club because I strongly feel like in the future they will be like me,” Kimloi shares. “Before, this place was very bad, but it’s being transformed now.”
By raising awareness about trafficking with our youngest neighbors, Kimloi is having a tremendous impact in our community in Cambodia. Children are less vulnerable, and they know when and where to run for help when it matters most, which means fewer kids are being trafficked! We are so thankful for her work with the children at Kids’ Club, and we hope her story inspires you to learn more and raise awareness on your own.
Check out our Human Trafficking Awareness Month blog post for a list of helpful resources and ways that you can help stop human trafficking, too.