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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Transitions Global

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Homeless & Housing, Human Services, Temporary Housing, Victims Services, Youth Development

Mission: Transitions provides comprehensive restorative aftercare for girls rescued from sex trafficking. Each girl at Transitions receives personalized care to heal her past and provide opportunities for her future. A girl who finds her home at Transitions finds a new beginning. She finds hope, and with holistic trauma therapy, life skills and sustainable career training, she finds a dream for her future. We help girls transition, through the power of a dream, from darkness to light, from victim to survivor to world changer.

Results: Our Model Transitions has a very unique approach to restoring the lives of girls rescued from sex trafficking. We have created a model of care, which is highly individualized, recognizing the different needs of each girl coming into our care. The result is that girls receive the most holistic care, focused on their specific needs. Each of our programs are designed to work together to ensure girls receive a continuum of care from intake to reintegration; ensuring girls the highest opportunity for success. Transitions has an unprecedented success rate, with girls reintegrated into Cambodian society and not being re-trafficked, re-exploited, or voluntarily engaging in commercial sex. It’s what we would do for our own daughters. We help girls transition, through the power of a dream, from darkness to light, from victim to survivor to world changer. Our Core values Transitions was founded on these four core values that guide all of the work we do in restoring girls’ lives. 1. Rescue is a process, not a single event. Delivery from a life of bondage begins with the heroic and dramatic act of rescue in which a girl is removed from harm’s way. The rescue, however, is but the first step on a journey of healing, restoration and empowerment as a girl regains control of her life and once again learns to hope. 2. Freedom without a future is another form of slavery. Without viable and sustainable career and life skills, a girl rescued from trafficking has few opportunities and little direction. But with these needs addressed she has a restored sense of dignity and a foundation on which to believe in herself and to pursue her dreams. 3. A girl shouldn’t continue to carry the wounds of her past. The goal of aftercare is to restore lives, not patch them up, to help each girl realize a life of substance and meaning. A holistic approach, with a comprehensive focus on individuals, is the only effective response to a girl rescued from trafficking. Every girl is empowered to shed the wounds of her exploitation to live a whole, healthy life, freed from the burden of her exploitation. 4. Giving a girl choices and a dream restores her future. By first treating her trauma, then creating a nourishing environment that encourages and respects a girl’s desires and choices, Transitions builds a bridge to opportunities, programs and systems that give her control over her life and the tools to realize her dreams. Each girl plays a prominent role in shaping and taking responsibility for her future.

Programs: Transitions Dream Home The Dream Home provides girls ages 13-18, rescued from trafficking a safe, loving full-time place to live — a home — and the comprehensive aftercare restoration necessary to realize a hopeful new future, one built on her dreams. Each girl at the Dream Home receives personalized care to heal from her past and provide opportunities for her future. A girl who finds her home here finds a new beginning. She finds hope, with holistic trauma therapy, medical care, life skills training and sustainable career skills, she finds a dream for her future. Our mission is to help girls transition, through the power of a dream, from darkness to light and from victim to survivor, to world changer. Highlights of the Dream Home model: ♥ Safe and secure family environment ♥ Holistic counseling/Trauma therapy ♥ Social work driven case management ♥ Complete medical care ♥ Restorative dental care ♥ Life skills education ♥ Educational and literacy ♥ Computer training ♥ Mentoring ♥ Career training/Job placement ♥ Reintegration services/ Follow-up The success of this program is based on intensive and innovative care and casework to give girls the attention and services they need to overcome the trauma, abuse and exploitation they’ve experienced, and to emerge free and empowered to recapture hope and dreams for their future. Transitions Shine Career School At Transitions we believe every girl in our program deserves the highest level of dignity and opportunity we can provide. We also believe every girl is capable of achieving her dreams with the right support and encouragement. We don’t allow girls to settle for what society has told them they are capable of, like sewing and handy-crafts; we know they can do so much more. Every girl in our program studies English and computer technology and then goes on to find her dream. Shine Career School provides a firsthand opportunity to train girls in any career field they choose, and will serve to overcome the gap in training choices, by providing a high quality learning environment. Shine will facilitate teaching opportunities for professionals around the world, in a variety of fields, to come to Cambodia and teach, while empowering survivors with the skills and knowledge they need to take control of their lives. Shine will mirror our current program model and be fully social work focused and trauma-informed, toward healthy reintegration into Cambodian society. Our goal is to give girls the best opportunity to achieve their dreams and have a successful future, while assisting graduates in job placement or business start-up, ensuring the highest chance of success. Transitions STAR House As the next step in the journey of restoration, the STAR House takes a girl from the Dream Home to a supportive transitional home where, alongside other girls she learns to live independently, to apply newly developed life skills and to exercise her rediscovered ability to dream. Highlights of the STAR House program: ♥ Continued social work appointments ♥ Ongoing counseling/group therapy ♥ Independent life skills classes ♥ Budgeting and saving of money ♥ Caring for a home and sharing chores ♥ Building relationships in the community ♥ Medical and dental care Moto Matching Program: Each girl who successfully completes the STAR House program and works toward a savings goal, will receive a moto match of up to $400. She can then purchase her first moto, which empowers her to begin life on her own with reliable transportation to work and a sense of accomplishment. Transitions Bridge Project In our efforts to bring healing and restoration to survivors of sex trafficking we have encountered a gap in services available to survivors that must be filled. The Bridge Project will stand in that gap. Recognizing the family related stress experienced by our clients, and knowing that an integral part of full restoration for survivors involves working through strains in family relationships, the Bridge Project serves to rebuild, strengthen, and restore the relationship of the survivor and her family. The Bridge Project is an extension of current family support and reintegration services that Transitions has offered since we started work in Cambodia. It offers a new level of fully comprehensive family based services, that will serve to not only provide support to survivors, but also to bring strength and empowerment to the Cambodian family. The Bridge Project is designed with the belief that if families and communities are given enough support to make choices that enable them to meet their own basic needs in a manner that is sustainable and empowering, extreme levels of desperation can be avoided and people will not be driven to infringe on the rights of others to ensure their own ability to survive. This year we will complete a thorough and empowerment-based research and needs assessment. This will serve to inform the design of the program to ensure that it will work to serve survivors and their families in a manner that is sustainable and empowering. The research will be designed and conducted by our Bridge Team, Claire Renzetti, PhD, Summer Twyman, Clinical Supervisor, Brianna Hodge, Fulbright Scholar, and a team of Cambodian social workers. Priorities of the Bridge Project: 1) To serve survivors in the Transitions Dream Home by helping to alleviate the stress they feel as a result of poor conditions in their family. And for some, to increase the chances of a successful reintegration back home. 2) To serve the families of those survivors by providing services and support, especially in situations where there are other children in the home at risk of being sold. Services will include family therapy, follow-up support, crisis intervention, and information and referral services. 3) To serve the Cambodian community by working to bring about sustainability, both in an effort to further stabilize trafficking survivors and their families, but also as a prevention effort. Community support will be strongly based on an empowerment model that seeks to combat dependability on NGO’s.

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

34 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I heard about Transitions Global from a friend who recently took a position with the organization as the Country Director. I am so impressed with all I have been hearing- it sounds as if Transitions Global is truly touching and changing the lives of so many wonderful women. It is an inspiration just to know someone who is so closely connected to the work they are doing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since my mom's cousin, Athena, and her husband, James, founded Transitions in 2007, I've had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to help out in some way. When I decided to take a gap year between high school and college to travel, I knew Transitions would be a perfect place to spend some time. This past fall, my best friend and I travelled to Cambodia to volunteer for TG for three months, and it was an AMAZING experience. I fell in love with Southeast Asia, Phnom Penh, the organization, and all the people I met. I had so much fun teaching knitting, baking, and tutoring English in my time there. I think about and miss the girls, the other volunteers, and people I met working for TG every day. I hope that the girls learned just as much from me as I learned from them! Someday I hope I will be able to return to Phnom Penh and work with Transitions again!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been doing work with non-profits for the past 20 years now - from stuffing bags at a food bank to serving as the board chair during a huge capital campaign. In 2009, I started down the path of stopping sexual exploitation. I met with many non-profits and NGOs and have to say that Transitions Global was one of the best run organizations I have experienced. I spent time with the founders, toured one of their locations, met with staff and clients, and was very impressed. They have created a very effective organization that I plan to use as a model for our newly formed Foundation. I am looking forward to identifying more opportunities to partner with them once we are established in Cambodia.

Thank you to the founders, the board, and their team of amazing talent - your program works and is an inspiration to us all.

MegWest621

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was fortunate enough to travel to Cambodia in January/February of 2013, to visit Transitions Global and the girls they serve. As a mental health therapist in the US, I have worked with various organizations/foster care facilities/ transitional schools- and was beyond impressed with all of the work Transitions does and in the way the organization itself is run. In my opinion, the work they do in rehabilitating the girls in terms of therapy, education, socialization, recognizing their dreams and setting goals, and in simply teaching them how to just be teen girls again meets if not exceeds the quality of organizations in the US. The love and dedication poured into this organization is obvious when visiting, and I am so thankful to have learned and experienced so much of what they do while there.

Valerie32

Donor

Rating: 5

I found out about Transitions Global last summer and almost immediately signed up to participate in the Every Girl Project.
I was lucky enough to travel to Cambodia on Transition Global's Engagement Trip this past January and was able to see the work they are doing first-hand, meet their clients, and discuss the issue of sex and human trafficking with their partners. They are an extremely effective organization and are doing amazing work!

Stephaniekm

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was lucky enough to be able to volunteer with Transitions for 3 months in 2013. It was such a life changing experience to work with a team of people who are so passionate about the cause and changing girls lives. Everyone who works at Transitions are dedicated, hard working and inspiring.
The level of care exceeds anything I could have ever imagined and the love that each of the girls receive is incredible. They are so much more than rehabilitation they are about allowing these girls to dream again and believe in themselves. It was something that I got to witness first hand and it is truly amazing.

I could not speak more highly of Transitions and believe they are an astounding non-profit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Transitions in Cambodia for the past 3 years. The level of professionalism and excellence with which they serve their clients is inspiring and setting the bar for anti-trafficking work around the world. I cannot say strongly enough how highly I recommend this organization.

Huston H.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the honor of serving Transitions and our clients at the board level for the last 3 and half years. Transitions is at the leading edge of not only quality after care services, but defining metrics for success. Lives are changed on the daily basis as a result of the passion of the Transitons staff and founders. It is the passion and systemic approach to the issues that our organization takes, that allow is to have such a massive positive impact on survivors and their communities.

Board Member

Rating: 5

In the summer of 2008 I began to research the issue of sex trafficking. That led me to many, well-known organizations doing high-profile work in the field. When I first visited Cambodia in December of 2008, though, I was surprised to learn first-hand that many of these organizations did not deserve the recognition, media attention, celebrity endorsements and funding that they manage to attract. Transitions' progressive philosophy and its holistic, highly individualized aftercare program set it apart from these other organizations. Our survivors are encouraged to dream of a career beyond sewing and crafts, to continue their education, to learn computer skills, and to, ultimately, become happy, empowered, self-sufficient members of society. Everything at Transitions is built around restoring each girl's dignity and dreams. I have traveled to Cambodia four times since that first trip in 2008 to visit Transitions and our girls. I also visit other NGOs while I'm there. I am more confident each visit that I made the right choice in choosing to support Transitions above all others. My first experience with Transitions and our amazing girls, and every experience since, has been an inspiring, life-changing event.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The summer between my second and third year of law school, I went to Cambodia to do volunteer legal work for the organization. My life has forever been changed. Transitions Global provides aftercare services to rescued female sex trafficking survivors. Unfortunately, many organizations that claim to make a difference in this field do not actually do any good. Human trafficking is such a hot topic right now, and many organizations just want to be involved while it is trendy. Transitions Global is not one of those organizations. The people that work for Transitions Global treat these girls the way they would their own daughters. The girls are loved, provided for, and protected. The joy on each girls' face is the true testament of the impact Transitions Global has. I would have never thought that a girl so sexually used and destroyed could have such joy and peace--but that is what Transitions Global does. The organization restores what was once broken. I will never forget watching the youngest girl play a game on my laptop. She laughed so long and so loud while playing--I cried watching her. The girls actually can laugh again...they can have a life...have joy...have love...have peace. The work Transitions Global does is truly incredible. I will never forget that summer. My life was changed.

Donor

Rating: 5

I first met James and Athena in early-2009 when they were consulting on an aftercare project in India with our church. I was immediately touched by their story of moving their family to Cambodia to help girls rescued from sex trafficking after seeing a Dateline NBC special. I was so impressed by their knowledge of the issues related to trafficking and aftercare, how much they care for each of the girls, and their success, that I began contributing monthly. They ensure that each girl receives the care she needs AND has the ability to dream again. It's been touching to hear success stories from the girls through the years. I've had the opportunity to begin volunteering for them a few months ago, which has made me feel even more positive about the organization, and will be traveling to Cambodia in late-January. I can't say enough about James and Athena, what they do, and HOW they do it. Transitions Global is definitely a GREAT non-profit!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Transitions Global is a wonderful organization focusing on the whole health of the girls they serve. James & Athena have developed an organization that focuses on the girls and their individual needs, seeking to bring healing and wholeness to their lives thru education, health care and most importantly providing hope for a bright future. TG is truly an amazing, live giving organization and I am proud to know James and Athena and their team.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of meeting James and Athena Pond in 2009. In early 2012, I went to Cambodia to observe the work of Transitions first hand. It was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. I thought I knew a lot about Transitions and was so impressed with their programs before. I didn’t think I would leave even more impressed and inspired. To see them in action, meet the girls they are serving, talk to the very impressive and dedicated staff and meet with other NGOs who collaborate with Transitions was just amazing. Going on this trip, you might be worried that it will be difficult and emotionally taxing. But it isn’t hard and the emotions are all of hope and joy. I think we all left with such a positive feeling, knowing that these young women had a bright future ahead of them thanks to Transitions. The difference in Transitions’ program is attention to mental and physical health, life skills, and encouraging the girls to dream big about their future. No career is off limits and the staff will go to great lengths to find the education or training needed. To think about what these girls have been through, and then know that they emerge from Transitions’ programs empowered and confident is so thrilling.
Transitions learned early on that providing a safe and loving environment for these girls is a good start, but it is far from enough. Thanks to their approach, graduates of Transitions' programs are now working as restaurant chefs, yoga instructors, bakery managers and social workers.
The privacy and needs of each girl are respected and no one is ever expected to speak publicly about their past unless they volunteer to do so. I can’t say enough about how great this organization is and I am running out of complimentary adjectives to describe them!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After living in southern Africa and witnessing the atrocities of sex trafficking occurring around me, I returned to the U.S., making a new home in Cincinnati, Ohio. There I met Transitions Global. A nonprofit organization that was combating what I had witnessed in Africa – sex trafficking of young girls. Traveling with a team in January of 2012, I had the opportunity to engage in Transitions’ work in Cambodia.

During a True Body Project activity, a program developed to empower the girls, I sat next to Molika as she drew a beautiful picture of a tree. A tree with stretching roots and many branches indicating how she felt – feeling strong but with room to grow. Another girl drew 2 trees – one big, one small – and expressed how before she came to Transitions she felt like the small tree – minimally noticed as if forgotten – but now she was the big tree – strong and loved.

Without a doubt, the trip to Cambodia reminded me of the disturbing and ongoing struggle with modern day slavery. Yet seeing the nature of Transition’s work gives me hope. But the girls I met on the trip have given me the most hope. They have in many ways seen the darkest side of human nature, yet they have not given up; they continue to push on and persevere. They are truly survivors – and it is through Transitions that have found their hope, their voice, and that reason to keep moving forward.

In speaking with passionate people who want to invest (either time or money) into a nonprofit organization, I always recommend Transitions. They are game-changers not only in the world of sex trafficking, but also in nonprofit development. They get it and they do it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After volunteering for transitions for more than 3 years (6 months of which was full-time in Cambodia) I am proud to say that I continue to be impressed by the organization's effectiveness and integrity. This organization is something special - real people who have made something happen that is truly extraordinary. Transitions is undoubtedly a leader in their field , and the organization's work in Cambodia is profound. Having personally seen the lives they have been able to touch, I would encourage anyone to get involved and learn more about this incredible organization.

1 Sarah90

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In a time when everyone seemingly wanted to jump on the anti-trafficking bandwagon, I was searching for the world's leading experts in this field…and I believe I found them! The Ponds (founders of TG) are not only incredibly dedicated to the aftercare of children rescued from trafficking, they are also extraordinarily committed to adhering to the most honoring, educated and informed guidelines for the rehabilitation of these kids. Just look at their board of directors and advisors: https://transitionsglobal.org/about/board/

It was such an incredible honor to be chosen as a Transitions intern. I spent the summer of 2011 in Cambodia photographing these precious children who otherwise would have been experiencing atrocities unimaginable. As I got to know the organization, I was so incredibly impressed with the excellence by which every little detail is carried out. I appreciated the fact that Transitions had empowered Cambodian nationals to fill many of the leadership positions throughout. I also appreciated how highly the girls and their dreams were honored and esteemed. The healing process incorporates a multi-faceted plan of rehabilitation specifically designed for these children. Transitions provides two or more hours per week of one-on-one counseling with a professional counselor, and a curriculum containing goal-setting, positive reinforcement, dreaming big and level achievements—all bundled into a family-style environment. The relationships these kids have with the staff, founders, counselors and especially the house mothers—seriously touched my heart! It is certainly the most holistic approach to aftercare I have seen in the worldwide anti-trafficking movement.

In America, I currently work with a similar population and they are often seen as criminals...The American residential facilities could benefit tremendously from the Transitions’ model. Oh if Americans cared for children impacted by sexual trauma in such a profound way!

Overall, I believe Transitions stands out as a global leader in the anti-trafficking campaign because they are so intentional about seeking out the best practices, preserving the dignity of those rescued, constantly educating themselves and others, incorporating the most innovative approaches to healing and restoration, and underneath it all is a family with an incredible heart who have sacrificed everything for the cause. The longer I know James and Athena Pond, the more impressed I am by their commitment to excellence in everything they do. Support this organization in any way you possibly can!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the benefit of touring with Transitions global in Cambodia this past January. We toured not only their agency, but related social service offices that they work with and directly impact the anti-trafficking community in that part of the world. I have never been on anything like it. Impressed does not even begin to explain that experience. Transitions global is doing amazing work that is empowering, strength-based, self-reflective and intellectual. They know what they're doing and they are dedicated to improving themselves and serving their client based as much as physically possible. I love this organization! Touring with them changed my life and I cannot wait to go back to Cambodia largely because of the experience I had learning about their fabulous agency and the kind of work they do to improve their clients lives. Athena and James are hero's in my book. I am just astonished at what they have been able to accomplish - especially not coming from social service backgrounds. They get it, the understand it and what they don't understand, they research, investigate, debate and struggle to master until they succeed. I would encourage anyone to learn more about Transitions Global and recommend to anyone that has the time to go on one of their tours of their facility in Cambodia - it will change your life.

Sue_37

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I and 7 of my graduate art therapy students from Naropa University are fortunate to have formed a partnership with Transitions to bring art therapy training to the clinical staff. In considering a partnership we looked long and hard to find an organization we felt was not only offering quality care, with good end results, but also had an impressive financial report. Athena and James, and the staff work diligently to uphold their principles and values, and their success is unprecedented. Transitions is doing cutting edge work in their aftercare program, integrating evidenced based models of therapy to address the complex trauma histories with which the girls present. As a professor in a counseling and art therapy program and having a good understanding of trauma, and sexual abuse, I was quite impressed with the solid and high quality program they have at Transitions that is not only holistic in it's approach, but it works too! Art therapy has been welcomed and incorporated into the girls treatment as well as for self care for the staff in dealing with their own vicarious trauma. Transitions offers a model of care that other aftercare programs in Southeast Asia and the West should aspire to be like.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to go with my husband after our wedding to Cambodia, and I can honestly say this was one of the most educational experiences I have had traveling overseas. There are many organizations out there that educate on the importance of education in sex trafficking, which is great, and it is vital to our communities, but not only does Transitions bring awareness to this issue, but when I was there it was so refreshing to see them handling this issue hands on, actually working with these girls, and giving them all the therapy they need. My experience in Cambodia was AMAZING! I got to learn about this unfortunate issue through James and Athena, as well as being able to see the work they do. They took me to the houses for the girls. I was just blown away by the resources that are being used to work with these girls, honestly I did not even know this was possible.. The conditions of these places are amazing, and these Girls are so Fortunate to have James and Athena as well as the amazing staff by their sides, although Transitions would probably say that they are fortunate to have these girls by their side.... the love for organization and the Girls is just heart warming and unbelievable to me. I look forward to going there again soon, and getting our families involved as well as much as we can.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In a time when sex trafficking has become such a buzz topic that seems to be just about everywhere, you can find new non-profits popping up literally daily. It can sometimes make it feel confusing when deciding who to suppport, but feel assured that when supporting Transitions you are supporting an organization with a well educated wholistic approach to the after care of girls that have been victims of sex trafficking. They didn't just pop up yesterday, they have an amazing track record of success. As someone who has actually had the opportunity to travel to Cambodia and witness their operations first hand, this organization has my heart. Not to mention that they offer vocational training and college preperation for girls to realize their dreams and live succesful lives beyond the dream home.