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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
I had the fantastic opportunity to spend time with Transitions Global during a trip to Cambodia this past summer, and I cannot even begin to describe the love and respect I have for James and Athena Pond and everyone else at TG. I have personally met with a handful of anti-trafficking organizations and researched many, many more, and TG is simply the best out there when it comes to rehabilitation/restoration of sex trafficking victims.
Although learning about TG's success rate and innovative methodology and meeting with TG's amazing staff certainly impressed me, the true test came when I met the girls, and I was absolutely blown away. Coming into the trip, my team and I knew that we would have the opportunity to spend some time with the sex trafficking survivors at TG, and we had prepared ourselves to meet sad, broken little girls. I cannot even describe how wrong we were. The girls at TG were completely filled with joy and excitement. They were welcoming, friendly, extremely smart, and all smiles. They looked nothing like victims. For example, one night my group hosted a game night, and we had talked extensively how we needed to make sure that all of the girls were involved and that some of the more shy girls didn't get left out. Well, there was one girl there who, rather than being shy and timid, actually was worried about me and whether I was involved; she came up to me when I was taking a break from a very active game to make sure I wasn't feeling left out and that I felt comfortable and happy. I was awestruck by her maturity and compassion, and that's just one of many examples I can think of about the amazing restoration going on at TG.
In the midst of all of the horrors I would see and hear about in Cambodia, the TG girls provided me with new hope for survivors of sex trafficking. I know now that survivors CAN be fully restored and equipped, not just for a menial, mediocre existence, but for awesome fulfilling lives. Transitions Global has developed a formula to make this happen. Every sex trafficking victim safehome in the world NEEDS to experience the Transitions Global Model!
Review from Guidestar
Transitions Global is an organization made up of people who show genuine love for Cambodian people! In my experience of working with James and Athena, I can see that they whole-heartedly love and care for Cambodians. They continue to do loads of amazing projects for young girls who just feel hopeless, giving them fresh opportunities and hope for the future. They provide them with essential life skills so that they can experience success, allowing their dreams to be fulfilled. As a Cambodian young man, I am thrilled to see the positive impact Transitions Global is having on my country. Transitions Global inspires me to do the same.
Review from Guidestar
Transitions Global is a dedicated and progressive organization. It provides an incredibly high level of aftercare services for girls rescued from sex trafficking in Cambodia. There very low rates of recidivism are a direct reflection of the individualized care and high quality of services that are provided through the organization.
Review from Guidestar
Transitions Global is emerging as the "go to" source on how to provide effective aftercare for girls that have been exploited and traumatized as a result of sexual exploitation. The success rate of Transitions Global is over 5 times that of other aftercare homes. Why? I believe it is a direct result of the involvement of the founders, James and Athena Pond, and the way they truly love the girls under their care.
Transitions Global cares passionately about restoring the dreams of these girls. They care passionately about providing a place of healing with a variety of methods to so from therapy to yoga.
I once was speaking to a volunteer who had returned from Cambodia and saw first hand the transformation of the girls. She was able to see girls that were new to the home as well as the beautiful women that had blossomed after being in the home for some time. She could not stop crying as she explained the experience to me and admitted that for the first few months from returning she could not even speak about it. Why? Because it was so sad? No, she said. Because it was so beautiful. It is so beautiful what Transitions Global is doing for these girls. She expressed that it was nothing short of a miracle.
True beauty is found in the hearts of those that operate Transitions Global and as a result hope is being restored and lives are being changed. I can think of nothing more miraculous or beautiful than that.
Review from Guidestar
I visited Cambodia two years ago in an attempt to look for different organizations that were working on the issue of human trafficking and then choose the best ones to support. While there are many great organizations, one stood out above all the rest and has since stolen my heart! This was Transitions Global.
While I was in Cambodia, I had a chance to learn about the culture, the issue of human trafficking, and specifically sex trafficking. I also got to meet the girls that Transitions Global serves, and I had the privilege of interviewing three of the girls for a documentary I was working on.
I have been over seas several times for mission and humanitarian work, and each time there is always a moment that I remember forever. On this trip, this moment was in the middle of one of these interviews. While we were filming and listening to the horrific stories that these girls had experienced, we kept getting a lot of background noise that was interfering with the recording. The background noise, while ruining the current recording, was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. It was the sound of laughter and singing.
The other girls, that had been cared for by Transitions Global, were downstairs with one of the board members. She had brought an iPod from the US and she and the girls were laughing, dancing, singing, and just being teenage girls.
The sounds of laughter, singing, health, hope, and a future, while contrasted with the horror stories that I was listening to, was amazing and it led to a moment that I will never forget!
Review from Guidestar
I am fortunate to work with many organizations that are working hard to make create change and make our world a better place.
Of all these organizations, Transitions Global stands as the absolute best in the field of restoration work for girls who have been rescued from sex slavery
James and Athena Pond are two of the most inspiring people I have had the privilege to work with in the human rights field. Their bold courage and determination, along with innovative and cutting-edge restorative techniques, create a positive and lasting difference in the lives of young girls rescued from sexual exploration. This family's passion and dedication to the human trafficking issue is truly amazing.
Not one aspect of the girls' recovery is overlooked or is too challenging for Transitions Global. Their leadership team has developed a philosophy of building self-esteem and confidence in the girls with reintegration back into society as the central purpose of each girl's care and program. James and Athena’s vision of hope, restoration and education turns a dark subject to a whole new level of HOPE!
I just spent a week with the Transitions Global team and the girls in Phnom Penh doing a workshop on mind/body connectedness via the True Body Project, a program I founded to work with girls who need help returning to a safe connection with their bodies.
It was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. The girls are remarkable and open and caring, in large part because the Transitions Global staff is a unique blend of caring and professionalism, marrying best practices and evidence based clinical work with culturally sensitive decisions.
Really, one of the finest organizations I have ever had the pleasure to work with.
Review from Guidestar
I've worked with several organizations in Southeast Asia, and when it comes to aftercare facilities for sex trafficking survivors, the people at Transitions Global are the leaders in their field. James and Athena have dedicated their lives to the girls they help, giving them a chance to dream again after extreme cases of abuse. The staff they employ are top notch and are dedicated to the cause. The work Transitions Global does is truly inspiring.
Review from Guidestar