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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

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Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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!