A Doncaster woman is preparing to jet off to Cambodia to dedicate a year to working with sexually trafficked children.
Trained counsellor Lynne Barnett, aged 51, who set up Sanctuary Therapy in Doncaster, is set to use her skills to help victims in Cambodia.
She said: “These young individuals, who are sexually exploited and often imprisoned, need love and support to enable the healing process.
“I will be offering counselling, training local people in basic counselling skills and providing some theoretical knowledge of trauma issues.
“Currently there is no service available for those who have suffered atrocities, historical or recent.
“Generations are affected by the trauma of war. For this reason I will also facilitate group activities to enhance self esteem, confidence, health and relationships.”
Lynne first journeyed to the Killing Fields of the Cambodian genocide almost a decade ago to work with children as young as six who had been abused, traumatised and trafficked into sexual slavery.
And ever since she has taken weeks of holiday each year to continue her work.
“This is no adult gap year or poverty tourism – I am a self-employed counsellor taking a full year to help many more children, young people and families living in absolute poverty.
“Tourists see the beauty of the Cambodian landscape, but being there always activates a rollercoaster of emotion in me.
“From the distress I feel when confronted by the lack of mental health care provision – individuals tethered by family under huts to keep them safe – to feeling totally inspired by the stoic attitude and resourcefulness of those living in absolute poverty.
“The injustice, oppression and poverty in this ‘forgotten’ country stunts progress and stifles potential.
“I am grateful beyond words to everyone who has supported me over the years, enabling me to go and serve and to the lovely ladies of my local church who have knitted hundreds of teddies to give to children who have nothing else to call their own.”
n See Lynne’s blog at http://lbsanctuarycambodia.wordpress.com/