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JOURNAL beyond borders



Ho Chi Minh CIty, Vietnam 2012

Diep Vuong, Co-Founder and President Pacific Links Foundation

Patricia Nguyen, Art Coordinator, Vanessa Tantillo, Consulate Officer

Stephania Serena, Contact





Building Blocks: Life Skills, Art, and Healing, was a project spearheaded by Pacific Links Foundation and funded in part by the Consular Club of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to support the reintegration process of survivors of human trafficking. The three-day intensive project was held in Mui Ne, a local beach town that allowed the young women from PALS’ Southern shelter to distance themselves from their current environment and gain perspective and reflect.



The Northern shelter residents also participated in a separate session with similar goals. With the goals of self-development, reflection, healing and reintegration, the project focused on helping trafficked returnees rebuild their lives through art. Through creative arts workshops, as well as individual and small group sessions, the project focused on building healthy self-esteem and healthy relationships.








The young girls started off with wooden boards and nails. They worked together to build boxes, paint them, and assemble them into a collaborative mosaic, symbolizing the individuality of each woman and the interconnectedness of their journeys together, to rebuild a new life.