About us

Our mission, story and people

Our Mission

For those affected by trauma and those who support them, HAGAR is an expert in care and recovery.

When healing happens, the cycle of trauma stops.

Our Vision

Communities free and healed from the trauma of human trafficking, slavery and abuse.

Our Values

Respect: We believe in the right of all people to be heard and treated with respect and dignity.
Integrity: We commit to act ethically and honestly, striving to do the right thing in all times and in all circumstances.
Compassion: We want compassion and kindness to be evident in our attitude, communication and in active, practical ways.
Excellence: We hold ourselves to high standards, listening and learning from those we support, our partners and each other, to continuously improve all that we do.

Our History

Hagar was founded in 1994 in response to the prevalence of extreme domestic and community violence affecting women and children in post-civil war Cambodia. In 2008, Hagar began operations in Afghanistan to support women and children facing the worst forms of gender-based violence and human trafficking. The following year, HAGAR established an office in Vietnam to care for women who were affected by the growing magnitude of exploitation and abuse. More recently, Hagar began delivering programmes for women through our support office in Singapore, and we are partnering with organisations in Myanmar to increase their capacity to provide trauma-informed care.

With 25 years of experience, HAGAR has transformed into an internationally renowned leader in recovery services for survivors of human trafficking, slavery and abuse.

The HAGAR Story

The Hebrew name Hagar means “one who flees” or “one who seeks refuge.” The story of Hagar and her son, Ishmael, is the story of millions of exploited, abused, and trafficked women and children.

In around 2000 BC, Hagar worked in a foreign land as a domestic servant for a rich man called Abraham and his wife, Sarah. Sarah was unable to bear children and, following a common practice of the time, Sarah offered her servant to Abraham. When Hagar became pregnant, Sarah grew jealous and threw her out of their home. An angel found Hagar alone in the desert. He promised a blessing on her child, naming him Ishmael, which means “God hears.” In response Hagar declared: “You are the One who sees me.” The story of Hagar is known to many faiths including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

HAGAR is committed to providing sanctuary and hope to women and children like Hagar and Ishmael, walking the whole journey with each one.

OUR STAFF

Ms. Melissa Petros

Executive Director, Hagar International (Hong Kong)

Melissa has worked in public service and international development over the past 15 years, including more than ten years in Asia. Melissa established Hagar Hong Kong in 2013 and has been the Executive Director since then. Previously, Melissa was the Industry and Corporate Relations Manager for the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, and also spent three years working in Bangkok at the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree in International Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from New York University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Ms. Melissa Petros

Executive Director, Hagar International (Hong Kong)
Melissa has worked in public service and international development over the past 15 years, including more than ten years in Asia. Melissa established Hagar Hong Kong in 2013 and has been the Executive Director since then. Previously, Melissa was the Industry and Corporate Relations Manager for the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, and also spent three years working in Bangkok at the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree in International Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from New York University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Ms. Joy Chan

Communications Manager, Hagar International (Hong Kong)

Joy joined the Hagar Hong Kong team in 2016. Born in Hong Kong and educated in Canada and Australia, she has worked in advertising for commercial brands and marketing for children’s education. Joy combines her passion for visual arts and heart for children in her graphic design creations for Hagar’s communications materials. Joy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Cultural Studies and Asian Studies, from the University of Sydney, and holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education.

Ms. Joy Chan

Communications Manager, Hagar International (Hong Kong)
Joy joined the Hagar Hong Kong team in 2016. Born in Hong Kong and educated in Canada and Australia, she has worked in advertising for commercial brands and marketing for children education. Joy combines her passion for visual arts and heart for children in her graphic design creations for Hagar’s communications materials. Joy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Cultural Studies and Asian Studies, from the University of Sydney, and holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education.

OUR BOARD

Ms. Colleen Yu

Board Co-Chair

With a deep business background as a former management consultant at KPMG and a private wealth manager at Goldman Sachs, Colleen understands the motivations of consumers and corporations alike, and brings new levels of professionalism to the experiential marketing space. In 2010, Colleen founded EX•R Consulting to pursue her creative passions and offer comprehensive marketing and communication services to a wide range of retail, luxury brand, entertainment, and Fortune 500 clients.

Under Colleen’s leadership, EX•R has become the agency of record for many of the world’s leading brands, executing more than 150 campaigns and events in 15 countries. Her global network and pioneering vision led EX•R to expand its presence into the United States and throughout Asia, with a home base in Hong Kong.

Colleen is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in Marketing and Information Technology.

Ms. Colleen Yu

Board Co-Chair
With a deep business background as a former management consultant at KPMG and a private wealth manager at Goldman Sachs, Colleen understands the motivations of consumers and corporations alike, and brings new levels of professionalism to the experiential marketing space. In 2010, Colleen founded EX•R Consulting to pursue her creative passions and offer comprehensive marketing and communication services to a wide range of retail, luxury brand, entertainment, and Fortune 500 clients.

Under Colleen’s leadership, EX•R has become the agency of record for many of the world’s leading brands, executing more than 150 campaigns and events in 15 countries. Her global network and pioneering vision led EX•R to expand its presence into the United States and throughout Asia, with a home base in Hong Kong.

Colleen is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in Marketing and Information Technology.

Ms. Jennifer Saito

Board Co-Chair

Jennifer has worked with leading global luxury fashion houses and retailers such as Shiatzy Chen and Lane Crawford, and has experience in publishing from her work with Hong Kong’s premier lifestyle magazine, Prestige. For the past decade, Jennifer has been a freelance consultant, lending her expertise in public relations matters, cross-cultural communications, and fundraising to a variety of businesses and non-profit organizations in Hong Kong and Japan. Jennifer is a graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York and University of Western Ontario in Canada.

Ms. Jennifer Saito

Board Co-Chair
Jennifer has worked with leading global luxury fashion houses and retailers such as Shiatzy Chen and Lane Crawford, and has experience in publishing from her work with Hong Kong’s premier lifestyle magazine, Prestige. For the past decade, Jennifer has been a freelance consultant, lending her expertise in public relations matters, cross-cultural communications, and fundraising to a variety of businesses and non-profit organizations in Hong Kong and Japan. Jennifer is a graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York and University of Western Ontario in Canada

Ms. Alexis Tsang

Board Director

Alexis is co-head of Japan Equity Distribution for Goldman Sachs in Japan. She is also co-chair of the Asia Pacific Female Managing Director Network. Previously, Alexis was a member of Asia Equity Derivative Sales and led coverage for Long/Short Hedge Funds. Before joining Securities, she was in Private Wealth Management in Hong Kong from 2006 to 2008. Alexis joined Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 2006 and was named managing director in 2015. Alexis earned a BA in International Relations and English from Tufts University in 2006.

Ms. Alexis Tsang

Board Director
Alexis is co-head of Japan Equity Distribution for Goldman Sachs in Japan. She is also co-chair of the Asia Pacific Female Managing Director Network. Previously, Alexis was a member of Asia Equity Derivative Sales and led coverage for Long/Short Hedge Funds. Before joining Securities, she was in Private Wealth Management in Hong Kong from 2006 to 2008. Alexis joined Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 2006 and was named managing director in 2015. Alexis earned a BA in International Relations and English from Tufts University in 2006.

Mr. Hans Yeung

Board Director

Hans Yeung, Regional CFO of Macquarie Group Asia, has more than 25 years of finance experience and formerly held various senior finance roles in Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Bank of America in Hong Kong before joining the Macquarie Group in 2004. Hans is also a committee member of an Asia modern slavery project sponsored by the Macquarie Group Foundation and is an active community services participant. Hans holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University and Master of Business Administration degree from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is a HK and US Certified Public Accountant.

Mr. Hans Yeung

Board Director
Hans Yeung, Regional CFO of Macquarie Group Asia, has more than 25 years of finance experience and formerly held various senior finance roles in Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Bank of America in Hong Kong before joining the Macquarie Group in 2004. Hans is also a committee member of an Asia modern slavery project sponsored by the Macquarie Group Foundation and is an active community services participant. Hans holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University and Master of Business Administration degree from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is a HK and US Certified Public Accountant.

Ms. Lilian Lee

Board Director

Lilian is co-Founder of SR Brands Ltd, a holding company that invests in and builds e-commerce lifestyle brands. Lilian started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers working in the Financial Advisory Services Group in New York City. She later moved into various senior management roles as a marketing strategist with Standard Chartered, HSBC and Omnicom Group. Her professional experience spans across NYC, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Shanghai working in both corporate marketing and agency roles. She holds an M.S. in Integrated Marketing and Communications from Northwestern University.

Ms. Lilian Lee

Board Director
Lilian is co-Founder of SR Brands Ltd, a holding company that invests in and builds e-commerce lifestyle brands. Lilian started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers working in the Financial Advisory Services Group in New York City. She later moved into various senior management roles as a marketing strategist with Standard Chartered, HSBC and Omnicom Group. Her professional experience spans across NYC, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Shanghai working in both corporate marketing and agency roles. She holds an M.S. in Integrated Marketing and Communications from Northwestern University.

For more information about our global team members please refer to our other country sites.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you answer the cries of human suffering. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you answer the cries of human suffering. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you answer the cries of human suffering. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you answer the cries of human suffering. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

Share This