Samaritana was established in 1992 by Thelma (Galvez) Nambu and a group of friends who were concerned about fellow Filipino women being prostituted.
Beginning with night outreach and home visitation, a holistic program of intervention and aftercare was slowly developed, which now takes place in a permanent training facility.
Samaritana’s direct intervention programs were complemented later by advocacy, collaboration, and prevention programs.
Labor prompted by love, endurance inspired by hope.
1 Thes. 1:3
The following seven values have come to define the heart and focus of our ministry.
“I can freely go out during the day because people stopped gossiping and talking about me. My life started to have direction, and I believe that if this is really where God is calling me, then God will use my life in reaching out to other women.”
Samaritana is committed to meeting our women friends where they are, and earning their trust through offering friendship and presence during bar and street outreach and home visitation. Staff, volunteers and women leaders conduct outreach activities weekly at night.
Samaritana women are trained for new forms of livelihood, and earn a livable allowance while in training. They participate in adult learning and tutoring for accredited equivalency examinations, children of women are assisted in their education, and some women go on to study at the college level with Samaritana’s assistance.
We seek to integrate psychological principles with spiritual practices and rituals, making use of arts, movement, symbols, small group sharing and therapies, and silence.
Samaritana assists women to participate in government social security and health plans, and in applying for micro-business grants from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Samaritana conducts training with city employees, law enforcement officers, local pastors and church leaders around the issues of prostitution and trafficking. We have also held anti-trafficking preventive training activities in communities with at-risk and vulnerable youth.
In partnership with local churches and other organizations, Samaritana hosts an annual medical mission for our women friends and their children and other family members. Basic medical consultations, pap smears, dental care, legal counsel, and free prescriptions are made available with the help of volunteers and friends of Samaritana.
Samaritana is actively involved with several regional and international groups, fostering cross-organizational relationship and support. We are a member of the Coalition Against the Trafficking of Women – Asia Pacific, a founding member of the International Christian Alliance on Prostitution, and a member of the Philippine Interfaith Movement Against Human Trafficking.
Our staff come from various backgrounds, and have stories of their own. But each one is here for a reason, and feels a call to serve and befriend Samaritana women.
Krys put it this way: "When God led me here in Samaritana, I felt like being a channel of the love of Jesus to these women. I’m so humbled with hearing their stories, just bonding with the women, and witnessing the changes that are happening to them."
We are so grateful for our staff, and cherish the unique gifts that they bring. It is through their love and sacrifice that the work of Samaritana continues.
If you'd like to learn more about prostitution, as well as our beliefs about ministry in this area, the following materials are a good place to start.