HELP UNDERPRIVILEGED, AT-RISK GIRLS LIVING IN THAILAND!
In a small border town in Northern Thailand there is a shelter for 13 girls who are at risk of human trafficking or other forms of abuse. Most are from ethnic minority “hill tribe” groups in the region, and all of them come from extremely poor families. Many of them were abandoned by their parents and left to live with relatives. Some have relatives who are too ill to find work, some of their families are HIV positive. So now, they live in the shelter where they are sponsored to go to school, have a safe and loving home to live in, and are provided with all of the food and other necessities that they need.
Some background information on some of the girls (names have been changed for anonymity):
- Yor is 17 years old. Originally from Myanmar, Yor moved to a border village in Chiang Khong after her father was arrested for drug related crimes. He is addicted to amphetamines. Her mother stayed in Myanmar and re-married. She has two new children. Yor and her brother went to live with their aunt and grandmother in Thailand. Their father was released from prison, remarried (to a woman who does not like Yor or her brother), but later reoffended and was arrested again. He is in prison in Myanmar. Yor’s brother has returned to Myanmar. Yor misses her family very much, sometimes in tears worrying about their fate. She has recently been back to visit and has been reassured that her mother is okay. Yor says she wants to stay at the shelter and get a university degree, so that she can make her family proud and return one day to look after them. She would also like to open a shelter just like this one, to protect and help girls like her.
- Twins Yuno and Dosa are 15 years old. Their father left them without a word when they were only 4 months old, and their mother died in a tragic motorcycle accident when they were just 1 year old. The girls used to live in a house with their grandmother, but it burned down. Afterwards, their grandmother took them to live with one of their uncles. Their uncle’s wife (who has recently died) made it very clear that she did not like the twins. The twins spent their spare time doing house work and farming to help their grandmother. Their grandfather died many years ago – he was shot dead for unknown reasons. Their grandmother was also shot in the back causing nerve damage, which makes it difficult for her to walk and therefore to work. Before coming to the shelter, the twins were at high risk of being trafficked or being forced to drop out of school to find work.
- Nyla is 15 but she already has many responsibilities. Her father is absent, and her mother suffers from advanced stage cancer of the lymph nodes. Nyla has to take care of her little sister and herself. She used to accompany her mother to her chemotherapy appointments, sometimes having to stay in the hospital for a week at a time. Now, her mother is too sick and refuses treatment. The journey up and down from their mountain top village was simply too much for her to take while suffering the symptoms of chemotherapy, and unable to speak Thai, she felt uncomfortable staying at the hospital. Nyla’s mother self medicates with opium which is easily available in their ‘hill tribe’ village, and, like many of her neighbours, she is now addicted. Nyla also takes care of her elderly grandmother and, because she can ride a motorbike, often takes sick members of the village to their doctors’ appointments. When she grows up, she would like to be a doctor too.
These stories are typical of families who migrate to this region, looking for work. Many arrive with no relatives, no support network and often with no Thai language skills (many are also illiterate). The 13 girls who have come to live at the shelter are given an opportunity that they would not otherwise receive: a safe, loving home and everything they need to complete their education and have a chance to achieve their ambitions. One of the best things I have been fortunate enough to witness is the times when the girls are relaxing, and smiling together, playing games, being creative and taking time to act like children. Your donation can help to fill their lives with happiness, confidence and fun, just as it should be for all children.
How will your donation be used?
- Aside from regular school, the girls who live at the shelter are encouraged to try out different life skills and vocational skills. But the shelter has limited resources. The girls love to sing, dance and listen to music – they never seem happier than when they are singing and laughing together. They recently went to a local school to borrow some guitars and have a beginner’s lesson. They absolutely loved it! Music is so important for the soul, it can be therapeutic and is a good way to express complicated emotions. These girls need your help to buy a range of instruments so that they can have fun making music together. YOU are the key to helping them find and develop their own talents and love of music. Let’s get them some musical instruments of their own.
- The girls also want to start their own social enterprise. Currently, they have three simple sewing machines and are very excited about learning the basics of how to sew. They will soon be ready start their own online shop selling their own designs and recycled/upcycled creations. They will also sell notebooks made completely by hand, and perhaps some photographs which show the world from their unique perspective. For the clothes and notebooks, the girls are planning to use handmade materials from their own hill tribes to promote their culture and to give back to their communities at the same time. One of the best things about this social enterprise is that the girls will be in control of the supply chain of every product they make, and they will learn skills like budgeting, sourcing materials, photography, and marketing, which will have a long lasting and sustainable impact on their skills and abilities. You can help them to make this business a success by donating for much needed supplies like fabric, thread, and more complex sewing machines.
Child Rights Protection Centre is a very small organization directed and run by two very passionate and dedicated local women, with the assistance of one international volunteer. I work with a nearby organization and have personally been to visit them many times and can vouch for their integrity and their commitment to the work that they do. As such, 100% of the donations will go to the girls living at the shelter. You can be safely assured that your money will go towards enriching their lives and making them smile 🙂
List of what your money could buy (price per 1 item, prices in Thai Baht and US Dollar):
- 3 Acoustic Guitars 1900-7650THB (~$54-$218)
- 3 Drum boxes 1800-2400 (~$52-69)
- 1 Bongos 2400-2500 (~$69-72)
- 3 Single stand Drums 2400 (~$69)
- 2 Ukuleles 1100-3000 (~$32-86)
- 3 Sets of spare acoustic guitar strings 250-500 (~$8-15)
- 2 Sets of spare ukulele strings 250 (~$8)
- 3 Capo 250 (~$8) 5 Shakers 100-120 (~$3-4)
- 2 Tambourines 270 (~8)
- 3 Mid-range sewing machines 8000 (~$228)
- 1 Advanced, multi-functioning sewing machine 12900 (~$368)
- 1 High quality professional camera 20000-25000 (~$570-712)
- 3 Sets of spare sewing machine needles 200 (~$6)
- Fabric and other sewing supplies (ongoing expenses) 2000 (~$57) (Some of the prices here do vary a lot, but your money will be put to good use finding the best value and best quality products so that they will last a long time)