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21 New Students Need Sponsors!

March 3, 2012

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We are proud to announce that we have accepted 21 new students into our scholarship program!

Our scholarship program is the heartbeat of what we do. Because education isn’t free in Thailand, paying for school is often an impossibility for rural farming families with several children to feed.

It all began with a young girl named Cat that SOLD founder Rachel Sparks-Graeser met back in 2007 in the village where SOLD now resides. Cat’s father had died from a drunken accident and her mother, a former sex worker, was very ill. Cat became our first scholarship student, and we now have over 100 at-risk children who are still in school.

As a part of the application process, we review the risk factors in each student’s life. Most of our kids are at risk due to poverty, but many of them also have sick family members who cannot work to support them, family members in the sex industry, parents who suffer from HIV/AIDS or alcoholism, etc. All of these factors increase a child’s risk of exploitation, and we are honored to help support these students, alongside scholarship sponsors, to stay in school and continue working towards their dreams instead of dropping out to move to the city for work.

We currently have available:

  • 15 primary school and vocational school students ($31/month)
  • 3 high school students ($45/month)
  • 3 university students ($55/month)

Are you interested in sponsoring a child?  When you sign up, you’ll receive an information packet about sponsoring, including a profile and picture of your new student. We ask that our sponsors write letters once or twice a year for the students to receive during our Parent Meetings in the village. 100 percent of your sponsorship goes directly to your student.

The issue of child exploitation is overwhelming. Where do we start to even make a dent in ending sex slavery?  We’d like to invite you to start here, with one at-risk child that deserves to stay in school to have a shot at their dreams.

New sponsor students writing letters

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Fred permalink
    March 4, 2012 2:08 pm

    K-12 education is free in Thailand.

    • March 12, 2012 6:32 pm

      Hey Fred, thanks for commenting. You’re right–according to the Thai government, public education in Thailand is free. But there are many other required costs that are involved, such as several different uniforms, field trips, school supplies, bus, meals, and activity/course fees. For ONE grade schooler, this comes to about $365/year, which is about one-third of a rice farmer’s salary. It is this inability to afford these costs that leads families to guide their young children to earning money at work, as opposed to costing money at school. SOLD wants students focusing on class and learning instead of worrying about the family economy.

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