On Wednesday, June 12 (just TWO days from now!), Global Giving will generously match EVERY gift you make to The SOLD Project at 50 percent! If you ever wanted a way to make your donation stretch, here’s how. For all donations made this Wednesday, a $20 contribution becomes a $30 contribution. $50 becomes $75. $1,000 becomes $1,500!!
It’s a one-day only event, so be sure to mark your calendar! Matching begins at 9 a.m. EDT and continues until funds run out.
Thank you so much for your continued support! It means the world to us that you believe in our mission as much as we do. Every dollar makes a difference in providing these young children with education, mentorship, and guidance. We’re bringing about change, not only in their lives, but in the prospects of an entire community, and we could not do it without you!
Let’s continue to keep hope and freedom alive! Join us Wednesday and watch the contributions grow!
At first glance, Nong Jeab* might come across as a quiet teenager, a little rough around the edges, but given a bit of time, one quickly sees she’s not quiet at all. She observes carefully, thoughtful about the world around her, and she’s quick to make a sharp quip or jest, getting those around her to laugh easily.
When we first met Nong Jeab, about 5 years ago, she was on the verge of dropping out of school. Her parents had died of HIV; her mother had been a prostitute. With only a step-grandfather, an uncle, and a half-brother to claim as family, she had very little guidance and very few people to watch out for her needs. The resources she could draw on for support in crisis were few, and as it turns out, insufficient when one of the teachers at her school began to physically abuse her.
At this time, The SOLD Project was only just starting to get off the ground, and by the time we were able to start getting scholarship money for students, she had already left school and followed her boyfriend on to Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and we’re unsure where else. She was an example of one we could not reach in time.
We didn’t hear from her for over two years. When she came back home, she admitted that she had learned that the path of life she had chosen in the big cities was much harder than she had imagined it would be, and she had come to realize how critical education was to gaining any kind of a foothold in the world.
Her contrition was more than just talk. Of her own volition, she started going to informal schooling provided by one of the local temples. When The SOLD Project saw her commitment and demonstration of personal responsibility, we offered her an internship at SOLD, where she could be an aide to one of our managers, learn some job skills, and help take care of the Resource Center. It was at this point that the circumstances of her leaving school (namely, the abuse) started to come to light, and slowly, we’re starting to hear a little bit about where she had been and what she had gone through when she was away. It seems the woman in the city who is trying to recruit some of our other students may have been involved in trafficking her, though we don’t know this for certain. Nong Jeab still remains quiet about that time, letting us know only that it was difficult. Perhaps as our relationship of trust with her continues to develop, we hope she might open up even more.
In the meantime, when we saw that her desire to learn had not wavered, we began again to encourage her to go back to high school and to help her get a scholarship. Last month, we were able to get her back into a formal high school, starting in grade 10, with our Thailand Director, Tawee Donchai and his wife, Beth, helping to serve as guardians vis a vis anything related to her schooling. She is getting tutoring as well, as she needs help getting up to speed with the rest of her class, but all signs suggest that she is really getting a fresh start, and that she is taking advantage of every bit of it.
Sometimes a second chance is all it takes.
*Name has been changed to protect privacy.
We’re excited to announce next week’s matching gift campaign with One Day’s Wages (ODW); a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty. ODW promotes awareness, invites simple giving, and supports sustainable relief through partnerships, especially with smaller organizations in developing regions.
Beginning Monday, May 13th at 9:00AM P.S.T we will be raising funds for The SOLD Project’s Family Camps and Anti-Trafficking Awareness Programs. All donations will be matched up to $2,500.00.
The two-day camp offers parents and their children (primarily teens) the unique
opportunity to discuss points of conflict and collaborate together on solutions in a
supportive environment. Through culturally relevant group activities, families are offered
a structured place to intentionally connect with each other for, as many past participants
noted, the very first time.
Parents and children work together on communicating expectations and responding to
conflict in the Positive Discipline session. Speakers teach on how our behavior affects
others and the negative side effects of physical punishment. In the Breaking and Healing
session, the pattern of family violence and its seemingly endless cycle are explored. Both
parents and children are given the opportunity to discuss their family’s history, explore
what forgiveness may look like in their own homes, and brainstorm how they can each
help “step outside the cycle” of generational violence.
As ironic as it may seem in the sex capital of the world, sexuality is not discussed in a
Thai family structure, leaving children vulnerable in their lack of understanding about
their bodies and how to respond to touches from others that make them uncomfortable.
The consequences of little to no education in this area has disastrous, lifelong
consequences in Thailand when a lack of education and a need for income is coupled
with “opportunity” in the nearest city’s Red Light District. The camp’s anti-trafficking
portion discusses “body safety” with the children. From song-and-dance to role-playing
how to respond to uncomfortable scenarios to drawing body maps, the children are
equipped with an understanding about the individual rights they have.
We’ll be holding two camps (one in October 2013 and another in January 2014), each of which costs $2,500.00. Our hope is that at the end of this campaign we are able to cover the cost for both of these camps.
Between Monday, May 13th and Saturday, May 18th we’re asking you to donate one day’s worth of your wages. That amount will then be doubled, up to $2,500.00. 100% of your donation will be used towards Trafficking Awareness Family Camp.
Just one day’s worth of your wages will fund the awareness of a child at-risk. So please, plan ahead to give. And stay tuned – more information on HOW will go live on Monday morning.
Older generations like to bemoan younger generations for not being aware and not being involved, but we at The SOLD Project would like to show you that this isn’t always the case! We’d like to introduce you to some high schoolers who have taken it upon themselves to not only become informed about social issues, but to also form a club in which they raise funds and take time to educate their peers about the issues as well. The Girl Effect club, as they have dubbed themselves, recently became supporters of The SOLD Project. They are awesome and we are honored to have them in our corner. We hope you’ll enjoy getting to know them as well!
We’ve asked them to share a little about themselves, and here is what they’ve said:
What is the “Girl Effect” club? What are your missions and aims, and what are some things you do?
The Girl Effect Club is relatively new, only a few months old but it started when my friend [Rachel Ketola] and I [Kendall DeVries] noticed that there was a problem with the way that women are viewed around the world. The Girl Effect is an established movement that aims to leverage the potential of teen girls to change their social and economic dynamics by providing them with real, powerful and relevant resources. Rachel and I were very inspired by the movement and founded a club at our own high school to not only support women in developing countries, but to positively impact our peers. There is little acknowledgement of gender issues in our generation and we find many of our friends blatantly accepting degradation.
We also wanted to bring more awareness of prostitution, oppression in foreign countries, and the importance of education for girls around the world. Our mission for the Girl Effect club is to educate our school and community about women’s issues locally, nationally and globally. We have weekly meetings to discuss these issues and start each meeting with a TED Talk (they are awesome!!) oriented around women’s issues. By having both girls and boys in the club, we challenge common ideas about sexuality together and work to advocate empowerment for all. The ultimate mission is to shift people’s consciousness, inspire individual and community action, and ultimately, transform culture so everyone, regardless of gender, can fulfill their potential.
We also educate our community by holding movie nights. The first movie our club showed was called Miss Representation. We had a great turn out and plan to show a documentary called Rape for Profit at the beginning of June to raise more money for the SOLD project!
How did you find out about The SOLD Project? What prompted you to get involved in fundraising for The SOLD Project? How was the money raised (and approximately how much)?
We found out about the SOLD Project the old fashioned way, by searching the Internet! We just wanted a small nonprofit that we knew would use the funds to benefit the cause, and your site and cause appealed to us! It was part of our initial plan to put together a fundraiser to benefit girl’s issues, and when we found you, we came up with our fundraising plan and went with it! We sold different color elastic hair bands. The school absolutely loved them, our slogan was “Educate a girl, Change her world, Buy a hair tie”. We sold for about two weeks, and raised about $160, I know it isn’t much, but we intend to fundraise more!
What are some specific things, if any, you’d like to see the money go towards, and how do you see it aligning with your club’s broader aims?
I asked the club members, and they all agreed that it would be cool if the money went to girl’s education, but really anything that benefits the kids would be just fine to us as well!
Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to help! I am very passionate about this subject and other social issues.
Thanks to the overwhelming contributions of our fabulous supporters, we’ve been able to break ground on a second building at The SOLD Project Resource Center!! This has been a dream of ours for a long time now, and finally, it is becoming reality.
In this new building, we will have:
- two new classrooms (including a computer lab)
- a meeting/counseling room, to conduct meetings with the kids’ families & other visitors
- office space
- small kitchen/cafe area
With this new building, it frees up space in the original building, where the downstairs area will be converted to a library space.
Exciting stuff!! We can’t wait to show you what it looks like when it’s finished!
Thank you again to all our fantastic friends and donors. This would not be possible without each and every one of you and your support!
The SOLD Project has made it onto Girl Effect Headlines! The Nike Foundation’s philanthropic site, The Girl Effect, frequently highlights organizations that are doing groundwork to help empower girls and raise up entire communities. We’ve just been featured!
You can check out the article here:
and then, please, spread the word!!
Happy Thai New Year from all of us at The SOLD Project!