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SOLD Friend Wins Award from Polaris Project

August 20, 2010

Our Partners

Alex Russel, Founder of RCPAlezandra Russell, founder of The Recycled Child Project, has just received the Summer 2010 Star Activist Award from The Polaris Project!  Alezandra, or Alex, visited Thailand with The SOLD Project in the summer of 2009 and was particularly moved by the plight of the teenage boys working the Night Bazaar as prostitutes.  She recognized that many organizations were working with the women in children, but something had to be done for the teenage boys:

Walk along Tapei Gate Road towards the Night Bazaar and [you’ll see] girls, boys, and child beggars mixed among sex tourists, pimps, and exploiters who are here only to barter and sell our most valuable resource to the highest bidder. The faces, the bare skin, and the nasty excuses given to me by the sex tourists would lead me to my next journey, a venture like no other I had ever dared to explore.  Reluctant to leave the children, the night bazaar boys, and the SOLD staff, I decided I would return–and soon.

The Recycled Child Project (RCP) was born.  Alex returned to Chiang Mai shortly after with donations, a supportive husband, and a resignation letter in the hands of her employer.  Her aim was to provide opportunities so the boys can leave their lives of prostitution.  She identified a group of at-risk youth who are in danger of or already victims of HIV/AIDS, homelessness, and little to no health care.

Today, Alex is already making a difference in the lives of the boys.  She has opened a center for them to come and learn English, taken them to get medical attention and testing, and has coordinated work opportunities with several brave young men who have chosen to leave a life of prostitution.  Alex has made significant life changes as she travels between Thailand and America to run the program and raise funds; she is currently hiring more staff to run the program while she is away.

SOLD’s founder, Rachel Sparks-Graeser, writes of Alex: “What first impressed me about her was her heart for injustice, then, even more, her willingness to embrace any situation and love every kid she came in contact with.  Now, I’m most impressed by her desire to not give up on the forgotten boys of the Red Light District.  Her work with Recycled Child Project is changing lives.  The SOLD Project is very proud and supports her in all of her efforts in Thailand.”

Please take a few moments to learn more about Alex’s work here and follow her blog!

Congratulations for a well-deserved award, Alex.  We love you!

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