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A Volunteer’s First Impressions

February 4, 2011

Re:ACT Story

The SOLD Project is pleased to form a new friendship with an eager and impressive volunteer, one lovely Jade Keller.  She visited the Resource Center last week for our Saturday English classes and got to see some of the ins-and-outs of what we do.  Jade, who is half-Thai, is volunteering once or twice a month to help teach the older kids about jobs, budgeting, school, etc.  She also hopes to implement a pen pal program.

On her blog, Jade recently wrote a post called “Coming to SOLD.” She gives a great overview of our program, first impressions, and a beautiful photo tour of our prevention work.  As she considers our prevention strategy and watches the faces of the children who come to our Center, Jade observes:

“Of course, challenges coming from school teachers telling the children, “Don’t bother to go to high school.” Challenges when a 14-year-old girl is caught with her boyfriend and is cast out to find work on her own. Challenges when a girl’s mother, a former sex worker herself, dies of alcoholism and leaves her daughter an orphan at the tender age of 12. These stories, they will break your heart. But these children give you strength. Their indomitable spirits, their depth, their hopes make you want to do anything to ensure they walk a better path.

“And even if they falter, we tell them: At any moment, you can recreate your life. You can see where this road will take you. You know where it goes. You can choose something different.”

Photo by Jade Keller at jadekeller.com

Jade and her husband live in Chiang Mai, Thailand, about three hours south of Chiang Rai.  Read more about her and her recent move to Thailand at jadekeller.com

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