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Philanthroper Update: $548 So Far!

August 4, 2011

Yesterday, we told you that Philanthroper.com would be featuring The SOLD Project for a day. Believing that “a little helps a lot,” Philanthroper asks people to simply give $1 to make a difference. $1 pays for one day of schooling for an at-risk child in northern Thailand whose future might otherwise include exploitation.  Learn more about Philanthroper’s awesome philosophy in our August 3 blog post.

Below is from our feature today on Philanthroper.

“We’re the proof that anyone can help, that there’s a way to break the system.”

Michael Colletto, The SOLD Project

Child sex trafficking is a huge issue, especially in Thailand.

But one group has figured out a way to stop it before it starts, at least in one community, with a remarkable 100% success rate.

It’s The SOLD Project. They keep children out of brothels by keeping them in school. And your $1 can keep a child in elementary school for 1 day.

“The stats vary village to village,” explains Communications Director Michael Colletto, “[but about] half of the kids drop out of school by 5th grade at the latest, move into the city and become prostitutes.”

The SOLD Project knows that an educated person can make a living. But even a two-income family in rural Thailand might live off of $8 a day. For a family with multiple children, or a family where someone becomes ill, education is the simplest cost to cut.

“It starts at, you’re born into a poor family. You go to grade school for a couple years until another sibling comes along or your parents can’t afford it anymore,” explains Colletto. “You’re 12. You don’t know anything about anything, and you’re very easy to be exploited.”

The SOLD Project offers children an alternative. Go to school, get an education and secure better jobs that can, in turn, support their family. This may sound hokey, too simplified, but The SOLD Project has already graduated children from elementary on to various higher education programs.

And since they’ve started? Not one child in their program has dropped out (that’s out of 100 students), and 42 are going on to pursue high school, vocational school, or university studies this year.

“We don’t do the high profile. We don’t have these really dramatic stories, and that’s what we’re most excited about,” says Colletto. “We never want to say ‘we rescued this girl!’ We rescued this girl so early in the process, she doesn’t even realize she was in trouble.”

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