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Meet Shannon, New Resident of Thailand

January 15, 2012

Shannon O’Malley recently moved to Chiang Rai, Thailand as The SOLD Project’s new Director of Volunteers and Interns. Shannon, a former intern who has visited Thailand with SOLD before, recently graduated from Hult International Business School in London with a Master of Arts in International Relations. 

Fresh out of graduate school, Shannon is taking a big risk. Most of her income will come from generous gifts from her family and friends and strangers who believe in her and the importance of the work she is doing. She is moving to a new place with new people and an entirely new way of living. She has been a faithful and fantastic partner with SOLD for years now, and we’re glad she’s back!

How did you get started with SOLD?

[SOLD President] Rachel Goble Carey and I met while I was still in high school and she was about to start her post-grad studies. We kept in touch and I followed her journey as she was doing her own child exploitation awareness, which then evolved into SOLD. After I finished my undergrad, I asked if I could intern with The SOLD Project and I was hooked from there!

What keeps you pressing on in this work? What gets you excited about being involved?

It has been incredible to see how far SOLD has come and how much of an impact they have made on the lives of the children and families they work with. I truly believe that prevention is the key, and while it may not be the most glamourous, I would like to contribute as much as I possibly can. Its exciting to see the kids who are in to program, who are extremely at risk, and just to see where their life is going to take them after they are given an education.

How is the support-raising going?

Support-raising has been phenomenal. It is such a daunting task, but it is truly incredible to watch the donations come in. People are so generous and it has been a humbling process for sure. [You can support Shannon’s work here by giving a one-time or monthly gift; select “O’Malley Salary.”]

What are you most nervous/excited about in regards to moving to Thailand?

I am so excited to just get there! I have been planning for this move for what seems like forever, I am just excited to start. Thailand is just incredible, and I am really looking forward to a slower pace of

life, especially after living in London the past year. I can’t wait to get to know the kids and meet people in Chiang Rai. I guess I’m nervous about eating too much rice. Oh, and driving!!!

Why is the area of prevention so important?

Prevention is so important because if gives children the chance to never see a life of exploitation. Through education, they are given opportunities, not only to learn and work, but to dream. While other areas of anti-exploitation work are crucial, once a person has been exposed to that life there is no erasing it. Not to mention that a high percentage actually return to prostitution after being rescued. Prevention, in my belief, is the most important and effective way to stop child exploitation.

Shannon plans to be in Thailand for a year, being a liaison between the work on the ground and short- and long-term volunteers who arrive to partner with us. Follow Shannon on her blog and be on the look out for stories and pictures from her new life with the kids in Thailand! 

Shannon O'Malley

Bravely cooking with crabs in Thailand

Cooking with Field Crabs // Thailand 2010
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2012 7:13 pm

    Whoohooo! It’s gonna be awesome Shannon- so excited for you! 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. Don’t spend money. (But do buy toilet paper.) « The SOLD Project Blog

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