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These are not the posts you are looking for.

August 2, 2012

It’s a funny thing working in this particular social issue. It can be a heavy feeling to have your workday focus on, in some way or other, the idea that people want to have sex with children. Even that phrase itself seems too harsh, too blinding to type out. It seems so distant from the northern Thai village and its computer lab, art classes, and badminton games.

We’re lucky enough to be on the prevention side of this issue. Our stories are stories of hope, of lives changed, of trauma averted. We are privileged to work with kids who are still kids, and we want to keep it that way for them. For a while, we kicked around the idea of a tagline “Prevention isn’t sexy. Neither are kids.” Or something along those lines. Because badminton isn’t sexy. (Seriously, you should see us play. NOT sexy.) Are these English classes really changing lives? In a world of Dateline exposes and dramatic rescues, it can be hard to play this long-game. But all these pieces–these events and programs and games and learning–are making a difference. Our reports of graduation and a record number of kids continuing in school in our village are measured accomplishments indeed, but always with the undercurrent of another success: what didn’t happen. What these children didn’t do. And thank God.

When you have a blog, you can find out how people are finding your site. You’ll see the “tags” above our posts, which are meant to serve as keywords to help Google direct people here when they are looking for information about “Thailand,” “child exploitation,” “non-profits,” etc. But a funny thing happens with the vocabulary we use in this line of work. We get a lot of traffic from people looking for child prostitutes or pornography. Or at best, the most recent term: “teen girls in sexy clothes.”

It’s a strange reminder that the threat to these kids–all kids–is real. As if we needed a reminder, but there it is all the same. So we play badminton all the harder. Partly because it’s humiliating to be beaten so soundly by these kids, even after all this time. But mostly because when these kids feel good about themselves and when they believe they can accomplish great things and when they see that people care for them and watch their local community come around them… that’s what SOLD is about.

So if you’ve found this blog in your hunt for something very different: WELCOME. You’ve come to the wrong place, and we’re so glad you’re here.

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