The SOLD Project

We believe that education is the key to preventing child exploitation. Our mission is to prevent child prostitution through culturally relevant programs for vulnerable children and to share their stories to empower creative, compassionate people to act. Beginning as a documentary, we are now a grassroots non-profit offering scholarship and resources to at-risk children in rural northern Thailand. Our work is two-fold: prevention through education in Thailand and raising global awareness.
Feb 12, 2015

The second classroom is complete!

Completed Classroom (Photo Cred: Allison Harp)
Completed Classroom (Photo Cred: Allison Harp)

Wow - what a journey this has been! Years ago we had the vision to build a second classroom on our property in Northern Thailand. We are SO thrilled that we can now officially announce that it is complete. 

The Resource Center in Northern Thailand acts as The SOLD Project's Thailand headquarters, offering office space to our dozen Thai National staff as well as acting as a community center and after school program to the community. As SOLD has continued to expand - giving scholarships to more students, developing programs through our sustainability project to reach the community, and organizing community prevention awareness campaigns, the Resource Center is a catch-all for these programs and much more. The need for this second classroom has been great - especially since we've outgrown our first classroom. 

The second classroom offers a large and inviting space for our staff to work, a bright and well lit classroom for students to learn in, a computer lab, and a private counseling room with a separate entrance to ensure privacy when families want to meet with our counselors. The first classroom is still thriving as well - the top floor has been converted to a guest house to provide housing to volunteers and visitors. The downstairs has been converted to a library and is where our after school program manager hosts art activities, tutoring, and much more. 

This new space has provided a new energy and monentum to our staff, students, and the community at large. We are so incredibly grateful to all of our donors for their generous support. I want to give a special thank you to LUSH Cosmetics and Cultural Care Foundation for providing generous grants as well as to the key individuals (you know who you are) for giving so self sacrifically to support it's completion. 

From the bottom of our hearts - thank you. Our next project will be to fundraise for new computers for our computer lab to outfit the new room!

After School (Photo Cred: Allison Harp)
After School (Photo Cred: Allison Harp)
New Classroom (Photo Cred: Allison Harp)
New Classroom (Photo Cred: Allison Harp)
Computer Lab (Photo Cred: Allison Harp)
Computer Lab (Photo Cred: Allison Harp)
Jan 13, 2015

What a wonderful 2015!

Playing games in the after school program
Playing games in the after school program

Dear Friends,

As 2014 comes to a close I’m feeling so grateful for another year of profoundly meaningful and impactful work with The SOLD Project. We continue to learn that prevention works! In a village where more than half of the young boys and girls used to drop out of grade school and were at high risk of sex trafficking, 84 of the 129 children in our scholarship program are now pursuing higher education—and 95% have stayed in school.
While our growth and success is encouraging, I continue to be most inspired by the stories of the children we work with. One of these stories is of fifteen year old Faa*, when she reminded me that prevention work is not a linear task: it requires walking alongside of our students as they face daily battles in their lives. Faa* has been receiving a scholarship from SOLD since 2008 and has been an active participant in our programs. Earlier this year her family forced her into a marriage with an older man - a marriage she did not want. With the support of The SOLD Project’s scholarship and counseling team, her family received the counseling and guidance needed to help Faa* stay on the path of education. 
Another story is of Fep*, one of our recent University graduates. When I first read Fep’s story – he grew up undocumented and the son of a drug dealer – I was moved to tears by his commitment to education as a means to help his people. Today, six years later, he has graduated with a law degree and received his citizenship. His dream is to practice law to bring justice to others in his similar situation. 
Meanwhile, the Resource Center has been an unbelievable success. The number of students regularly attending the after-school programs increased so much that we built a second building. This second building has a new classroom, a counseling center, a computer lab and larger office space for our growing Thai staff.We also welcomed four key Thai staff members including a counselor and after school program manager. 
Your contributions to The SOLD Project has affected the lives of an entire community and, with your help, the story of how prevention is breaking the cycle of poverty and freeing children from a future of exploitation continues to spread.
Thank you so much for continuing to support The FREEDOM Project's work to prevent child exploitation. 
Riding elephants
Riding elephants
Home visit in the community for one of our student
Home visit in the community for one of our student
Nov 18, 2014

We're in the home stretch!

The new office!
The new office!

We are so excited to be settling in to the new classroom and are already wondering how we ever handled operations and activities at the Resource Center before it! We have furnished the new office for our expanding staff with new desks that are created to withstand the humid temperatures of Thailand, a large meeting table made by a local villager and recycled from a tree, and storage space to organize student profiles, receipts, etc. The new classroom is also being put to use - fans were recently purchased to keep it cool and a large whiteboard is a much needed new addition. The few working computers have been moved over to the space designated for a computer lab, and fundraising for new computers will be our next endeavor! On the back of the building is a private entrance to a counseling room, where our Prevention Program Director meets with our students and their families on a regular basis. 

We are so close to completion: the only things left to purchase are air conditioning units and a few new printers. Each air conditioning unit will be high powered to be able to cool the large rooms and costs roughly $1,500 a piece. We'll be putting one in the office, counseling room, computer lab and classroom. This will be extremely helpful during hot season, when students and staff are unable to work because of the sweltering heat. The AC will allow for a respite from the heat, encouraging productivity, focus and attendance (since it's so hard to find a place to cool down!). 

Thank you so much to everyone who has given to support the building of this new space! We are so thrilled to not only have an office that actually fits all of our staff but also to have a designated space for classes, freeing up the (old) classroom to be used as a Library and creative arts center. 

We are so appreciative! 

The new classroom
The new classroom
Art in the classroom
Art in the classroom

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