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.
Oct 15, 2012

8 girls graduate; 5 are first from their school to go to high school!

Last week, we received an exciting update from Blah Chermui, our Scholarship Manager in Thailand: eight of our girl students have passed their entrance exams and are going to high school!

For this particular region, that's unprecedented. To put it in perspective, five of these girls graduated from Bong Phrae, a local village grade school that, until now, had never had a girl go on to high school. Not one. And this year alone there were five!

All of these girls have overcome incredible odds: A culture that doesn't place a high value on education and places an even lower value on girls; Parents that are divorced, indebted, abusive, alcoholic, imprisoned, or absent; Generations of poverty.

"It is hard because the teacher at the school not really encourage and support them to go to high school," Blah explains. "Because they thought that high school is only for someone who has very good GPA or study hard. And they think that their own students can not do it—that they are not good enough. There are very few of the parents, too, who really know how to encourage, how to introduce, explain, and help their own kid to make plan for education. They not really think about how important it is during the time they graduate, before or after."

We've known many of these girls since they were just 11 or 12 and we have always believed in their potential to become what they dream of: teachers, dentists, nurses, accountants, and so much more. It's a dream come true for us to see them go for it.

As she was facing graduation and the decision to go to high school, one of our students, with wisdom beyond her years, wrote, "The foundation of our future is education. Even if we have little money, the knowledge we have gained stays with us forever. We may be given opportunities, but to make our dreams come true also requires discipline and hard work. I also dream that one day, with a lot of hard work, my dreams will become reality. I hope to continue working hard in my studies and make good choices for my future. […] Happiness doesn't mean getting ahead at the cost of those around us, but helping one another find that joy together."

We couldn't agree more. These girls are the first of a new generation of leaders and we are so, so proud of them.

Thanks to your support, incredible changes are taking place in these villages in northern Thailand. This is nothing less than the "girl effect" in action. Which is why we're honored and thrilled that this project has been selected to compete in the annual Girl Effect GlobalGiving Challenge this November.

From November 1st to 30th, we'll be competing for a year-long spot as a part of the Girl Effect Fund. At the end of the month, the six organizations with the highest number of unique donors will win. This would be huge for us, both financially and in terms of international exposure. And we'll need your help to pull it off. Our goal is to invite 1000 people to give even just $10 during the month of November. And to invite them to invite others. Outrageous? Maybe. But as Blah would say, "We just need help and need to work together. TOGETHER WE CAN DO."

Sep 10, 2012

Plans for the fall

Hi everybody!

Fall is upon us...at least here in the States. In Thailand, rainy (read: monsoon) season continues and our wonderful intern, Zoe Hart, who's been busy this summer teaching art and music to the kids at the Resource Center, is wrapping up her time with us. (We'll miss you, Zoe!)

In our last report in June, we shared about a special matching gift opportunity, and you all turned out to support us! Thank you! Not only did you help us fully fund our project to provide the Resource Center with consistent access to running water, you gave nearly $2,000 towards our second classroom! As soon as weather conditions permit we'll complete construction on the water tank, tower, and filter system, and prepare the land and lay the foundation for the classroom. Tawee, our Thailand Director, is busy making preparations and we can't wait to get started.

We're still $2,300 short from our funding goal for Phase 2 of the classroom, but we're confident we can reach that goal before the end of the year. In fact, mark your calendars—GlobalGiving will be matching your gifts again on October 17! (We love it when they do that!)

Also, this November, The SOLD Project has been invited to participate in the Girl Effect Challenge! This is a huge opportunity and we're really excited to tell you more about it, so stay tuned!

Thank you for your ongoing support of our work to prevent the exploitation of children through education. We're making a difference.

With hope,

Michael Colletto

Links:

Jun 19, 2012

We're fully funded!

Thank you! On June 13 we set out to raise the remaining $1,310 needed to provide our Resource Center with consistent access to running water. Before Noon, you'd helped us reach that goal...and you kept on giving!

We ended up exceeding our goal by more than $2,000! As soon as weather conditions permit (Chiang Rai is in the middle of rainy season) we'll complete construction on the water tank, tower, and filter system, and any funds left over will go to help fund our second classroom building (Project #8308—see link below). We can't wait to send you photos when it's all finished!

Thank you for your continued support of our work and mission to prevent child exploitation through education. By providing something as basic as clean running water, you allow us to continue investing in the lives of these children and their families. Together, we're changing the future.

With hope,

Michael Colletto

Links:

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