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.
Dec 13, 2012

Good news!

A full class at the Resource Center
A full class at the Resource Center

Hi everyone,

I have some GREAT news and a quick update on the classroom building. First, during the month of November, The SOLD Project had the opportunity to compete in the second annual Girl Effect Challenge to become part of The Girl Effect for one year. We were super excited about the opportunity and believed we had a strong shot at being one of the six finalists, but even we were suprised by your incredible outpouring of support! Let's just say we did pretty well. : )

This means that, from December 1, 2012 through November 30, 2013, not only will our work benefit from increased exposure thanks to an endorsement from the Girl Effect, but The SOLD Project will also receive one-twelfth of any funds contributed to the Girl Effect Fund on GlobalGiving! This will be a HUGE help to all our staff and students in Thailand and may even help speed along plans to expand our classroom facilities. Either way, we can't wait to see what comes of this new partnership!

Meanwhile, construction has yet to begin on the second classroom building. Although we have raised enough funds to start, our staff and local workers advised against beginning construction until we're assured of being able to finish it before the rains start again. It's good advice, so we're holding off for now.

The existing Resource Center continues to hum with activity; the 250 people that showed up for our bi-annual Parent Meeting last month was yet another reminder why we need a second building! But if enough people like you get behind this project, we know we can finish this classroom in 2013. We're so grateful for your support!

Enjoy your holidays!

Michael

P.S. A generous anonymous donor has agreed to match 100% of new monthly donations from December 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012. For example, if you set up a new $25 monthly recurring donation, GlobalGiving will donate an additional $25 to the project. And if 10 people do it, they'll even donate an extra $500! So spread the word! Click here to learn more.

Staff addresses the crowd at our Parent Meeting
Staff addresses the crowd at our Parent Meeting
Nov 27, 2012

We're so close!!!

You start the Girl Effect
You start the Girl Effect

With less than four days left in The Girl Effect Challenge, I have to begin with a huge THANK YOU! Your generous gifts in support of our work have kept The SOLD Project at the very top of the running all month!

However, the competition is getting fierce! Just last night we were overtaken and slipped from among the top six Finalist positions. Help us secure our spot as a Finalist!

Right now, we need at least 30 new people to give $10 to reclaim our spot—and, as of this writing, we're just sixty $10 gifts out of first place. All of your gifts have already been counted, so for purposes of this challenge there's no need for you to give again (unless you really want to, of course). Instead, please continue to reach out to friends and family to invite them to give $10, too!

Post to Facebook and Twitter, pick up the phone, or send an email. It could be as simple as this:

"An organization I really care about called The SOLD Project is really close to winning The Girl Effect Challenge right now and they need your help. To win, they need as many people as possible to give just $10 before the end of November. I've already given, so I was hoping you would join me. Your simple $10 gift helps them secure a potential grant worth more than $30,000 to help educate at-risk children in Thailand and prevent child prostitution. Click here to give $10. Thanks for helping out!"

Regardless of the outcome, we're so grateful to have you on our team. Already, you've given enough to provide educational resources to ALL of the kids in our program for a full two months!

So, here's to you! You give us confidence that we can do this.

With gratitude (and in suspense),

Michael

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."

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