Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Thailand:
On May 10, I met with an organization that is addressing human trafficking and sexual exploitation from where it starts instead of at the end of the line. The SOLD Project is using education as a means of trafficking prevention from the outskirts of Chiang Rai, Thailand.
I met with Shannon, Director of Interns and Volunteers, to visit The SOLD Project facility and resource center for youth. GlobalGiving funds provided a computer lab and provided new desks to this facility. When I arrived, a local university student was teaching students the importance of social media safety. A lesson I think we all could benefit from. Shannon shared that there are about 120 youth in its program in total, but about 20-30 attend daily. Youth spend their time after school, on weekends, and on breaks learning about computers, art, guitar, photography, and any other projects that volunteers and mentors wish to teach.
During computer time, I was able to sit down with a few of The SOLD Project's scholarship recipients and get to know them better.
Cat, one of the first scholarship recipients, shared a bit about her background: Her favorite subjects include English and math. When not in school, Cat watches TV and listens to music. After high school she hopes to do something with communication and language. She loves to learn because of the variety of knowledge she gains, and she wants to learn more. After, she said “thank you very much for tables, chairs, and computers.” Because they have access to computers and Internet, they can all learn so much more.
Nan is another young student I spoke with who has applied and just passed the entrance exam for a good school that teaches English and Chinese. In her free time she likes to listen to music and read books. Her favorite subject is language, and she hopes to pursue studying tourism when she gets to university.
I was told by one of the SOLD students that if SOLD wasn’t there, she would not have anything to do, be bored, and not be with friends. The SOLD Project provides an outlet for these youth - a chance to continue education past what they can afford, continue learning, and a safe place to be when not in school.
At the end of the day, I sat with staff and spoke about their backgrounds and what brought them to SOLD. Many shared how their religious backgrounds drove them to work with an organization like SOLD, but all shared their passion and commitment to working for this organization.
Once again, we want to thank all of you for giving so generously to support the installation of a computer lab at The SOLD Project's Resource Center in Thailand. We also wanted to send a couple photos. : )
Thanks to your investment, dozens of students have daily access to six internet-connected computer workstations where they can research for advanced homework assignments, explore, play, create, and learn the skills they'll need to compete on university entrance exams and, later, in the workforce.
But we didn't stop there! Over the summer, we laid plans for a second classroom building at the Center and began raising funds through GlobalGiving. (Click here to read the latest update.) When complete, we'll move the computer lab into this new building to better serve the needs of our growing number of students. We're also really close to fully funding a project to replace the broken desk chairs the students currently use during class and install a water tank on the property to combat recent water shortages on site.
We're honored and encouraged by your belief and investment in SOLD's work to prevent the sexual exploitation of children. Your gifts are life-changing for these kids. "Thank you" doesn't fully convey the gratitude in our hearts, but it's all we've got. So, thank you!
Quick update from the field:
In honor of her 31st birthday, SOLD volunteer Jade Keller is asking people to donate $31 to The SOLD Project's computer lab, in lieu of birthday presents. Her goal is to raise $1,031 by June 14 and, if successful, that amount will finally complete the computer lab at the Resource Center!
As SOLD's Education Manager, Jade runs bi-weekly workshops geared towards providing important fundamental skills in communication, problem solving, and critical thinking to help the students as they progress in life.
"When we have a computer lab, my goal is to teach the kids how to use the internet safely and effectively," Jade explains. "I want to teach them the logic behind keyword searches and also how to evaluate source credibility so they can judge for themselves the validity of information they come across. The idea is that if they have these skills, then they will always have access to information and knowledge. I can teach them basic skills in MS Word and Excel. And, fingers crossed, hopefully set up an email-based mentor-ship program between the kids here and students in the U.S., where the kids in the U.S. can help expand these kids’ vision of the world and dream bigger about the opportunities available to them, while hopefully helping American kids become a little more globally aware and culturally sensitive."
We're so grateful for Jade, so grateful for you, and so excited to finish this project! Thank you for your support.
Thank you! On April 1, we set out to raise $5,200 to equip our Resource Center outside Chiang Rai, Thailand with five computers, giving the at-risk children of this poor rural community access to the internet and the opportunity to learn computer skills.As of today, you’ve helped us raise $4,353! Not only is this enough to purchase the computers, but your massive show of support in April—$4,035 from 68 people in just 28 days—helped us succeed in GlobalGiving’s Open Challenge! The SOLD Project is now an official GlobalGiving Partner organization! Thanks to you, SOLD has earned a permanent spot on GlobalGiving’s website, allowing us to benefit from GlobalGiving’s platform, network, reputation, and tools for years to come.Over the last month, we’ve finished building a security fence around the perimeter of the Resource Center to ensure the safety of the kids and future resident staff, as well as deter against theft of the soon-to-be-purchased computers.We still need to raise an additional $847 to reach our final goal and purchase the software and peripherals for the computers, but we’ve come a long way! At this rate, we hope we can have the computer lab finished early this summer!Thank you for your continued support. Your gifts are helping stop child prostitution before it begins, and ensuring that these children live a life of freedom.With hope,
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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