This project provides job skills, trafficking awareness training, and micro-business starter kits to at-risk girls in rural Laos, near the Thailand border. Poor children are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Many feel obligated to help support their families, so they drop out of school at a young age and look for work. They are lured by traffickers with false promises of high-paying jobs in the city. You'll help protect young girls by providing alternatives to earn income safely.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
More than one million children are trafficked each year and sold into forced labor or the sex trade. Children in the Mekong Sub-region of Southeast Asia are particularly at risk because of poverty and Thailand being a hub for the sex tourism industry. Children living in poverty--especially 9 to 17-year-old girls living near border areas--are at high risk for becoming victims of trafficking. They are unaware of the danger across the border, and are desperate for income.
How will this project solve this problem?
Girls from poor families in rural Laotian villages near the Thailand border are supported through a local youth center. Here, World Concern teaches them job skills such as sewing, hair cutting, and cooking. During their training, they learn about the dangers of trafficking, how to identify traffickers' lies, and how to keep themselves safe. They also learn about HIV and AIDS prevention. At the end of their training, each girl receives a starter kit to start their own micro-business.
Potential Long Term Impact
As more young people become aware of the danger of trafficking, they will be less likely to travel across the border to Thailand in search of work, thereby cutting off the "supply chain" of vulnerable children into forced labor and the sex tourism industry. Groups of 15-25 girls are trained at a time. They will use their new job skills to earn income at home, in their villages, where they can remain safe with their families and return to school. This project will help protect 38 girls.
Total Funding Received to Date: $3,142
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $3,858
Total Funding Goal: $7,000