Feb 14, 2021

Valentine Outreach Report

Valentine Outreach
Valentine Outreach

Greetings from Pattaya to you all!

Today I want to write you a short update about the special Valentine Outreach that we had last Friday. Every year Tamar Center takes part in an event called “Real Men buy flowers and not girls” but his year the organizers of this event were not able to travel to Thailand and so we took it on to organize it from Tamar’s side. We prepared, we fundraised and many of you contributed especially for this event as well. On Friday we were a team of 28 people from four different Foundations working together to reach the women in the bars of Pattaya. We divided ourselves into four groups and went to four different areas. Due to the hardship that many of the women in bars face this year due to Corona we decided to pack them 400 gift bags to cheer them up. Each bag contained a specially made Valentine cookie from the Tamar Bakery, perfume, lipsticks, earrings, bracelet, facemask, a book about Valentine, information about the different foundations that took part in the Outreach and the vocational programs that they offer, a voucher and a fresh rose. The Voucher is for a free Hair Cut in the Tamar Hair Salon and a full bag of food to be collected from Tamar Center Soi 6. Through the vouchers we hope to create another contact point with the women, so that we can chat with them when they come to pick up. Today (Monday) we already have our Hair Salon fully booked with women coming for their free hair cuts and many more have called to come to pick up the food!

It was a great time to reach out to the women. The situation here in the City is still very bad – in the link section, I have included an article that was written in a local paper about the situation, many bars are closed, many women have lost their housing, and some are sleeping in tents in the bar, other bars have fired all the older (25+) year old women and have replaced them with very young girls that have just arrived in Pattaya… It is sad to see but on the other side it was nice to hand out the gifts, reach many women that had never heard about our work and bring some smiles to the face of the women.

At the end of this short report, I want to share the testimony from one of the team leaders about her experience during the Outreach:

On our Valentine’s Outreach we went to a bar where there was only one girl. After talking with her for a while, we learned the girl came from the same village as our translator. They immediately connected. It was such a wonderful sight to see. A woman who freed herself from this life years ago talking to a woman who has yet to see her worth. She smiled when we handed her the rose. Her eyes brightened when we handed her the gift bag. But it was the connection she made with a girl who had been in her exact same situation that truly resonated. We all hugged her and getting ready to leave when she asked if she could have four more roses and four more gift bags because the rest of the girls that she worked with were with customers upstairs. The bar is downstairs, and the brothel is directly upstairs. This is how they get away with calling them bars instead of brothels. When words are watered down, their meanings are watered down. When you call a brothel a bar or a perpetrator a customer, it does not have the same effect. But we all knew what she meant when she said she had 4 friends upstairs with customers. It did not sit well with any of us. But one thing did. This woman was looking out for her friends. She felt so special by the gifts she was given and did not want her friends to miss out. Even at her lowest point, she was thinking of those around her. Selfless only scratches the surface of the character these women hold.

 

For the Tamar Family

The Team!
The Team!
Woman receiving gift bag
Woman receiving gift bag
Group of women with our bags
Group of women with our bags
Distribution of the Bags
Distribution of the Bags
Woman gets the gift
Woman gets the gift
Roses and Bags been given out!
Roses and Bags been given out!

Links:

Dec 25, 2020

Merry Christmas from Thailand!

Tamar Team November 2020
Tamar Team November 2020

Merry Christmas and happy and blessed New Year wishes from the whole Tamar family to you! We hope that even though restrictions are in place in many places around the world, that you still will be able to have a refreshing time with your family and friends!

We just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support during this very difficult and also very different year of 2020. We are amazed by your generosity and your help.  Without you, we, as an organization, would not be standing anymore. This year completely changed the whole way that we are financed. We normally receive about 60% of our funding through our own businesses where the women that come through our programs are employed after training. But due to Covid-19, our businesses are mostly still shut down. And when the mail also stopped going in March, our online store couldn’t mail and we were really in trouble.

As we were considering what to do, we saw that the needs of the women that were still in the bars were even greater than ours.   Many of them had no income anymore and no savings, they were losing their housing because they were not able to pay rent, and many were hungry. The idea of “food help” was born and until now we have given out thousands after thousands of food bags filled with needs of everyday life: rice, noodles, fish, soap, hygiene articles, etc. Through this program, we were able to reach and talk to many more women than we could have imagined. Many came back when they ran out of food and collected more. Even now, we are giving out a hot meal each Friday plus food bags to women that come to our Outreach Center. We were able to run mini trainings (one month long) in baking and hair dressing. And, we had a record number, 13 women, attend our three-month long vocational and life training session where we taught them sewing, hairdressing and baking. Then, we were able to not only employ all our students, but also to employ several other women in card making because we received two very big card orders. Now, at the end of the year, our students, that we helped when they had nothing, went out and helped distribute 400 huge Tamar Christmas food and gift bags to the still needy women here in Pattaya.

Moreover, we were also able to extend our child sponsorship program and added 15 children who will now receive monthly donations through us. We continued to offer housing to women in need and took in a number of new women, three of them highly pregnant who gave birth to healthy babies during this year.  The only thing that we were not able to complete was our new building project. We made some progress but were not able to raise all the needed funds in 2020, but this will be our main priority now for 2021.

Looking back, I am not sure how we did it all. Our team is smaller – as all our volunteers had to leave Thailand due to visa issues.  But we have seen our Thai women, who have gone through our program, rise up, learn, and take leadership. We are very proud of them. And somehow, which in great part is due to your sacrificial giving, we are still able to finish this year in the black – even though we had hardly any income from our businesses and gave out sooo much aid! Thank you for standing with us, for trusting us, and helping us make a difference here in Pattaya. You have touched the lives of many women and have given hope in these desperate circumstances.

From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU and please have a wonderful Christmas!

For the Tamar Family

 

PS: The pictures are from our different Christmas activities and Outreaches of the last weeks – please enjoy!

Tamar Christmas Party 18th December
Tamar Christmas Party 18th December
Tamar Team reading for Bag distribution
Tamar Team reading for Bag distribution
More bags given out
More bags given out
Bar Outreach with Gift Bags
Bar Outreach with Gift Bags
Food time for everyone!
Food time for everyone!
Bags going out
Bags going out
Dec 18, 2020

Merry Christmas!!!!

Tamar Team November
Tamar Team November

Merry Christmas and happy and blessed New Year wishes from the whole Tamar family to you! We hope that even though restrictions are in place in many places around the world, that you still will be able to have a refreshing time with your family and friends!

We just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support during this very difficult and also very different year of 2020. We are amazed by your generosity and your help.  Without you, we, as an organization, would not be standing anymore. This year completely changed the whole way that we are financed. We normally receive about 60% of our funding through our own businesses where the women that come through our programs are employed after training. But due to Covid-19, our businesses are mostly still shut down. And when the mail also stopped going in March, our online store couldn’t mail and we were really in trouble.

As we were considering what to do, we saw that the needs of the women that were still in the bars were even greater than ours.   Many of them had no income anymore and no savings, they were losing their housing because they were not able to pay rent, and many were hungry. The idea of “food help” was born and until now we have given out thousands after thousands of food bags filled with needs of everyday life: rice, noodles, fish, soap, hygiene articles, etc. Through this program, we were able to reach and talk to many more women than we could have imagined. Many came back when they ran out of food and collected more. Even now, we are giving out a hot meal each Friday plus food bags to women that come to our Outreach Center. We were able to run mini trainings (one month long) in baking and hair dressing. And, we had a record number, 13 women, attend our three-month long vocational and life training session where we taught them sewing, hairdressing and baking. Then, we were able to not only employ all our students, but also to employ several other women in card making because we received two very big card orders. Now, at the end of the year, our students, that we helped when they had nothing, went out and helped distribute 400 huge Tamar Christmas food and gift bags to the still needy women here in Pattaya.

Moreover, we were also able to extend our child sponsorship program and added 15 children who will now receive monthly donations through us. We continued to offer housing to women in need and took in a number of new women, three of them highly pregnant who gave birth to healthy babies during this year.  The only thing that we were not able to complete was our new building project. We made some progress but were not able to raise all the needed funds in 2020, but this will be our main priority now for 2021.

Looking back, I am not sure how we did it all. Our team is smaller – as all our volunteers had to leave Thailand due to visa issues.  But we have seen our Thai women, who have gone through our program, rise up, learn, and take leadership. We are very proud of them. And somehow, which in great part is due to your sacrificial giving, we are still able to finish this year in the black – even though we had hardly any income from our businesses and gave out sooo much aid! Thank you for standing with us, for trusting us, and helping us make a difference here in Pattaya. You have touched the lives of many women and have given hope in these desperate circumstances.

From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU and please have a wonderful Christmas!

For the Tamar Family

PS: The pictures are from our different Christmas activities and Outreaches of the last weeks – please enjoy!

Thankful women in the Bar
Thankful women in the Bar
Sponsorship children with Christmas Gifts
Sponsorship children with Christmas Gifts
Packing the Bags
Packing the Bags
One of our Christmas Outreach Parties
One of our Christmas Outreach Parties
Food Distribution
Food Distribution
Women getting bags
Women getting bags
Christmas Bags going out
Christmas Bags going out
 
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