Mar 9, 2018

Building Resilience in our Students

Students participating in the workshop
Students participating in the workshop

Dear Friends,

March is a busy time for us as our students are wrapping up the end of the school year and those graduating from one school level are applying to the next. Programming is in full effect at both of our Resource Centers as our staff are helping with school applications, summer job opportunities, and planning activities where students have a safe space to learn and hang out.

Recently, Luck, our on staff counselor, ran a workshop for our students in high school called “Loving Myself.” The activity focused on building self-esteem. Students drew an outline of their bodies on paper and then wrote things they liked either physically or mentally about themselves. Other students then went around and wrote things they admired about each student. Increasing self-esteem helps prevent trafficking by decreasing isolation and by helping students identify their value and confidence. When many of our students come from broken homes or a culture where love is seldom outwardly expressed, these kinds of activities can be a revelation. Doing these activities together helps build resilience and encourages healthy, supportive relationships. 

Trying different activities has helped me develop my thinking. I can join in activities…I have learned how to have better manners, which the staff taught me, how to accept the differencesof others, and have a better attitude. I also now have new friends.” – *Pim

Thank you for making programs like these possible! 

With hope,

The Freedom Story Team

*Name has been changed to protect the anonymity of the student 

Student drawings
Student drawings
Dec 13, 2017

What a Wonderful Year!

Staff speaking at the Christmas party
Staff speaking at the Christmas party

Dear Friends,

As 2017 comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on what a great year it’s been for The Freedom Story. It’s been amazing to see the myriad ways our work has impacted our students and the entire community. We’re truly thankful for your involvement in helping to prevent the exploitation of children in Thailand.

December is a fun time for everyone as we host our annual Christmas party. The theme of this year’s party was “Giving Creates Happiness.” Staff, students, families, and other local organizations’ reps gathered to celebrate the season of giving. With help from our high school leaders, staff decorated The Bong Prae Resource Center with Christmas trees and lights. The day included a speech by our staff, games, a talent show, lunch, and gifts. 

"Happiness is not just in receiving but is also for the ones who give, and they too can get happiness from the act of giving," explained Thailand Founding Director, Tawee Donchai, in a speech about the season for the attendees.

"It was a great way to celebrate everyone and have fun together while other organizations also got to know more about us," said Sumitra, one of our Activities staff.

Opportunities to celebrate, have fun, and relax are often scarce for our students and families. Economic constraints, little free time, or, for our students who don’t live with their families, the absence of a caregiver mean many aren’t able to celebrate holidays. The opportunity to do so together at the Resource Center allows us to build relationships with the community, show our students that we love and care about them, and ultimately help facilitate open and honest relationships between staff and students, which means we can better support them in the future.

Thank you for partnering with us to disrupt child exploitation! We hope you have an incredible holiday season.

With hope,

The Freedom Story Team

A winner of the talent show
A winner of the talent show
Students opening up their gifts
Students opening up their gifts
Sep 14, 2017

The Importance of Mentorship

Girls Club
Girls Club

The Freedom Story provides mentorship through one-on-one home visits with our scholarship students and workshops open to all students in the region. Our Girls club is an on-going workshop that continues to be a highlight for many of our students.

Jenna, one of our Resource Center volunteers, and Ketsara, our Leadership Development Director, co-lead clubs on Thursday and Saturdays. Girls club workshops are a great opportunity for girls to strengthen friendships, meet new peers, and learn about themselves and their communities. Through empowering individual girls and strengthening communal bonds, the workshops ultimately prevent trafficking. This month the girls finished a section on “Building Character.” Covering topics like “self-image,” “what makes you happy?” and “making healthy choices,” the girls explored new ideas and questions in a safe and open environment. Many of them said they hadn’t learned about some of the topics before and that the Girls Club is a great addition to the programs offered by The Freedom Story.

Pim*, one of our scholarship students who is in 9th grade, told our staff, “Girls Club is so much fun. It helps teach us a lot of things about our friends and about ourselves.”

We’re incredibly thankful to partner with you in bringing valuable opportunities, such as Girls Club, to our students.

With hope,

The Freedom Story Team

*Name has been changed to protect the anonymity of the student 

Girls Club
Girls Club
Group photo
Group photo
 
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