Empower 30 Thai Children Through Education

by Global Relief Association for Crises & Emergencies, Inc.
Empower 30 Thai Children Through Education
Empower 30 Thai Children Through Education
Empower 30 Thai Children Through Education
Empower 30 Thai Children Through Education
Empower 30 Thai Children Through Education
Empower 30 Thai Children Through Education
Empower 30 Thai Children Through Education
Empower 30 Thai Children Through Education
Child of GRACE
Child of GRACE

Is there anything about you, or your family, that you would like to share? I am an elementary school teacher in North Carolina, USA. My parents are retired. We have been members of the same church together for nearly thirty years now. We enjoy spending time together, going for walks, watching mystery movies, and drinking fancy coffee treats.


How did you first learn about GRACE? We learned about GRACE through our church. I (Amanda) had the opportunity to travel to Thailand on two mission trips with our church. During our trips, we worked with Jon and Angie at the Khao Noi Family Resource Center in Pattaya. I was able to see firsthand the work that GRACE does with the children and their families.


What made you decide to get involved as a child sponsor? Seeing the work that GRACE does firsthand during my trips to Thailand made me want to get involved! The FRC was such a happy and joyous place to visit. The children were so sweet and fun to be around. The multifaceted work that GRACE does is making a huge difference in the lives of these children and their families. The alternative, and the reality, for many Thai children is sadly not as optimistic.

Tell us about your experience as a child sponsor. Together we sponsor one child in Korat named Pim. Angie is great about providing updated pictures through a shared album and also letting us know how Pim and her family are doing. We are grateful to be able to financially support Pim, her education, and her family through the work that GRACE is doing. God has blessed us so much and provided for all of our needs, so we are grateful to be able to give back in a meaningful way.


What does GRACE mean to you? GRACE means joy. As an organization, GRACE is bringing joy to so many people by supporting them and giving them resources to change their lives for the better. We pray that God continues to bless all of their efforts!

Submitted by a sponsor through GRACE's Share Your Sponsorship Story opportunities.

GRACE Thailand Director and Staff Visit Families
GRACE Thailand Director and Staff Visit Families

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Children of GRACE
Children of GRACE

Poverty and illiteracy are proven vulnerabilities in the exploitation and trafficking of people, especially children. The service your generous donations provide ensure children are not only protected from being a victim but advocating for them when they have already experienced the trauma of exploitation and trafficking. Our goal is to prevent trafficking of children. Occasionally, a child enters into our after school and day camp program in need of protection from their predators. 

It was a seemingly very long two months when the stepfather was arrested and charged with two years of sexual abuse. He admitted to sexual abuse and providing child pornography of an eight year old child. The mother became belligerent, threatening her own mother’s life and attempting to kidnap *Precious Gemstone. The grandmother informed the police of her daughter’s behavior and intention to kidnap her from school. The police were rescuing *Precious Gemstone from her classroom as the mother was storming the school’s administrative offices with threats demanding her daughter. *Precious Gemstone was ushered to an undisclosed safe haven shelter for long term care. The mother attempted to remove her mother’s report from the police to learn GRACE was the initial report. She then threatened our staff. All the while, we are praying and trusting God as our Provider, Protector and Strength. The stepfather was found guilty and sentenced to twenty years in prison. He was required to pay retribution of 1,500 baht to *Precious Gemstone (that’s equivalent to approximately $50 USD).

Due to this situation, our Director represented GRACE on the municipality committee of child protection, working alongside the authorities and other NGOs in establishing policies and procedures for reporting child abuse, exploitation and trafficking cases. Since August of 2018, GRACE is aware of twenty-one cases within our care in which children or their parents experienced exploitation or human trafficking situations. These situations are heavy. We have experienced the forced marriage of a fourteen year old, a twelve year old being trafficked into a brothel (a different brothel than where her twenty-five year old mother works), a set of teen siblings forced to work in agricultural fields, a young mother selling her infant to black market adoption agencies, a seven year old girl dancing at local bars in the evenings, others in debt servitude, boys placed into temples to serve as novice monks and beg for food and offerings, and a mother’s agony over her nineteen year old son disappearing from fishing boat labor. These do not include the numerous children living as orphaned children to a single father, grandparents, a guardian, or a slum community leader because their mother is ‘working overseas’ or ‘working in the city’ [in the sex industry]. These cases are of those we directly serve through GRACE in Thailand.

For these and those whom will need advocacy in the future, your generosity ensures hope through eradicating their vulnerabilities.

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Food distribution during pandemic Summer 2021
Food distribution during pandemic Summer 2021

Amidst the glimmer of soon returning pre-pandemic normalcy, the Delta variant came upon Thailand as a monsoon. With hopes of economic recovery associated with tourism, hope was beginning to spark across the centers, with staff and families, and tourist on mission to contribute to society goodness. The spark quickly faded and extinguished into friends and families of GRACE not having access to the vaccinations and young families testing positive with the coronavirus. "When will it end?", a lady asked with a sense of despair. Most of the children have no access to school with the complete shutdown. Curfews are activated. No public gatherings. Only banks, grocers, clinics and hospitals remain open. But GRACE.... where the staff established a schedule for times of distributing nutritional, hygiene and educational supplies to the families and children of GRACE. Social media outlets have provided socialization opportunities for the families to stay connected. They encourage one another and share hardships. Determined to gain strength collectively and win the battle against challenging times resulting from the economic and health disaster, families are finding hope in the new normalcy. Your support matters as these parents are suffering in the worst economic condition of their lives. Thank you for helping us to ensure essentials are available. You matter. Please consider donating to help with the multitudes of our families who have no job nor current source of income.

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Loy & Piano with their children.
Loy & Piano with their children.

A new family resource center (FRC) of GRACE is located in the Thep Sathit district of the province of Chaiyaphum. The northeastern Isaan region of Thailand’s province of Chaiyaphum means “Land of Victory”. The landscape is beautiful with mountain ridges and meadows of Siam tulips. The agricultural crops harvest rice, tapioca, sugar cane and taro root.

Join us in welcoming Loh and Piano as leaders of our new GRACE Family Resource Center in Thap Sathit! They have two beautiful children, Opol (son) and Yogurt (daughter). They own a bakery and pastor a church in the community.

They are working to build relationships with the different villages within the area. They are identifying the school-aged children in the area. Monthly community activities will evolve into a formal after school program. Children of marginalized families may enroll in the after school program and receive educational, nutritional and wellness support.

The children are currently enjoying summertime break from school. They plan to return to school in May. Many of the children are not attending school but are working in the agricultural fields. GRACE Family Resource Center provides financial support to ensure these children have access to educational opportunities.

Loy & Piano, Coordinators, GRACE FRC Thep Sathit
Loy & Piano, Coordinators, GRACE FRC Thep Sathit
Traditional dress of Chaiyaphum
Traditional dress of Chaiyaphum

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Organization Information

Global Relief Association for Crises & Emergencies, Inc.

Location: Cartersville, GA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @GlobReliefAssoc
Project Leader:
Angie Sullivan
Cofounder, Global Relief Association for Crises & Emergencies, Inc (USA & Thailand)
Cartersville, Georgia United States

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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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