Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!

by Tamar Center
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Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
Help Sexworkers in Thailand find a new life!
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!

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Tamar Family November 2020
Tamar Family 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

Daniel

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

Bar Girls receiving Tamar Gift Bags
Bar Girls receiving Tamar Gift Bags
Tamar Christmas Party
Tamar Christmas Party
Tamar Team packing the bags
Tamar Team packing the bags
Women getting more bags
Women getting more bags
Giving out food!
Giving out food!
More bags going out
More bags going out
Thankful women in the Bar
Thankful women in the Bar
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Our students practising their skills in village
Our students practising their skills in village

Hello everybody!

It is time again for another short update from us here in Pattaya. Thank you for your continued support of the work that we are doing here in Pattaya. Without your help, we would not be able to continue, and that is especially true in a time like this, where all our businesses are not working due to the economic situation.

These last months have been challenging but in all the issues and problems we also see some good things that have happened and today we want to share some of those with you:

-          We were able to hand out many thousands of food bags to women and children in need. Every day we still have contact with women in need and are continuing to hand out food to them and offer them other help as well. In that way the pandemic has really helped us to get in contact with many new women, that we did not had contact with before.

-          Thanks to a donor from Germany we are able to give out hundreds of free haircuts to the bargirls. These free haircuts are a real help to the women and they help us to built new relationships and to find out more about the current situation and needs of the women.

-          We had an amazing Tamar Vocational and Life Training. 13 women joined this three-months long training, and all graduated at the end of September. We continue to train them and two of them are even taken over as our main bakers soon. The others are doing good as well and we continue to invest in their lives.

-          But these women are not only receiving, we already went two times and will go for a third time in November to visit villages in the Issan area of Thailand with them. During the times in the village, they offer their new learned skills to the villagers, cooking food, giving free haircuts, playing with the children, etc. It has been great to see them giving back some of the things that they have learned.

-          Our team in the card room was able to finish two big orders of custom Christmas cards for two big companies. It was a lot of work, but it was also great to send the parcels of to Hong Kong and Germany and to celebrate over Korean ice-cream with all the women that prepared the cards.

-          We were able to move to a couple of new houses. Not only did we get better, newly renovated houses, but due to the crisis we also got better rental prices on the properties and the women enjoy the new spaces

As you can see the situation is not the easiest, but there is also some light and some good thing that are happening. Thanks to your help and support we can continue to reach out a helping hand to the women and children in need here in Pattaya.

Thank you!

Women picking up food bags in October
Women picking up food bags in October
Women returning to their bars with Tamar food bags
Women returning to their bars with Tamar food bags
Graduation from Tamar Training
Graduation from Tamar Training
Women receiving free hair treatment
Women receiving free hair treatment
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Group of the Tamar Vocational and Life Training
Group of the Tamar Vocational and Life Training

Hello everyone!

Hope you are all doing well. The world is still in the grip of Covid-19 and we hope and trust that you are safe. Thank you for helping and supporting us even during this difficult time.

Here in Thailand we had no locally transmitted cases for the last month – which we are very happy about. But the restrictions are still severe, and no Tourists are allowed to come in. At the beginning of July, the Entertainment Industry was allowed to open again, and the bars opened. This brought many of the women from Issan back to Pattaya, just to find out, that there is no work. The Bars are full of girls – much more women than before – but there are no customers. Many of the Bars are also no paying salaries anymore but only give the women commission – which is bad when there are no customers. Now the women sit for 12 hours in the bars and get no money in the end for it… Due to this we are continuing with food distribution every Friday – the women can come to our Center and receive a bag full of food.

We also reacted in June and started a Mini-Training for women from the Bars. 10 women joint this month-long training – they came for the whole month and five learned baking and 5 learned hair dressing. They studied Monday to Thursday and Fridays were reserved for team time, counseling, and some fun activities. This Training went so well that seven of the women decided to leave the Bars behind and moved in with us to start our three-month long Tamar Vocational and Life Training - were we have a total of 13 women participating - the biggest group in years. They are now in the third week of this already and are still going strong. It is nice to see, how the women are slowly starting to trust us, asking questions, and looking for help. Due to the difficult situation in the country we have decided to now only let them do the Training with us for free – which includes Housing, some meals, all the teaching and a weekly allowance, but to also support their families back in Issan so that the women do not have to worry about them. We let the women go shopping and purchase supplies for their families which we sent home for them with the Thai Post and we are also sending money for basic needs to each family.

Otherwise, the situation here is still hard. Our Hair Salon has hardly any customers and this is also true for our Restaurant. But we are happy that we got a big order for Christmas Cards already which our women now produce, and we are hoping to receive more orders. Do you have your Christmas or Thanksgiving Cards already? If no, please check out our shop at the website below and think about helping our women making an income.

To sum up the situation in town let me tell you about a call that we received on Saturday morning:

Can you please help us again with food? We have worked for the last 11 days in our Bar and did not have a single customer coming in even for a drink. We have nothing anymore; can we please have some more rice and fish and sauce?

This is soo sad. We arranged to meet with these five women at a supermarket and bought them some needed supplies. They were overwhelmed and some of them could not stop crying.

We are trying in the moment to balance our workload between the 13 women that have joined our Training and helping the many that come to ask for help in our Hair Salon. We deeply miss our Volunteers and Teams that normally help us, but we are pressing on, also thanks to your help, that make it possible that we can continue to help and reach out to the women. Thank you!

For the Tamar Family

The women shopping for supplies for their families
The women shopping for supplies for their families
The Group of the June Mini Training
The Group of the June Mini Training
Our Team packing food donations!
Our Team packing food donations!
The women that phoned for urgent food help
The women that phoned for urgent food help
Handing out food to children in need due to Covid
Handing out food to children in need due to Covid

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Line of women waiting at Tamar for food
Line of women waiting at Tamar for food

Hello everybody!

It is time for another update from Tamar Center. First, let me say a big THANK YOU to you all for your support of Tamar Center during this current time. Who would have expected a couple of months ago that the whole world would be in total crisis mode now? Thank you for supporting us and especially to those that helped with our emergency appeal.

Here at Tamar, everybody is safe. Since last week Friday, we are basically shutdown, as the local government shut all non-essential businesses and asked people to stay at home. We are following this. But in the days before, we were very busy with preparing and handing out food packages to women, men and ladyboys (transgenders) that lost their jobs. Here in Pattaya, the complete sex industry was shut down by the government which put tens of thousands of people out of a job. In the beginning, the women where still allowed to stay in the bars as most of them were living there on the top floors, but when the whole closure of all non-essential businesses was announced, the women had to leave and found themselves suddenly on the street.

The impact here is very big. Pattaya relies on the tourism industry for 80% of its income.. I put a link below to a local newspaper article that describes the knock-on effect that the closure on the bars has. Suddenly, we received a lot of calls from women that told us that they had nothing to eat anymore and asked for help. We first packed 20 bags and drove them out, but our car got totally overwhelmed by many women coming and standing in line. We switched gears and over the next days distributed 470 food packages to the people that needed it – each should last for about one week. – It was great teamwork and we enjoyed it, even though it was hard to see the desperation in the eyes of the women. While we are shut down, our team is still in contact with the women. All women who received the food packages, received our contact information and currently, we are working in partnership with some other NGO’s that are still distributing food. We have decided as Tamar Center to concentrate on the emotional support of the women and if they are hungry, send them to others that are providing food. At the same time, we are getting ready to continue our distribution as soon as the others stop, as we are think that this will not be over anytime soon. Many women left Pattaya as well and returned to their villages, but now travelling in Thailand is also very difficult as no buses or trains are running anymore.

While doing this, we also had to keep the women in our program safe. Not easy in this situation. We have many women with HIV, two pregnant ones and some with other health conditions which is part of why we shut down for now. We are evaluating how we can safely continue. Difficult times! Thank you for standing with us and for being concerned about the women here in Pattaya. We will keep you updated and if you would like more detailed information, please follow us on Facebook or contact us via Email.

For the Tamar Family

Bar Girls happy about receiving our food donations
Bar Girls happy about receiving our food donations
Tamar Team packing the food bags
Tamar Team packing the food bags
Woman receiving food bag
Woman receiving food bag
Women who receive our food aid
Women who receive our food aid

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Organization Information

Tamar Center

Location: Pattaya, Chonburi - Thailand
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Pattaya, Chonburi Thailand
$56,625 raised of $65,000 goal
 
452 donations
$8,375 to go
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