It is time for another update from us at Tamar Center. Thank you for supporting the housing project for our women. Now, that the Covid pandemic is mostly behind us, we did some deep cleaning in all of our houses and made them ready to receive new women. We started the 23rd Tamar Vocational and Life Training on the 26th of February. This training will run for five months until the end of July.
For this training, seven women left the bars in Pattaya behind to start a new life and all seven of them moved into the housing, that you help to provide for the women. In the week before the Training started, we got four new women that moved in and it got very busy. We are very thankful that we have these houses where the women have a safe place to stay and from where they can start to rebuilt their lives.
Most of the women that joined for this year’s training program came alone but some of them are planning to bring their children with them, after the Songkran holiday that will happen in the middle of April this year. One of the women, has two small children that her mother is looking after right now, but the they stay in a very remote area of Thailand without good access to schools and so the Mother decided to enroll her 5 year old son in a school in Pattaya and she will bring him and her other, 1 year old son with her after the break. We have already talked to the school and they are reserving a place for him, as applications have to be made in person and our nursery will look after her other child when it comes.
As you can see, there is always a coming and going and our rooms are getting used a bit. We also had a couple of women that came in the last months but also left again. Some where not ready to leave the bars behind, some had drug problems, and some got a lot of pressure from their families to continue in the bars and to sent big amounts of money home. We try to give each women a nice home, away from home and are grateful to have now seven new women staying with us for the training.
Thank you for making these homes possible. Through your help we always have rooms available so that women can move in within the hour of them contacting us. Thank you for your continued generosity!
For the Tamar Family
Merry Christmas from everyone at Tamar to you all!
Last week we had a series of Christmas parties, which started with the Soi 6 Christmas Party, and earlier this week we enjoyed our big Christmas Outreach and distributed one thousand gifts bags in the bars of Pattaya and last night we celebrated our internal Christmas Party. Today we are slowly winding the year down and are getting ready for our break. Looking back, it has been a challenging year. We are thankful that our new building is, except of some small touches, finally finished! We are looking forward to re-open the Tamar Restaurant in January and to start the Palm Center (Counseling Center) and Tamar Hospitality in January with guests already booked from the middle of the month. We are grateful for many great outreaches and trainings that happened throughout the year, for a sizable number of women leaving the bars, moving into our houses, and starting vocational trainings but are also sad that some women left us this year. We are happy with Planin, who started a baking course at the Dusit Thani College this year and Jeab, who has just finished working with us and will start her own business in January very close to us. We are also grateful that our children successfully made the transition from online school back to normal school again and that all pandemic restrictions have been lifted.
We are also very grateful to you for your support and your help in this last year. You helped us keep going, you helped us to continue to offer housing to women and children in need. You helped us to give out many welcome packs with hygiene articles and bedding to the new women coming and we were also through your generosity able to upgrade several of the houses that we rent and to purchase new furniture and appliances. We could have not done it without you! Thank you!
Peace is an important word this year. We wish for peace on earth, especially when we look towards the war in Ukraine. But not only in Ukraine, we wish for peace in our relationships with friends and family and now because of the pandemic, we wish for our peaceful life to be “back to normal.” But do we find the peace that we are looking for? Unfortunately, we find it less and less. We hope that this Christmas season will be a time for all of us to reflect on the last year, to center ourselves and to gather strength for 2023 so that we will be able to have and bring peace to the world.
In this sense we wish you a peaceful and contemplative Christmas, carefree holidays, good health, and God’s blessings for the year 2023. We are deeply grateful for your help, support, and friendship for us here at Tamar Center!
For the Tamar Family
Greetings from Thailand. Here the rainy season is finally ending and as you are going into autumn, wintertime, we are entering the nice season here. The women working in the bars will also be happy that they rain is finally over. You might wonder why I am writing about this today and the reason is that today I want to update you about a different form of accommodation that we had to start to provide.
The way the bar system here works is that the customers take the women home for the night and not just for an hour or so. But still very often when they are done with the women the men do not want them to stay around and so they sent them home. The women live in very cramped conditions above the bars where they work. We started to notice when we came to work at 08.00 am to our Outreach center that several women were sitting outside their bars and trying to sleep in the rain. They were getting wet and were cold. We asked why they would not go inside, and they told us that the bar owners lock the doors when the bar closes for the night and if they are out, they must wait until the bar opens at around lunchtime to get to their room….
Can you imagine? After a night spent with often not the nicest customers, these women come “home” and must sit outside a closed bar for many hours in the rain, before the door opens and they can finally get to their bed?
Our team started to open our Outreach Center for these women and on some days, we had up to five women sleeping on our couches and our chairs. These women were very thankful that we were able to be out of the rain and dry and comfortable. We have been doing this throughout this rainy season and it is an effective way of building more relationships with the women.
In the second week of November, we are starting a weeklong Hairdressing Training and hope for ten women from the bars to come and join. They can just come for the week, get the training and if they decide that they like it, they can move to us, into the housings that you help to provide and start to enroll in our full vocational training.
Thank you for your faithful support. Only with your help can we continue to offer shelter to the women coming out of the bars.
Greetings from Pattaya. We hope that your summer is going well and that you can take a couple of days off. Here in Thailand, we are now in the rainy season and the summertime is the low season. But it does not rain the full day, often it is just around 30 minutes, but the humidity is a bit insane.
What has been happening with the Tamar housing in the last months? We are very glad that we had two women move out of the bars and join Tamar Center recently. Both worked in the same bar and were very happy when we offered them housing and a job at Tamar. The first days they have been rather shy but soon they opened and are already a fixed part of our community.
During the first rains of the season there was water leakage into some rooms of our Nursery building but thankfully the owner of the house sent technicians and it got fixed fast. Otherwise, we have used some of our empty rooms as quarantine rooms. Since the schools have re-opened, we have had several Covid cases again at Tamar. The children are bringing it back from school and as it takes now up to 10 days for people to show symptoms, we had new cases in regular intervals. Thankfully all the cases have been mild. It was good to have extra rooms available so that the infected could isolate from the others. We really hope that the circle of infections will soon be broken.
Some maintenance work was also carried out: we updated some bathrooms, installed some new toilets and sinks and did some smaller repair work as well.
There is a different part of our housing that we hardly talk about: In the Tamar Soi 6 Outreach Center we not only operate our Hair Salon and our free English Classes, but we also have a “House of Peace” – a room where the women working in the bars can come to just rest, sleep, relax or hide from customers that they do not like. In the last months we have women on a regular basis coming to rest and sleep. There is soft music playing in the room and if the women want, we have staff around that they can talk to. It is nice that so soon after re-opening, word has already gone around the new women working in Soi 6 that Tamar Center is a place where they can come to rest.
On the 12th of August we are planning a big Outreach for Mother’s Day. In Thailand Mother’s Day is not in May but it is held when it is the Queens birthday. For the first time, this year we are planning to hand out gift bags and vouchers to the mothers that are working in the different bars, away from their families to make money. Many of them are lonely and they often see their children only once or twice a year. We want to encourage them and offer them the opportunity to come, join our vocational training and to move in with us at Tamar so that they can be together with their children again.
Thank you for your continued support of our housing project. Our new women are very grateful for the housing, and I can assure you, that your donations have made a significant difference in their lives!
For the Tamar Family
Greetings from Tamar Center. We hope that you had a good start into the new year and that things are returning to normal for you. Here in Thailand, we are slowly getting back to a new normal. Some of the entry-restrictions have been lifted, some small numbers of Tourists are returning, some businesses are opening again and there is some careful hope in the air.
For us as well we are restarting many of our ministries: Our Hair Salon is open again for the bargirls, we offer again free English Classes in Soi 6, and our Bakery is busy with orders again.
Tuu is also working on the next Tamar vocational and life training that will start on the 13th of May. We are hoping for at least ten women to come and join this training. We are currently preparing our houses to receive the new women.
Thankfully, a local school has collected a lot of supplies for the new women. They did a project in school, one of our staff went over and shared about our work and they went out to their friends and collected a lot of things for the women: cleaning supplies, hygiene articles, pillows, etc. – have a look at the picture to see what they all collected – amazing!
We have ten rooms ready to receive the new women and are really hoping that they will come. During our outreaches many of the women tell us that they are interested but they do not want to leave the bars as they are hoping to make money for their families. It is sad, currently there are many 18- and 19-year-old women that have come fresh from the villages into the bars…
In today’s newsletter we also want to show you some of the rooms that we have prepared and some that our current women are living in, so that you can get an idea on how it looks. Hope you enjoy it!!!
Thank you for your continued support and your help in offering shelter and safe housing to women leaving the sex industry!
For the Tamar Family
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