It is time for an update from us in Pattaya again. Thank you for your continued support of us here in Thailand. In the last months, a lot has happened regarding our housing situations. We had the Tamar Vocational and Life Training happening, and all 13 women graduated successfully from it. With so many women joining our training our accommodation got really stretched. On top of that we started to employ a couple of extra women that needed a job urgently and we found out that one of them was in urgent need for housing for herself and her two children as well.
So, what did we do? We looked around our street and noticed that two houses where freshly renovated and available for renting. We talked to the owners and thanks to Covid-19 they were willing to give the houses to us for a cheaper rent than some of the other houses that we rented. We decided to give up two of the older houses and rent two of the newly renovated once, which are also a little bigger.
In early October it was moving day and you can see in the pictures that everybody got involved and helped moving. It is always amazing how much stuff gets collected in the houses – but after a whole day of sweaty work, the job was done and now the women are happy to be in their new rooms.
Currently we have 32 women employed at Tamar and most of them also staying with us, which is a new record. But right now, every single available bed is full, and we are again keeping our eyes open for more housing in case we receive more women that want to join.
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.
Greetings from Pattaya!
We hope that you are all doing well during this Covid-19 Pandemic. These are strange times and many things have changed. We are trying to adjust to the new realities as best as we can, but it is a challenge and we very thankful for faithful supporters like yourself that help us to continue our work even in the middle of this situation.
The situation in our City is bad. When in March the whole Entertainment Industry in Thailand was shut down, thousands of people lost their jobs. Here in Pattaya, the estimation is that more than 200.000 people, mostly women, lost their jobs, mostly women working in prostitution, food sellers, taxi drivers, Hotel staff, cleaning ladies, etc. The Thai government put an aid scheme on, but all the women that were working in the sex industry did not qualify as their jobs are illegal… But the women are used to live on the money that they made every night and suddenly the bars all closed, no customers where about, Tourist did not come anymore and then our City went into a lockdown as well. You can imagine the crisis that started. At Tamar Center we started directly in March with food aid – we concentrated on the women working in the sex industry and provided thousands of food bag – each bag containing enough food for about one week. Many women not only lost their jobs but also their housing, as they often lived on top of the bars where they worked. We helped several women to get back to their families before the lockdown and since than we have taken in 13 women, that are now taking part in our three-month long Tamar Vocational and Life Training. The women are very thankful, as they had no money anymore to pay for room rent and many in our city have become homeless.
Right now, we have all our housing full, we have a single bed free for one more woman that could come and join. We also used the time of the lockdown to move some houses. In our street some newly renovated houses became available and the landlords from some of our old houses refused to renovate. Because of that we decided to upgrade and have now two fully new renovated houses. The women that moved into them really enjoy them.
Thank you for helping us to continue to provide good housing for our women. Now they need it more than ever!
Many greetings from Pattaya in Thailand and the whole Tamar Family. As most of the world we are currently at home and waiting for the epidemic to finish. Tamar Center is closed since the end of March and we practice social distancing but we are still working from home and are providing food to women that have nothing to eat – sadly there are many thousands that not only lost their jobs due to the shutdown but also their housing due to the fact that they can’t pay their rent anymore. Before we had to close, we handed out 470 food packages to these women and are still in contact with them via social media. We are currently partnering with a local restaurant and another Foundation and all women that contact us in need of food are receiving food vouchers for this restaurant.
Currently we are hoping that some of the government restrictions will be lifted at the beginning of May and we are making plans to concentrate in the first weeks that we are open again on distributing food and accessing the situation to see what is most needed. All Bars and Entertainment Venues are closed now for almost five weeks already and thousands lost their jobs. Even when the restrictions will the lifted it will take a long time before Tourists will come back to Pattaya. Our hope is that there will be a big change in Pattaya and that the Sex Industry will not open and operate like before.
Due to the situation we had to postpone our three-month vocational and life Training from May till July. With the current restrictions we cannot run the training and so we want to wait a bit and make it possible for more women to join the Training.
Thank you for your support of our housing project. All our women are still in our houses and, as we were getting ready to take new women in for the training when the lockdown started, we had some empty spaces. These are used right now to help our women to keep distance from each other and we have one house designated as emergency shelter in case one of our women should catch the virus. Thankfully, all our women are healthy and two new babies were born into the Tamar family in the last weeks as well. We are incredibly grateful for the space and the houses that we have. It really helps to keep our women safe and to give them a safe environment.
But sadly, the virus is not the only problem currently in Thailand. There is severe drought and all of Pattaya has currently only every second day tap water. As you can imagine, this is not nice, especially not when you are home the whole day. We have water tanks in most of the houses and big buckets in every bathroom so that we can catch enough water when the tabs are running to last us through the times when the water is turned off. This arrangement will be on until June when hopefully there will be a good rainy season that will fill up the water reservoirs around our City again.
One not so nice report is that just before the Corona Crisis we tried to help one woman that came to our Center. She was savagely beaten by a customer and terribly upset. We helped her and brought her into our housing to give her some rest. The first two days were very good, she slept most of the time and was very thankful, but by the third day she developed a psychosis. She started to scream, run out of the house at night, just walked the stairs up and down hundreds of time, etc. We tried to bring her to the hospital for a mental checkup, but when we told her that we wanted to do that, she flipped out completely, locked herself into her room and did not come out. She smashed the room and as we were concerned for her safety, we contacted social services and the police, but nobody could help her, and she did not come out. It was a very rough time for our Staff. After five hours, she calmed down, opened the door, walked out, and left and said that we did not honor her. We tried to follow up with her, but she is gone… We are not sure what happened to her, it could have been drugs that she had been taking and was coming down from or a mental illness. We are still genuinely concerned for her and think it was right to offer her help. Sometimes we need a lot of wisdom what the best way is to help the women that come to us.
Thank you for staying with us and helping us in our work helping the women that are trapped in prostitution here in Pattaya. We are currently looking to rent another house as we hope and expect that more women want to leave now that there are no jobs and might be interested in our training. Thank you that through your help we can always provide safe housing for women in need in Pattaya.
For the Tamar Family
Greetings from Thailand. We trust that you had a great start into 2020 and hope that it will be an exciting year for you. Here at Tamar Center we had an amazing start into the new year with a day of reflection and goal setting on the 3rd of January. But on the 8th of January we got a special treat for everyone: We were able to visit the Pattaya Elephant Sanctuary with all our women. Most of them had never been close to an Elephant before and some were very scared but, in the end, everyone enjoyed it. We fed the elephants, showered them, walked through the jungle with them and even took a bath together. Great time of team building!
January will bring big changes for our housing situation at Tamar. At the end of the year one women completed her time with us and moved to Bangkok to work in a 7/11 Shop and to be closer to her family. Also, this month four women will leave us to take part in a year long Hairdressing and Beauty school. We are very happy that they have enrolled in this. The school is here in Pattaya, but except of one woman all of them will move to other housing that is closer to the school. Another three women are leaving us to attend a six-month training in Khon Kaen, which is about 6 hours drive from Pattaya away. They will come back after that Training and will hopefully put their new learned skills to great use.
But our beds will not stay empty long, as two of our new women are pregnant and will give birth around March/April of this year. We are also doing many outreaches to invite more women to leave the bars. It was a huge blessing that we had spare accommodation at the end of the last year when the latest pregnant women suddenly came to our Outreach Center and asked if she could stay with us. She was already five months pregnant and really wanted to stop working in the bars. She is very happy to be with us, we sent her to do some checkups and as far as the Doctors can tell, her baby is healthy.
Thank you for helping us to be ready for each new woman. We are also starting in 2020 to give each new woman that joins a big welcome pack with new towels, pillows, toiletries, etc. to make them feel even more welcome. All of that is only possible through your generosity.
Thank you for your continued support of Tamar Center. Especially this project is very important as we need to have housing available on very short notice. Since the last update, we welcomed three new women to our housing. One only stayed for a couple of days and then moved on and is now working in a factory about 40 minutes away from Pattaya. She was very shocked about her experiences in the sex industry of Pattaya and come to us to work through her experience and then moved on.
The second lady left after about four weeks with us. She is pregnant and because of that had some issues with her family back home. She came to Tamar to stop working in prostitution and we helped her to settle down, receive some counseling, helped her to think about reconnecting with her bigger family and in the end, when she decided to return to her family and makeup with them, we had a small goodbye party for her and the whole team brought her to the Bus Stop so that she could return home.
The third woman is still with us. She is still very young, was also shocked and traumatized about her experiences in the bars but is doing much better now. She has recovered, she is joking around and our counseling team was able to sit down with her and make a plan for the next year for her. She wants to recover fully and then become a hairdresser. We will work with her so that she can fulfill this dream.
We could help these three women through your help. You made it possible for us to have houses available for them to move in and to be helped. Thank you for helping us cover the monthly costs for this. It is worth every cent!
Also, for your information, we updated one of the houses that we rent. The owner of the old house did not do any renovations and so we stopped renting this house and have just signed a new contract with another house that is also in our street but in a much better condition than the other one. We also painted in one house and repaired some smaller things in the other once. There is always something to do!
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