Greetings from Pattaya to you all. We hope that you are doing well and that the Covid-19 situation in your part of the world is finally getting better. Here in Pattaya, things are still not very good. We continue to have a nightly curfew and a number of restrictions in place, especially all the bars, brothels and massage places continue to be closed. Which means many problems and loss of income for the women. Many have left Pattaya to ride out the situation with their families in the North-East of Thailand but a lot of them have also moved to online work and are still arranging meetings with customers via online channels, which is very dangerous. We continue our food distribution and are still giving out around 150 big food bags each week to women that have nothing to eat anymore. Here an example on how bad the situation for the women is: One of our Staff members was at the beach feeding the squirrels some leftover fruit which is very cute, as they are eating it out of your hand. Suddenly she heard a voice behind her: I am also hungry! And there was one of the women looking very bad. She chatted a bit with our Staff and explained that she had lost the job in her bar, was now walking beach road everyday to find customers that would buy her. She already lost her apartment and was now living in a little shack attached to another house. She was afraid that she would lose that as well, as she had no income. Our Staff arranged a time and later the day returned with a big load of food and other supplies for her. It is a very hard and desperate situation for the women here.
Thailand just reduced the mandatory quarantine for all people visiting to seven days and it looks likely that from the next year onwards Tourist might be able to freely travel to Thailand again. We are preparing ourselves for this, as we expect that the moment that the borders open, thousands of women will return to Pattaya, to try to find work in the sex industry here. They will come pressured by their families and hopeful to make money to repay the debts that they have collected during the pandemic. We are currently getting our house and training programs ready to be able to help these women when they come. The restart of the Tourist Industry will not happen overnight, and we highly doubt that we will see a substantial number of Tourist in the first months of opening and so there will be too many women in the city and we want to help them find additional work. In September we finally purchased our new Building and are currently renovating it to offer more vocational training options and to start a Guesthouse, so that we can teach hospitality skills as part of our new vocational training.
In the meantime, we have changed one of the houses where we normally have women staying into a “school’. The Tamar children are since many months out of school and must do online school, mostly on their phones or doing worksheets. This became a huge struggle for the mothers to do with the children after work, and so we have changed one of the houses into school. Now, a Staff Member is looking after the children during the day to help them log into online school, do homework, fill out worksheets and watch YouTube videos that the school suggests for the kids. All the rooms of the house are used, so that the children have privacy to learn and not get distracted from the other kids around them. We never thought we would use our houses as a school, but thankfully we have the space right now to do just that. We hope that schools will open from November again, and once that happens, we will prepare the house once again to receive women that want to leave the sex industry behind.
Thank you for your continued support of our housing project. It is great to always have space for the women that need shelter and that is only possible through your help!
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