I mean, sure, we could hit you with canned answers like "it's our mission to end human trafficking," "kids deserve an education," or "we're committed to breaking cycles of poverty and illiteracy." But let's switch things up and let me tell you about Paeng.
What was her home life like? Was she attending school? Paeng lived in the “Railroad Slums” of Koart with her grandparents and aunt. This community had around 35 (substandard) housing units and one shared outhouse. Her mother worked in a different region and her father wasn’t in the picture (we were never given details about that situation). Paeng was already attending school when she joined GRACE.
What kind of kid was Paeng like when she joined GRACE? Paeng has always been a quiet and observant girl; she is very smart and creative.
Tell me about Paeng’s sponsor. How did their engagement benefit Paeng? Paeng had a very engaged sponsor who gifted her with art supplies. Paeng enjoys art and often requested supplies on her Christmas wish lists. Paeng's sponsor also stayed engaged during the pandemic by sending designated gift funds for our staff to purchase supplies and gifts. Paeng's sponsor was very engaged and continues to keep up-to-date with the ministry of GRACE.
What influence do you feel like GRACE had on her? GRACE encouraged Paeng to pursue art competitively and, if she desires, as a career. Paeng is a smart girl and makes wise choices. The GRACE staff have been an encouragement for her to live a life of honor, and to recognize she has tremendous value as created and loved by God.
If we could speculate for a moment, what do you think Paeng’s life would be like if the GRACE Child Sponsorship Program had not come to her community? Girls are often considered commodities for labor trafficking and sexual tourism in Thailand; especially, if they are illiterate and have no marketable skills. With support from her sponsor to advance in academics, English language, and hone in on her talents, Paeng is well on the way to overcoming these multigenerational bonds.
Paeng's inspiring success story is a testament to the transformative power of support and individual encouragement and a prime example of why, it does in fact, matter.