The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education

by The Freedom Story Vetted since 2010 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Site Visit Verified
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education
The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education

Dear Friends, 

With your support, our students wrote and produced a short play for the community on labour trafficking and safe migration. One trend we see in our community is people seeking opportunities to work abroad in order to make money to support their families. These opportunities also present potential risks.

The group of teen leaders performed the play for two different groups in the local area, reaching over 120 people. Staff provided training and information on the topic, but the play was entirely directed and organized by the students. Opportunities like these help students learn how to work in a group, increases confidence, and develop leadership skills. By presenting knowledge in a easily understood way, community members can learn about trafficking easier.

“These are good opportunities for the students to  explain their opinions, for adults to see that the students’ voices are important, that their children have a lot of potential, and to help them understand each other more,” explains Kru Ball, the Activity and Scholarship manager. 

Thank you for your continued support! 

With hope and gratitude,

The Freedom Story Team

Family Camp
Family Camp

Dear Friends,

Thanks to your support, we ran a family camp for 7 families in December and had many moms parenting alone in attendance. For one of the women, Meeyu,* an Akha (hilltribe) minority, it was an entirely new opportunity. Meeyu bears the heavy responsibility of caring for 8 family members in her house. Lacking education herself, she doesn’t ask her children to help around the house because she wants them to prioritize studying. But between working and taking care of 8 people, she feels tired, stressed and this causes frayed relationships in the home. 

After the camp, she expressed appreciation for  the new ways she learned to communicate her feelings and needs, and will start doing this more often. Meeyu recognizes now how caring for her own needs is important for the whole family, and how asking the children to help with chores equips them with essential life skills.

Strong and healthy family relationships set students up to succeed and decreases the risk of trafficking.

Because of your support we are able to help more families like Meeyu. Thank you!

With hope and gratitude,

The Freedom Story Team

Volunteer Camp
Volunteer Camp

Dear Friends,

Volunteering has so many benefits for individuals, and communities. It broadens world views, builds relationships, can help with self-esteem and other positive impacts on mental health and well-being. It should be no surprise then, that we want to encourage a spirit of volunteering among our students. This year, we held a two day ‘volunteer camp’ for students in a village outside of the city.

Staff were worried that it might be hard to run the camp there. “The Freedom Story is one of the first organizations to go into this village because they’ve stopped accepting other organization’s programming there. But an old staff member of ours lives there, so through our connections, we were able to build relationships and trust,” explains Ball, our Activity and Scholarship Manager.

Thirty-three students aged 13-21 took the time to give back to their community. The staff mixed the students from The Freedom Story with students from the village, then organized them into groups, making sure the groups had a wide range of ages, from age 9 through university.

Older students and staff were then asked to lead different groups. They did various volunteering activities together, like planting trees.

The biggest highlight, however, was when students from The Freedom Story taught the students from the village about human trafficking, using knowledge they’ve gained through The Freedom Story’s prevention programs. Because it was kids teaching kids, friends teaching friends, rather than staff teaching students, it had dual benefits for those teaching and those learning, Ball says.

Many children in this village don’t go to school, and they have struggles similar to those of students at The Freedom Story. “It was very appropriate for the students. Whether it dealt with the potential dangers of working abroad, or with other kinds of trafficking” Ball explains. The students together put on skits about human trafficking for parents and guardians in the evening.

“The village leaders said they learned so much, and the kids learned a lot also. They said they hadn’t learned about human trafficking in the past, how many different things it could look like… they were more than thankful that we went there,” Ball says.

When asked about the highlight of the trip, Ball responded, “The important thing that we saw was the potential of the students that we are building up, and the leaders that we brought out there.”

Camps like our volunteer camp help increase skills, give new experiences, and help students gain leadership skills and experience.

Your support has helped make this kind of camp possible. Thank you.

With Hope,

The Freedom Story Team

Volunteer Camp
Volunteer Camp
Students take part in art therapy.
Students take part in art therapy.

Dear Friends,

Stress and strain are part of everyone’s lives. But for our students, added trauma, pressure, and challenges coming from poverty, family break down and being the first generation to advance beyond primary school (as the overwhelming majority of our students are) can result in a need for added support for mental health.

There are many barriers to accessing treatment for mental health in Thailand. These include availability of health professionals, expense, and the cultural biases against admitting needing treatment. In 2016 only 48.5% of those affected by depressive disorders accessed standard care, despite the significance of mental health problems.

In 2017 we opened our counseling program as a response to the need we saw in our community. Khae, our Counselor, just finished her Master’s degree in Counseling from Chiang Mai University.

Since opening our counseling program, 55 people in the community have received individual counseling at over 87 sessions. Its impact is significant. In a recent informal survey, 54% of scholarship students strongly agreed that counseling was helping them deal with difficult situations better, and that it had given them new options for solving problems. Additionally, group counseling and art therapy activities have been accessed 298 times.

Group art therapy sessions provide space for students to be creative, express their emotions, and help build self confidence. In July, a visiting team from Healing Arts Peace Projects International teamed up with Khae to provide a day of art therapy for students.

The students made trees to represent their lives–the roots were their background, the trunk their present situations, the branches were things that supported them, like friends, family and The Freedom Story staff, and the leaves were good things they could do for others, like sharing their toys, and smiling.

“Art therapy helps students know themselves better, and helps them know they have people supporting them, and good things in their lives, not just challenges or problems. It helps students realize their value when they see they have good things they can give to other people” explains Khae.

Giving our community the tools to process trauma and difficult experiences is essential to helping them succeed and build a better future.

Thank you so much for your support in ensuring our community can access the resources they need!

With Hope,

The Freedom Story Team

Male students join in a boys art therapy program.
Male students join in a boys art therapy program.
Students learning about healthy relationships.
Students learning about healthy relationships.
Individual counseling is benefitting students.
Individual counseling is benefitting students.
Art therapy helps students understand themselves.
Art therapy helps students understand themselves.
Art activities
Art activities

Dear Friends,

Our staff and students in Thailand have been busy with fun activities to wrap up summer break. One summer activity that our students always enjoy is the annual English camp.

This year, 24 students from the International Christian School of Hong Kong, along with some of our older students, ran an English camp at four local schools. The camp reached about 270 students. The students taught art, Chinese, and English, and introduced games. These camps help raise awareness of The Freedom Story and build relationships with the local schools and their students. They also give our students an opportunity to develop their leadership skills, which are vital to their long-term success.

The primary and secondary school students started the new school year this month. Our university students will start the fall semester at the beginning of August. Thanks to your support, we are able to run activities such as the annual English Camp, which help our students learn and grow, even during school breaks.

Thank you so much for your continued support in helping us disrupt child exploitation by preventing it before it happens.

With hope,

The Freedom Story Team

English camp
English camp
 

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Organization Information

The Freedom Story

Location: Oakland, CA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Rachel Goble
A. Muang Chiang Rai, Thailand
$144,967 raised of $200,000 goal
 
2,198 donations
$55,033 to go
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