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The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education

by The Freedom Story (Formerly The SOLD Project)
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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
Students participating in the workshop
Students participating in the workshop

Dear Friends,

March is a busy time for us as our students are wrapping up the end of the school year and those graduating from one school level are applying to the next. Programming is in full effect at both of our Resource Centers as our staff are helping with school applications, summer job opportunities, and planning activities where students have a safe space to learn and hang out.

Recently, Luck, our on staff counselor, ran a workshop for our students in high school called “Loving Myself.” The activity focused on building self-esteem. Students drew an outline of their bodies on paper and then wrote things they liked either physically or mentally about themselves. Other students then went around and wrote things they admired about each student. Increasing self-esteem helps prevent trafficking by decreasing isolation and by helping students identify their value and confidence. When many of our students come from broken homes or a culture where love is seldom outwardly expressed, these kinds of activities can be a revelation. Doing these activities together helps build resilience and encourages healthy, supportive relationships. 

Trying different activities has helped me develop my thinking. I can join in activities…I have learned how to have better manners, which the staff taught me, how to accept the differencesof others, and have a better attitude. I also now have new friends.” – *Pim

Thank you for making programs like these possible! 

With hope,

The Freedom Story Team

*Name has been changed to protect the anonymity of the student 

Student drawings
Student drawings
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Staff speaking at the Christmas party
Staff speaking at the Christmas party

Dear Friends,

As 2017 comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on what a great year it’s been for The Freedom Story. It’s been amazing to see the myriad ways our work has impacted our students and the entire community. We’re truly thankful for your involvement in helping to prevent the exploitation of children in Thailand.

December is a fun time for everyone as we host our annual Christmas party. The theme of this year’s party was “Giving Creates Happiness.” Staff, students, families, and other local organizations’ reps gathered to celebrate the season of giving. With help from our high school leaders, staff decorated The Bong Prae Resource Center with Christmas trees and lights. The day included a speech by our staff, games, a talent show, lunch, and gifts. 

"Happiness is not just in receiving but is also for the ones who give, and they too can get happiness from the act of giving," explained Thailand Founding Director, Tawee Donchai, in a speech about the season for the attendees.

"It was a great way to celebrate everyone and have fun together while other organizations also got to know more about us," said Sumitra, one of our Activities staff.

Opportunities to celebrate, have fun, and relax are often scarce for our students and families. Economic constraints, little free time, or, for our students who don’t live with their families, the absence of a caregiver mean many aren’t able to celebrate holidays. The opportunity to do so together at the Resource Center allows us to build relationships with the community, show our students that we love and care about them, and ultimately help facilitate open and honest relationships between staff and students, which means we can better support them in the future.

Thank you for partnering with us to disrupt child exploitation! We hope you have an incredible holiday season.

With hope,

The Freedom Story Team

A winner of the talent show
A winner of the talent show
Students opening up their gifts
Students opening up their gifts
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Girls Club
Girls Club

The Freedom Story provides mentorship through one-on-one home visits with our scholarship students and workshops open to all students in the region. Our Girls club is an on-going workshop that continues to be a highlight for many of our students.

Jenna, one of our Resource Center volunteers, and Ketsara, our Leadership Development Director, co-lead clubs on Thursday and Saturdays. Girls club workshops are a great opportunity for girls to strengthen friendships, meet new peers, and learn about themselves and their communities. Through empowering individual girls and strengthening communal bonds, the workshops ultimately prevent trafficking. This month the girls finished a section on “Building Character.” Covering topics like “self-image,” “what makes you happy?” and “making healthy choices,” the girls explored new ideas and questions in a safe and open environment. Many of them said they hadn’t learned about some of the topics before and that the Girls Club is a great addition to the programs offered by The Freedom Story.

Pim*, one of our scholarship students who is in 9th grade, told our staff, “Girls Club is so much fun. It helps teach us a lot of things about our friends and about ourselves.”

We’re incredibly thankful to partner with you in bringing valuable opportunities, such as Girls Club, to our students.

With hope,

The Freedom Story Team

*Name has been changed to protect the anonymity of the student 

Girls Club
Girls Club
Group photo
Group photo
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Group shot with Jeremy
Group shot with Jeremy

Dear Friends,

The last few weeks have been very exciting for our staff and students in Thailand as our students participated in some fun activities to wrap up summer break. Our primary and high school students started the new school year this month. Our University students will start the fall semester at the beginning of August.

We love to encourage our students and help them overcome adversity and struggles in school and life. Because of your support, we can provide mentors for all of our scholarship students. The mentors focus on building and maintaining positive relationships with our students to help them when the students face difficulties in life. Our mentors also encourage students to participate in activities we host at our resource centers to build resiliency. Recently, our students got to learn firsthand about adversity when an NBA basketball player visited them at our resource centers.

We are so fortunate that Jeremy Lin, a professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets, visited our resource centers to see our work firsthand and learn more about the issue of child exploitation. Our students had a blast playing basketball with him and listening to him talk about his story and the struggles he faced. He encouraged the students to work hard and follow their dreams no matter what anyone else says. Lisa Winterfeldt, our International Liaison, stated “It was inspiring for the kids and staff to have NBA basketball player, Jeremy Lin, visit. He has such an inspirational story about having to work hard to overcome stereotypes with adversity to get to where he is today in professional basketball. It was so wonderful seeing the kids be inspired by his story to stay in school, work very hard, and never give up on their dreams.”

Thank you so much for your continued support in helping us disrupt child exploitation through prevention.

With hope,

The Freedom Story Team

Jeremy talking to the students about his story.
Jeremy talking to the students about his story.
Teaching students how to shoot a basketball.
Teaching students how to shoot a basketball.
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Students leading a discussion
Students leading a discussion

Dear Friends,

It's a busy time for us at both of our Resource Centers in Thailand. Due to a school break from March to May, our staff has planed full days of programming during each day of the week. Your continued support allows us to offer extra hours of tutoring, math and English classes, and other games and learning exercises during this break, and for that we couldn’t be more grateful. It also enables us to host workshops and awareness activities for our students. These workshops are extremely important in educating the students on a variety of topics ranging from exploitation, to applying for college, to how to look for a job.

Online exploitation has been an area of focus for our Thai staff over the past year. Because of the prevalence of Facebook, Instagram, and other social media, it’s important that students understand the risk involved in using them. This past month, our Awareness Director, Lux, invited students to come to the Bong Prae Resource Center for an Awareness workshop. The students watched the movie ‘Trust’, which tells the story of a girl who was using an online chat program to develop a relationship but was tricked by an older man who desired to exploit her. After the movie, Lux led discussions and activities around the same topic. One of our students “found this exercise to be really helpful because this topic is not covered in school” (Age 12).

In educating our students on these risks, we hope to better prepare them to recognize dangerous situations and protect themselves against this kind of exploitation.

Thank you for your continued support in helping us educate at-risk students to keep them free from exploitation and abuse!

Students leading a discussion
Students leading a discussion
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Organization Information

The Freedom Story (Formerly The SOLD Project)

Location: Oakland, CA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Rachel Goble
A. Muang Chiang Rai, Thailand
$197,131 raised of $235,000 goal
 
2,496 donations
$37,869 to go
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