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The Freedom Story: Prevention Through Education

by The Freedom Story (Formerly The SOLD Project)
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
Academic counseling session at the City Center
Academic counseling session at the City Center

Dear Friends,

Our Resource and City Centers provide mentorship and resources to students who otherwise would have a difficult time navigating their educational paths, and their activities are vital to our students’ success.

Our centers provide numerous classes and events every month, from English classes to academic counseling sessions for our scholarship students. One of the highlights for our students this quarter was a cooking activity paired with an Academic Counseling session. Staff and students together made small blueberry cheesecakes and enjoyed eating them while socializing. Three University students attended to offer advice and support for our younger students. Staff asked the younger students what they wanted to study and which universities they wanted to attend. Then the staff and older students provided information on what university life is like, how to apply, study and take tests, and be successful. They talked about the lifestyle differences between high school, vocational school, and university. The staff then led a counseling based drawing activity broken into four parts. For the first picture, the kids were asked to draw a representation of themselves. Some of the responses were “wind because I feel free,” and “tree because I am strong and give protection to others.” For the next picture, they drew something they would want to do if they had no obstacles. Most of the answers involved traveling the world or studying abroad. The third picture they drew was the obstacle preventing them from achieving that goal, and most answered money or parents not understanding. The last picture they drew was their own strength. Some of the students answered they were strong mentally, or had to grow up fast, and were thus mature for their age. The activity was insightful for the students, helping them grow in the self-awareness and confidence they need to move forward into preparing for university.

Another exciting activity that has been taking place is our Basic Law for Youth Project. Win, a former student at The SOLD Project and now employed as our legal advisor (whom we wrote a project report on when he joined our team in 2015), realized he didn’t know a lot about crime or law as a child growing up in a small village. He decided to start a program to help other kids in small villages learn about the law at a young age. Win states, “my goal is that they will apply this knowledge to their daily life to help them make good decisions as well as understand their own rights as a child.”

Thank you so much for all of your support in helping us disrupt child exploitation through prevention. Your gifts provide us with the ability to hold important activities that ensure our students’ success.

With hope and gratitude,

The SOLD Project Team

Students eating their blueberry cheesecakes
Students eating their blueberry cheesecakes
Win teaching the Basic Law for Youth Project
Win teaching the Basic Law for Youth Project
Parent meeting day
Parent meeting day

Dear Friends,

During the past few months, both of our resource centers have been very busy due to March and April being summer break for our students. The beginning of a new semester in May also brought new scholarship students for The SOLD Project! The 20 new students that SOLD accepted into our program this year came out for a new student orientation in May. The new students watched the first documentary SOLD produced, learned the history of the organization and the details of their scholarships including expectations, processes, events, resources and activities.

Another exciting event that took place at the end of May was the parent meeting. Twice a year, all of our scholarship students and their families are invited to the Freedom Resource Center for a parent meeting. Here, the SOLD staff provides updates and information as well as hosts a workshop or speaker, collects letters and photos from the students for their sponsors. At the parent meeting, we also introduced new staff members to the students and parents, as well as a local police officer who came out to raise awareness of the dangers of online trafficking. Everyone enjoyed lunch together after the program. The afternoon was spent administering students surveys that were designed to measure their experiences with SOLD. The survey results will be a key and penultimate aspect of our first Social Impact Assessment — a detailed research project that SOLD began last year to measure our impact on the ground in Thailand.

Without you, our faithful supporters, the parent meetings, and The SOLD Project would not exist. We would also not be able to admit new students into our Scholarship program every year as the Freedom Project funds the resources for the scholarship students. Our students would be left on their own to navigate the obstacles that appear on the difficult road to higher education and success, especially when the road begins in poverty.

Thank you so much for making our work possible.

With hope,

Alaynah Fiedler 

Parent meeting day
Parent meeting day
A local police officer talking to everyone
A local police officer talking to everyone
Tawee, Founding Director, introducing new staff
Tawee, Founding Director, introducing new staff
Students taking the surveys
Students taking the surveys
Student at the Resource Center
Student at the Resource Center

Dear Friends,

This year is already off to a wonderful start for us at The SOLD Project. March is an exciting time as many of our students are graduating and continuing on to higher education. Our staff has been attending graduations all month, supporting our graduates and their families, and preparing to host our yearly graduation party at the Resource Center.

We’re excited to report that the initial expansion of the Chiang Rai City Center has been fully funded. At the City Center, students are already stopping in after school for homework help, English classes, and cooking classes. On Saturdays, they participate in Music classes and Art. We have also set up a new computer room, and books continue to be donated to our library.

While our City Center targets high school and university level students, the Resource Center, SOLD’s Thailand hub in Bong Prae, continues to provide much-needed support for many primary students as well as their families. The Resource Center’s services include movie nights, art classes, tutoring, mentoring, and more. Our Saturday English classes with Yu, a local teacher, continue to be very popular.

Thanks to the work of SOLD and our donors, life for our scholarship students includes imagination and play. Kru Bon, a teacher in the village and one of SOLD’s tutor, encouraged some of our scholarship students to write an essay to compete for a bike giveaway from D-Land, a Real Estate organization. Eight of our students won, and the D-Land staff came to SOLD to present them with their new bikes.

All of our work at SOLD is made possible through the generous donations of people like you. We’re continually inspired by all of your support. Thank you for joining us in the work of prevention.

With hope,

The SOLD Project Team

Graduation for some of our students
Graduation for some of our students
Students receiving their bikes from D-Land
Students receiving their bikes from D-Land
Students in the Photo Booth
Students in the Photo Booth

Dear Friends,

As 2015 comes to a close, I’m feeling very grateful for another wonderful year with The SOLD Project. It’s been amazing to see how much of an impact we continually have on our students and the community as a whole. We are truly thankful for your involvement in helping to prevent the exploitation of children in Thailand.

We love this time of year at the Resource Center!  We just had our annual Christmas Party where, as we do every year, we opened up the Resource Center to the entire community, offering fun, family building activities and programs.

One activity was a photo booth set up with props, which was a big hit among the students! We also set up a Christmas tree for kids to pick a number off of that correlated to a small present they could choose. 

During the program, some of the staff took the stage (Tawee, pictured below) and explained to everyone why we celebrate Christmas. They quizzed the kids in the audience, and if they answered correctly, they won prizes.

We love encouraging students to be creative and to show off their creativity through performances. Some of the students from the Resource Center performed a dance, and others from the community were invited to dance and sing as well. 

Thank you for making our work possible. Without your support, our life-giving activities, educational programs, and community gatherings such as the Christmas party would not be possible. Happy Holidays! 

With hope and gratitude,
The SOLD Project Team

Tawee Speaking at the Christmas Party
Tawee Speaking at the Christmas Party
Students Performing at Our Annual Christmas Party
Students Performing at Our Annual Christmas Party
Jessica (in the middle) with some of our students
Jessica (in the middle) with some of our students

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your continued support to our prevention programs in Thailand! In July of this year, Jessica LeGault, a SOLD supporter, spent a month volunteering at our Resource Center in Thailand. Jessica led a few art activities at the Resource Center and helped decorate the buildings. On one Saturday after English class, the kids helped repaint and decorate the original building at the Resource Center, which now serves as the library. One of our university students painted the tree (pictured below) and the kids had a wonderful time getting paint everywhere. 

Once she came back to the United States, Jessica wrote a reflection piece about her time on the ground.

Jessica states, "There is a deep passion in each of the staff members at The SOLD Project, a fire that drives them to care for these kids in remarkable ways. You can see this fire in the eyes of the kids that come after school each day as they look up at the staff with so much respect. You can feel this fire in the hands of the younger ones as they cling tightly to your arm, knowing that they are safe here; they are protected." 

We hope you'll take a moment to read her full reflection [which can be found here].

Your gifts are allowing our students access to a safe place - a place where they can go to have fun and learn with staff who will protect them. Thank you so much for continuing to disrupt child exploitation in Thailand through prevention. 

With hope and gratitude,
The SOLD Project Team 

A student decorating the tree
A student decorating the tree
Jessica and some of our staff
Jessica and some of our staff
 

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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
$155,204 raised of $200,000 goal
 
2,376 donations
$44,796 to go
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