the sold project – and a call to arms!

So last week I mentioned that when we move to Thailand, I will be working with an advocacy group. Today I want to tell you a little bit about them. The SOLD Project is a group of American twenty-somethings who created a documentary exposing the massive sex industry in Thailand, and how little girls and boys are abducted and sold into prostitution. They thought they were just doing a hard-core expose. Little did they know their hearts would tug and break in the meantime! Some of the children end up in brothels because they were trying to find jobs at restaurants in Bangkok to help support their families. Others are trafficked in from oppressed ethnic groups in neighboring countries like Burma.

The documentary is intense and emotional – once you hear the actual stories of these children, it’s impossible to turn a blind eye to the issue. When the documentary was released, people began asking how they could help…and thus a non-profit was born.

The SOLD Project starts with prevention and their aim is four-fold: they hope to 1) provide scholarships to children through individual donors like you and me so that at-risk children don’t have to pay for their education, thus easing the grip of extreme poverty, 2) provide mentors for each child with a scholarship, 3) build a resource center for the community, and 4) develop awareness programs in schools to help children learn how to protect themselves.

While I am there, I will be doing two things. I plan on volunteering time to tutor and mentor children at the resource center as well as lead weekly rotating seminars open to the community, focusing on various professional skills: computer literacy, basic accounting, college application/grant writing, etc. But my little baby is a project called “Operation Shackle Free”. I’m setting up an email exchange program between the sponsored children in Thailand and students in the US and other western nations. The goal is to give the kids in Thailand a chance to practice their English literacy skills – giving them an edge in the job market – and to motivate them to dream of a better life, one that is far away from the brothels. For the students here in the US, the goal is to raise global awareness and cultural sensitivity, and show them how one little action, as simple as sending emails has global implications not only in the lives of their Thai counterparts but also for GDP, national health – even reducing terrorism.

A lot of this will be happening at the resource center The SOLD Project is trying to build. Check out how it’s coming along! And feel free to browse The SOLD Project website to find out more about what they do. You can even host your own documentary viewing party!

The resource center is well under way, BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP! We need help raising funds for supplies like children’s books (we {heart} the Seuss), desks, stationary, computers, a security system (so no A-hole jacks our computers), and staff support (because, yo, we’ll need to eat too).

If you look to the top right of this page you’ll see a link to donate. I’ve created a profile through CrowdRise and I’ve set an {albeit ambitious} goal of raising $1,000 by June 1 to go to building and running this resource center. Do you think we can do it? I think we can do it!

Every dollar helps! I think it’s easy to forget these days just how far a dollar can go. But for these girls and boys in Thailand, $1 is all it takes to keep one kid in school one day more.

If there’s anyone who can be counted on for love and support, I know it’s the blogging community. Bloggers and blog readers alike, you all are such amazing people with such large, warm hearts. Every day, there’s an unbelievable outpouring of affection, advice, and well-wishes to friends in need. So I’m just asking for a little help for some very little friends in need: the young girls and boys in Thailand who want nothing more than to just be home with their families, go to school, and live a decent life. Let’s keep them home with their families and away from pervy men and brothel gangstas!

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4 thoughts on “the sold project – and a call to arms!

  1. Thank you for your compassionate efforts. I look forward to following your journey. God bless you and those you touch.

    ~L

  2. Thank you so much for your warm words and encouragement. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support!

  3. You are so amazing and I'm really excited for you for everything you have planned. I hope you're going to be doing lots of blogging so we can hear all about your adventure and experiences!

    Good luck with the fundraising aim.

    Jade