BENEFITING: SE ASIA FOUNDATION
This is a story about three little girls that have been trafficked – a story we wish did not need telling. Unfortunately, however, in today’s world, it does need to be told – and heard – by those of us fortunate enough to be able to make a difference. Imagine our
This is a story about three little girls that have been trafficked – a story we wish did not need telling. Unfortunately, however, in today’s world, it does need to be told – and heard – by those of us fortunate enough to be able to make a difference.
Imagine our surprise on a recent visit when we found two “little” girls now living there.
Pim is a six-year-old Akha girl from one of the Northern Thailand hill tribes. Her mother recently died. Her father is now in prison – for a long time. Having no other living relatives, Pim was passed along to a neighbor family for her care. Sometime shortly thereafter they decided that they could no longer afford to care for Pim – so they sold her to a Burmese man. Sold her!! Pim was thus destined to be a slave worker, at best, and who knows what else once she got a little older. Fortunately, a local priest got wind of this “deal” and managed to buy Pim back for the sum of 8,000 Baht (about $250).
The priest then brought Pim to the Good Shepherd Sisters for shelter where she now resides permanently, being schooled by volunteers and some of the older girls. In May, 2015 she was enrolled in Primary Grade 1 at the local government school. And, once she completes Grade 6, she will continue her education at the boarding school. She has her life back.
Amika, a nine-year-old Lisu girl from another of the local hill tribe villages is one of these three trafficked girls, too. She, too, comes from a broken family, with parents who abandoned her shortly after their divorce. Amika then went to live with her aging grandmother. With her grandmother seriously ailing and no longer able to care for her, a village teacher brought her to the Good Shepherd Sisters to remove her from a clearly high-risk situation. Amika entered Primary Grade 2 in May, 2015. Due to her lack of schooling, she is behind her grade level. But Amika is a clever girl and is expected to catch up quickly. She too can continue at the boarding school once she completes primary school.
Just arrived is nine-year-old Jantra. Like Pim, Jantra is Ahka, from a local village. We’re not sure about the whereabouts of her mother, but we do know that her father sold her to one of his friends for 8,000 Baht (~$250) to support his drug habit, thereby sealing Jantra’s fate as a slave worker of one sort or another. Fortunately, this man’s brother, Jantra’s uncle, learned about the situation and was able to buy Jantra back and take her to the Good Shepherd Sisters for safe keeping. Once Jantra met the Sisters, she immediately felt safe. So safe, in fact, that when offered an opportunity to live in a different school with girls her own age she stridently refused saying that if she went with other people she was afraid that “they might sell me again”. Can you imagine? At nine years old! That’s a tough one for us to get our head around. Like Amika, Jantra will be entering Primary Grade 2 in May. She, too, now has her life back and can look forward to a safe education through high school.
Knowing all too well how prevalent the trafficking of girls can be in this region, we simply had to ask Sister Lena how she will handle girl number four … and five … and six … and … once word spreads that the Good Shepard School is a safe place for these at-risk girls. This is a challenging question. And, that was the precise moment when we realized there was a new mission to be fulfilled at the Girls School. Simply put, we must save more of these trafficked girls. And so the the next step is obvious, and why we need this funding.
In order to be prepared to handle the countless other girls that will need rescuing, we need to be prepared financially - to rescue, to buy back if necessary from their captors, to house/feed and educate them, and give them the life every single child on this planet deserves.
Can you join us to help save these girls from a terrible fate?
As with all of the projects supported by the SE Asia Foundation 100% of your contributions will go directly to meet the needs of these girls, and any future children we'll be lucky enough to rescue.