Next on our trip was a visit to the New Life Center. It is a home for Thai tribal girls who were going to be sold into prostitution. The girl whose hands are featured here was about 6 years old when she was sent out of her village to work in order to send money home to her family. She worked as a housekeeper, in an orange grove, until when she was about 12 her mother and step-father informed her that she was going to be sold into the sex industry.
She escaped back to a nun whom she had met earlier in her life who sent her to a friend that employed her as a housekeeper. Eventually she was led to the New Life Center where she began to learn Thai and was sent to school. It is the foundation's hope that she will make the choice to go to High School and eventually college. However, many of these girls want to stop their education's before high school so that they can send money home to their families. Often times, these are the very families that were going to sell them.
The girls here were all so wonderful. We took them some food supplies that were paid for, in part, by the donation's raised by the sales of my 2007 calendars.
Also, a few of them dressed in their tribal clothing and performed a cultural dance for us; followed by two of our teenagers who put on a hip hop dance for them!
The girls were very wonderful and sweet. Besides attending school, the girls practice their tribal art of embroider and sell their products to raise money for the Center. This also helps them to learn a trade which can promote the cultural practices of their individual tribe. That is a fact I just love!
Also, we met the neighbor girl to the Center. At first I thought she was six years old. But upon looking at her more closely, she has the body of a young lady and I discovered she is 14 years old! Also, she is deaf. She knows how to read and write very little so her communication skills are quite limited. She really captivated me, even before I knew her circumstances. I really wish she could be helped, so I am praying for her and wondering what services she is getting in Thailand and how she could be helped...(she is the shortest girl in the picture & her name means orange!)
I will write more about these fantastic young ladies in my next post.
I am remodeling my kitchen and my computer is unplugged so I will write more when I can!