The SOLD Project Blog

Latest Stories

SEP 21
06:06 AM

Teen Pregnancy Rate on the Rise

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A recent article in?The Bangkok Post?shared findings from a report that pregnancy in women under the age of 20 is on the rise.?This troubling trend is something that we, at The SOLD Project, have tried to combat through sex health & healthy relationship awareness programs, counseling services, and mentorship of our scholarship students. But it is be an uphill battle.

One problem we face is the culture of silence and shame around this issue. If a teenage girl falls pregnant, the immediate reaction is to hide her away and not let anyone know. Following on the heels of that is often a forced marriage to further hide the shame. This is...

SEP 12
05:58 AM

On Serving the Unquantifiable: Interview with Ken Wytsma

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Our Social Media Intern, Vanessa Ashley, recently interviewed Board Member Ken Wytsma. We'd love to share some of his thoughts on service, education, and the intersection of faith and justice.

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What inspired you to get involved with the SOLD project??

I have four daughters, and so for me the issue of gender violence and exploitation hits home that way. It?s not a hard stretch to empathize into that particular subset of justice issues. For quite a long time that has been a specific thing that?s been on my heart- how to be a part of something that goes deeper in regards to helping young vulnerable girls. Then just knowing...

SEP 05
01:28 PM

Not Just Staying Alive...Choosing to Live

Blog -category -title _from -the -field

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Suki* used to stay home every single day. After school, she would curl up for a nap or to spend hours in front of the TV. Not by choice, but because her family insisted upon it for her health. All her life, they told her that playing with other children or otherwise exerting herself would cause her health to deteriorate. Being outside and having fun would hurt her, they said. Suki is HIV-positive.

But Suki did have a friend, Pleng*, who is one of our scholarship students. Pleng eventually convinced Suki to come to SOLD. There were openings for scholarships available, and Pleng convinced her friend...

AUG 13
08:12 PM

Tony Campolo Supports The SOLD Project

It was a great joy and honor to host Tony Campolo at The SOLD Project's U.S. Headquarters in the Bay Area yesterday. It was a beautiful time of sharing stories about justice and why prevention of child exploitation is the key to battling human trafficking. Tony is an American sociologist, pastor,?author, public speaker and former spiritual advisor to U.S. President Bill Clinton.?Campolo is a popular commentator on religious, political, and social issues, and has been a guest on programs such as The Colbert Report, Larry King Live, Nightline, Crossfire, and many more.

Tony inspired SOLD supporters with his belief in the work of SOLD and shared countless stories of his own work in fighting injustice for vulnerable children...

AUG 10
02:35 AM

Stirring of the Child's Imagination: Two Volunteers Lead SOLD Kids in Artistic Expression

Blog -category -title _from -the -field

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This past month, there were TWO volunteers, Zoey and Amanda, who arrived separately to help out at the Resource Center by leading fun activities for the kids concerning Emotional Expression Through Art and Graphic Design/Typography respectively. Each activity they have lead has been great artistic and mental stimulation for the kids. It has been a joy for us to watch the creativity flow.

Zoey's big project with the kids was to design a creature that embodies an emotion--positive or negative--and place that creature into a landscape that will react to the creature's presence based on the emotion it represents. Then the kids were to...

JUL 26
07:28 AM

SEE FEEL CREATE: TAKE 2

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One of our former volunteers, Zoey Hart, was so inspired by her time spent with The SOLD Project that she took activities that she created for the kids to a whole new level and turned her ideas and experiences into a book! Here, Zoey shares her thoughts and ?perspective. Please check out her awesome ebook (link below)!

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To many, Thailand is known as ?The Land of Smiles?. The overwhelming generosity, kindness and gentle manner of locals interacting with Western visitors often drives this point home, allowing tourists, students, volunteers and other travelers to return home with albums full of smiling faces and kind...

JUL 20
05:33 AM

Adventure With a Purpose

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In February of this year, volunteer Christine Rose came out to Thailand to join us at The SOLD Project's Resource Center. Here's what she has to say about her time here!

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Earlier this year I had the privilege of spending a few weeks living in Northern Thailand, volunteering for The SOLD Project.?

Spending time in SouthEast Asia is not new for me.? When I was single and looking for safe and affordable ?adventure travel? destinations, SouthEast Asia was my favorite for so many reasons ? a kind and gentle culture, fantastic food, incredible sites.? Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, they all spoke to me.

So imagine my delight to take that...

JUL 15
05:33 AM

Breaking Down the Silence

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Periodically, staff at the Resource Center submit their reflections on their experiences to share what is happening in the field. They're encouraged to include suggested titles for their stories. A recent one caught my attention: "Sharing About Feelings is Not Wrong!" Coming from the U.S., where we're often accused of?oversharing,?I'm tempted to chuckle at the cultural differences, though of course it is no laughing matter. Where many American teens might have to be reminded to be more modest, Thai teens, especially the ones with whom we work often have to encouraged to share their concerns with those they trust, to not shoulder heavy burdens all on...

JUL 09
06:32 AM

The Pressure to Marry

Blog -category -title _from -the -field

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In American culture, the normative age for young adults to get married is getting later and later. For many, it is often seen as the pinnacle after other accomplishments: college, career, financial stability. For many members of the local tribes here in Thailand, marriage is not just a commitment reserved for eternal love, or even the strategic blending of two families. Sometimes, it is punishment for immodest behavior, a life sentence to cover up familial shame.

Ae (not her real name), a 14-year-old student who had been with us since the age of 10, moved from her aunt?s house to her mother?s house, which was much further...

MAY 30
08:10 AM

An Update From the Ground

Blog -category -title _from -the -field

By now you have likely heard that Thailand's recent political unrest has now resulted in a military coup. On Tuesday, May 20, military officials detained political leaders from both sides and instituted martial law. By Thursday, May 22, it was announced that a full coup is in effect.

We would like our donors, supporters, and friends back home to all know that we are all well and safe. These latest developments have happened remarkably peacefully, and from what we understand, many if not most Thais support the military takeover as a necessary breather in a very complex and heated situation.

While there is much upheaval among elites and prominent personas, for us...

MAY 18
12:36 AM

Lilley Scholz Fights For Social Justice

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High schooler Lilley Scholz shows us impassioned youth can make a difference too!

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When Lilley Scholz chose the subject of human trafficking for her high school graduation project, she could not anticipate how the issue would grip her attention and motivate her to do what she could to help bring an end to the injustice.

Bearing The SOLD Project apparel, she and her best friend put together a fundraiser at her school, where they showed a documentary on human trafficking and convinced their peers to also wear blue in support of the anti-trafficking movement.

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Her passion did not stop there. Scholz is...

MAY 09
08:47 PM

Earthquake Hits Chiang Rai, Thailand

Blog -category -title _from -the -field

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On the evening of May 5th, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Northern Thailand, with the epicenter just outside Chiang Rai, near to where The SOLD Project, our students, staff, and their families reside.

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Aftershocks have continued to strike over the several days since.

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We are grateful that our kids are all okay, but almost all of their homes have suffered damage from the earthquake.?

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Our team continues to make home visits to each student to assess the damages. Some homes were affected worse than others; our task...