The SOLD Project Blog

Latest Stories

MAR 23
11:23 AM

How's Their Story Going to End?

A guest post by Christine Rose, SOLD Project Bay Area Representative and Volunteer.

1

Don?t you hate predictable endings?

None of us enjoy a movie where the plot has no imagination, the characters progress as expected, or the outcome is as anticipated. We love plot twists, surprise endings, and dramatic interventions that rescue, transform, and redeem. We love stories that create unlikely heroes.

Tragically, for children in rural northern Thailand, very little imagination is required to predict the typical outcomes of their lives.? For many, their stories are set in extreme poverty, limiting the number of possible options and increasing the risk of exploitation.

The unlikely heroes of this story are Fah and Chai, sister and brother, ages 13 and...

MAR 15
01:14 AM

Seasons of Smoke and the Collective Damage

Blog -category -title _from -the -field

Smog -chiang -mai -fires

Every year from around February through April, farmers in South East Asian countries start burning through brush?it?s an effective way to fertilize the soil for the growth of mushrooms that they can then harvest and sell. For many of the poorest farmers, however, it is an important portion of their yearly income. But there is an incredibly heavy cost: the health of the entire region. It is entirely illegal, and yet, every year, the fires fill the skies with smoke and the smoke settles into the valley basin of the north. The number of carcinogens and particulates in the air begins to...

MAR 15
01:04 AM

Seasons of Smoke and the Collective Damage

Blog -category -title _from -the -field

Smog -chiang -mai -fires

Every year from roughly February through April, farmers in South East Asian countries start burning through brush?it?s an effective way to fertilize the soil for the growth of mushrooms that they can then harvest and sell. For many of the poorest farmers, however, it is an important portion of their yearly income. But there is an incredibly heavy cost: the health of the entire region. It is entirely illegal, and yet, every year, the fires fill the skies with smoke and the smoke settles into the valley basin of the north. The number of carcinogens and particulates in the air begins to...

FEB 25
11:36 PM

The Questions We Raise

Blog-Category_Thai _voices

We are pleased to introduce a new blog category, "Thai Voices"! In this category of posts, we'll be hearing from the leaders facing the issues on the ground in Thailand. We hope you will enjoy?the opportunity to hear their perspective, which hopefully will help provide some deeper insight into the subtleties and complexities of the situations that arise. In today's post, we will hear from Tawee Donchai, our Thailand Director. ?

Tawee

When we face problems, we learn to start breaking down the complexity of the issue by asking questions related to the problem. This helps us break the problem down into smaller pieces that we can then later analyze in an attempt...

FEB 22
02:34 AM

Meet Win

Blog -category -title _our -staff

Some of our readers may recall us talking before about one of our students, Win, who wanted to pursue a law degree but didn't have Thai citizenship, so he was uncertain about his ability to ever get a real degree or practice law. Well, we are thrilled to announce that after years of struggle and uncertainty, he got citizenship, and the degree, and now is on staff with The SOLD Project! We are so excited to have Win here with us. We've invited him to share a bit of himself here with you. I've interviewed him, through one of our staff translating, and here's what he said (paraphrased for ease and...

FEB 12
04:52 AM

Mae Baans: One way trafficking happens

Blog -category -title _from -the -field

_1020934-8

On my personal website I?ve been documenting my efforts to find a nanny to help out with my son here in Thailand, and I?ve mentioned that we are going through an agency that helps place mae baans (literally ?house moms? ? a term for housekeepers & nannies) with houses needing their services.

Yesterday, in a meeting with the owner of the agency, the owner told me stories of families coming to her agency to drop off their underage daughters, seeking work for the girls in hopes of bringing home income for the family. She was caught in a terrible bind: wanting to help the girls find...

JAN 31
10:57 PM

Big News on the Thai Side!

Blog -category -title _from -the -field

Thailand -787

*Photo by Allison Harp

We have big news about the Thai side of The SOLD Project's operations. After jumping through many, many hoops, we've finally achieved foundation status in Thailand!

Until this point, we've been operating as an American organization. What gaining foundation status in Thailand means is that we have greater legitimacy on the Thai side, and with that comes the freedom to do more, bureaucratically, as an organization. ?We can provide more support for our staff, offer more to our foreign volunteers, and have more access to grants and opportunities to fundraise locally in Thailand.

It's been a long road to get here, and so we're...

JAN 25
08:23 AM

Resolutions

Blog -category -title _from -the -field

The beginning of the year is a favored time to look ahead and envision what you'd like to accomplish in the year ahead. Here at SOLD, we're also taking a look at what goals we'd like to set for us as an organization. We asked Rachel Goble, our President, to share what she hopes to accomplish in 2015. Here's what she said!

Rachel

A big resolution for me is to publish a social impact assessment report (the research behind this is currently underway) to look at the effectiveness of our prevention programs as well as to inspire and encourage other anti-trafficking organizations to strengthen their prevention work while...

JAN 23
12:11 PM

Preventing Child Trafficking: How it is Both the Sum Total and Minimum of What We Do

Blog -category -title _from -the -field

We have recently invited a research team to observe and evaluate our prevention program to determine how well SOLD is performing, and to what extent education works as prevention. The research team interviewed our students and staff, and it was eye-opening on both sides. This peek in from the outside provided a great opportunity to reflect on what we do. Here are some of my thoughts.

SOLD-class

We have a student who became pregnant as an early teen. She lost her childhood, her innocence, her scholarship, and for a while she lost her way. What she didn't lose was SOLD. Though she no longer holds a scholarship, she...

DEC 30
11:28 PM

A Year End Meditation: On Race, Both Here and There

Blog -category -title _from -the -field

Doimonjam

When you?re committed to social justice, it matters not where you are or what issue you are most involved with, you fight and cry for justice every where. Though our work is in the remotest villages of Thailand, part of our hearts still smolder and mourn for the injustices found on the streets at home. When we hear about what?s happening in America, from Ferguson to New York, and the state of race relations, whether it?s #blacklivesmatter or #alllivesmatter, we can?t help but reflect on what racism looks like, both here and at home.

It?s an insidious beast. One that, in the U.S. we?ve learned is...

DEC 28
02:23 AM

A Communal Christmas

Blog -category -title _from -the -field

1456753_10152819018790935_6956360675477464697_n

In mid-December, everyone at The SOLD Project took seriously the challenge and camaraderie of putting together our mid-winter festivities and celebrations! While staff, naturally, oversaw the affair, our scholarship kids took up a large portion of the responsibility of creating our Christmas party by making the stage, organizing event details, andcollaborating with staff about how best to include their families and neighbors.

The party was highly attended and a smashing success. At the party, we also took some time to give the students Christmas gifts. It was beautiful and rewarding to see their smiles at the surprise, but the deeper gift, the more important gift was...

DEC 12
07:57 PM

The SOLD Project End of Year Event 2014

Monday night was unforgettable. We hosted our 5th Annual Dessert Party at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, California and not only doubled our attendance from last year but sold out the entire event. We raised more than $10,000 to support prevention of child exploitation in Thailand through generous individual donors, silent auction items, wine cork draw and gifts for good. Thank you to our special guests Ken Wytsma, Founder of The Justice Conference and author of Pursing Justice: The Call to Live and Die For Bigger Things as well as Tawee Donchai, Thailand Founder for The SOLD Project.?

We honored Bill Stauffer with the 2014 FREEDOM Award.?The FREEDOM Award Recipient is a person that advocates for the mission...