ASHA’s guiding principle is to “empower young women and children to live normal lives in the community – either by supporting them to stay within their families, or to help them reintegrate back into society. The Asha Children’s Reintegration Centre and Asha Girls’ Centre are safe homes that provide a stepping stone back to normal life, rather than long-term institutions that depersonalise and create dependency”. The young women and children at Asha all attend full-time education: this is the key to an independent future and central to Asha’s aim to combat social crimes of abuse and trafficking. It empowers girls to be able to make decisions in their lives and to take care of themselves by finding employment and attain self-sufficiency. It is ultimately they way out of the poverty trap.
Please visit Asha to learn more & please help me support such an amazing cause!
When I travelled within Thailand, and I think everyone is aware of this who has travelled to the country, I noticed how many women and young girls are being exploited by the huge sex industry – especially in Bangkok. The sex industry has existed for a long time already – kings in the past had their concubines – it’s nothing new. However, since the Vietnam war, ‘farangs’ are getting involved with Thai women, who were treated as a form of entertainment to ease the burdens of the soldier’s lives. This developed into a huge sex industry now frequented by thousands of men who even fly to Thailand to book themselves into ‘special’ holidays with often under-aged women. Prostitution in Thailand is actually illegal – did you know that? Which means sex-industry bosses easily circumvent the law by bribing politicians and the police to keep quiet about their ‘karaoke’, ‘massage parlours’ or ‘clubs’ which are in truth brothels where women work with no protection from the law. On top of it all, abortion is illegal too – you can imagine what this leads to…
Young girls are being trafficked to brothels nation-wide to help earn a living – as working in these establishments often bring in a much bigger income than working on a rice field. The Not For Sale campaign, with their strategy in Thailand, seeks to combat this issue by providing shelters for these girls, giving them access to social service and create opportunity employments outside of the sex trade. Education, as the only real way out of poverty, is provided by this charity through home-schooling programs. Finally they also organise internships in order to help them, girls and boys, find foot on a career path away from the trade they were forced into, with the hope to encourage the learning of new skills in order to find permanent employment in a more honourable sector.
If you would like to learn more about this organisation and donate or help in any other way possible, please click here.
*This is a copy / paste from the official website – with permission from the organizer.
“In Khmer, Banteay Srey means “Women’s Temple”. The Banteay Srey temple, located near Angkor Wat in Cambodia, was built in honor of female deities. Today, for Cambodian women, the temple represents strength, unity, safety and empowerment.
Cambodian culture teaches children to obey their parents for a life time. Daughters are told that when their family sees fit they will marry a man of their parent’s choosing. Arranged marriage often fails, leaving the woman trapped with children in an abusive relationship or abandoned by a disinterested husband and with no means of support.
Many girls move to the factories at a young age, some choose sex work or are forced into it. Factories are overcrowded, unsafe and offer no hope for the future. Sex workers routinely endure violent clients, police abuse, and gang rape.
Banteay Srey Project has developed a vocational training centre where girls have the opportunity to develop a wide range of marketable skills as well as life skills. The project provides a supervised residence where young women can develop their independence in a comfortable safe environment. Trainees are also offered yoga and meditation classes to support their personal growth and healing from inter-generational trauma.
Trainees are offered a maximum of 2 years training and employment at the centre by which time they are well prepared to navigate a broad range of employment choices in the growing hospitality and tourism sector. Graduating trainees are given support to find excellent job placements in spas, resorts, or restaurants. Select trainees may be mentored to open small businesses under the Banteay Srey name.
Banteay Srey works hard towards a realistic goal of financial sustainability but is still at this time in need of donor contributions to offset the cost of establishment and ongoing training.”
If you feel like this is a project that resonates within and you feel contributing to it would be the right thing to do, please click here, to find out what your options are. Banteay Srey also offers a volunteer program.