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Thailand: education vs. cultural slavery



  • January 19, 2019
Kelsey Campbell
Kelsey Campbell

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Most kids get excited when you ask what they want to be when they grow up. One week it’s a teacher. The next week it’s a police officer or a firefighter. Next month, it might be a scientist or a helicopter pilot.

Regardless, they have big dreams as they think about their futures.

But for children living in the slums of Thailand, their future has already been determined for them. And, unfortunately, because of poverty and the lack of an education, they’re destined to live the same lives their parents did: ones trapped in cultural slavery.

The cruelest part of poverty is that it robs people of their choices.

A little girl will watch her mother do anything to provide for her family, even enter the sex industry. But when a woman has to retire at 30 because she’s “too old” and sick with sexually transmitted diseases, it’s her children who have to go to work to pick up where she left off — many following in her exact footsteps.

But this self-fulfilling prophecy doesn’t have to keep perpetuating itself.

There is hope for this youngest generation to escape the vicious cycle of cultural slavery. And it can be found in a very unlikely place: a preschool in a slum.  

Nestled between shanties that are falling down and streets that are often filled with crime and violence, children are able to find refuge from the ramifications of poverty.

But how can a preschool break the chains of cultural slavery?

Protection and prevention

While families live in slums, most parents travel to the heart of the city to find work. Some work in factories or other labor-intensive jobs, but many women are forced to work in bars as sex workers in order to earn an income.

And while parents work, their young children must fend for themselves. Some may be lucky enough to have an elderly grandparent who tries to take care of them. But, every day is dangerous for these children.

They’re at risk of being abused, scarred emotionally, or exploited themselves. In this environment, there’s nowhere for a child to hide from the darkness of this world.

But because of a preschool in the heart of Bangkok’s Bang Na slum, children are being protected and looked after.

Through sponsorship, both boys and girls have the opportunity to receive healthy meals, medical care, educational assistance, and the chance to experience the love of Jesus Christ. And for $35 a month, you can help rescue a child by giving him or her the opportunity to attend this preschool.

Not only is this daycare able to protect the children physically, but it’s guarding their futures as well. Inside the walls of the school, children are learning their lives have value.

Each girl discovers for the first time that she does have a choice outside of the sex industry. And each boy learns that women are to be protected and loved rather than treated like property.

Early education

Another thing poverty robs people of is an education.

“I believe education is the path out of poverty,” one of our Thailand partners explained. “If people get the opportunity to get an education or vocational training, I don’t think anyone would like to get involved with the sex industry …”

That’s why our partners started the preschool so that children will have choices and an alternative to abuse, fear, and a life of disease and degradation.

Not only does education prepare them for vocational training, finding a good job, and a way out of the slums, but it gives a child the chance to decide his or her own future. And, at this sponsorship program, children also experience Christ-like love.

“We hope this will help them build self-esteem, feel valued as His children, prevent them from harm (including the sex industry), and help them to get into the education system with scholarship and program support,” our partner said. “As they gain the knowledge, when others try to lead them to the wrong way, they will know how to say ‘No,’ or they can talk and ask for help from [our] team.” 

One daycare in a Thai slum is transforming children’s lives forever. But it can’t do so without your help.

For one of these children to stay enrolled at the preschool, they first need a sponsor — someone like you.

For just over $1 per day, you can stand in the gap and rescue one child from the dangers of the sex industry today.

Your sponsorship will provide a future he or she never knew existed.

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