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Coronavirus6 min read


‘The good news is the bars are closed … the bad news is the bars are closed’

“The good news is the bars are closed,” our Thailand partner recently told the World Help staff over Zoom. Then she added, “The bad news is the bars are closed.”

Since the pandemic shut down Thailand’s infamous red-light districts, girls are no longer being abused there night after night. But it also means these girls are in the same predicament as countless other people around the world — they are jobless, penniless, and starving.

Today, you can help rescue a girl in Thailand or another person around the world struggling to survive this pandemic. You can help provide emergency aid like food, clean water, hygiene kits, medical care, and more. And thanks to a matching gift, your donation DOUBLES to help 2X as many people!

I’ve visited Thailand many times, and the red-light districts I remember were loud, booming places filled with flashing lights and thousands of people. They’ve been that way for decades … all the way up until the beginning of 2020. But now, they’ve fallen silent.

The red-light districts weren’t just workplaces for countless girls with no education or job prospects. For many of them, these places were their homes, as well. A lot of them lived in rooms above the bars where they worked. When the bar owners could no longer pay the rent, the girls were evicted. Now they’re homeless and jobless.

Some young women are now living in a single room with five or six other people. Their only method of survival is “freelancing” and selling their bodies for the equivalent of a bowl of rice or a little bread.

Their situation has gone from bad … to worse.

Our partners are doing everything they can to help these girls. And one of the best ways they’ve found to reach them is through the brand-new baking school at the Freedom Home in Pattaya.

World Help donors fully funded the baking school early last year as a way to train girls in a trade so they could escape the sex industry. Girls currently living in the Freedom Homes made up the first few classes, but now girls who are jobless because of the pandemic are coming for training.

“The timing for the completion of the baking school God knew was perfect!” our partner said. “We were able to practice in it a little before and work out all the kinks of working in that space so it was ready and superb for our friends from the bars.”

Each girl who attends the baking classes gets a hot lunch and a small stipend to cover transportation and a little extra food. This has been a lifesaver for many girls during the pandemic. But beyond meeting their immediate physical needs, the baking school is teaching them a valuable skill they can turn into a career. It also offers them a safe space to relax and talk about life’s challenges with people who truly care.

Before, the only opportunity our partners got to talk with many of these girls was when they visited them at work in the noisy bars. They were able to chat for just a few minutes, shouting over the loud music and cacophony of other voices. I can tell you from experience, it’s extremely hard to make real connections that way.

Now, they have hours to talk with the girls as they knead dough, braid intricate pastries, and wait for muffins to come out of the oven.

Of course, the number of people they have been able to connect with in this way is limited. Social distancing restrictions limit each class to only five girls, so our partners have been distributing food to families in the community, as well.

They recently prepared 200 meals to hand out locally. After just 11 minutes of distributing them, every single meal was gone! They had to turn hundreds of people away. That’s how great the need is!

All around the world, it’s the same.

“Food is the greatest need,” we’ve heard again and again over the past few months from people in Guatemala, India, Zimbabwe, and other places . They are out of work and starving. They desperately need emergency aid … aid that YOU can help provide.

Your gift today will help provide vital aid like food, clean water, hygiene kits, other essentials and spiritual hope for people struggling to survive. And because World Help Board members have pledged to match your donation up to $300,000, your gift multiplies! Every $8 is enough to help rescue TWO people.

You’ll also help erase the projected budget shortfall caused by canceled fundraising events due to the coronavirus. With your generosity, you’ll ensure that global programs like the Freedom Homes and baking kitchen can continue serving as many people as possible worldwide and keep showing them the love of Christ.

Please continue to keep the people of Thailand and other impoverished countries in your prayers. This pandemic has hit them especially hard. And please give a gift to help if you are able. Every dollar you give will help people survive the hardest days of their lives.

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