Social Action for Women’s Children’s Crisis Center & Green Hope Centre, Mae Sot, Thailand
Partner — Children On the Edge
Together, Give Way to Freedom, Children on the Edge and Social Action for Women are working to deliver an effective program of protection and capacity building that will create sustainable support for trafficking survivors and prevent child trafficking of Burmese in Thailand.
One girl’s story:
(photograph does not depict the actual victim)
“ I am thirteen years old, and my home is Burma. I am from the Karen tribe, and have always been persecuted because of this.
Of course, I don’t live there anymore. I no longer have a home. My parents were killed last year when our village was burned
down by military, and my parents refused to be relocated. I ran into the forest with my cousins, and came to Mae Sot.
I thought I would be safe, being with my older cousin. But she sold me. I was told I was going to work in a restaurant.
I was taken to a house where an old man was waiting for me. He told me that he paid a lot of money for me he could do whatever he wanted.
He beat me and raped me three times. Afterwards, a woman picked me up and took me to the “darling home”.
I wasn’t allowed to go out or look outside of the windows. I got beaten if I did. I was given a number tag,
which became my name. One day some clients took me away. I thought I would die, they had machetes and I cried for them to release me.
They took me to a tent, where I was used by six men. I escaped and dragged myself into the street to look for help.
When the police came I thought I was rescued. But they arrested me and took me back to the prostitute home.
They accused me of trying to run away, and locked me in a room with no food for 10 days. I escaped when one of the prostitutes
felt sorry for me and brought me food. I went to the top of the building, and jumped. But I didn’t die. So I got up and ran…”
- This story is all to familiar for many young vulnerable Burmese girls fleeing the violence in Burma and seeking refuge across the border in Mae Sot, Thailand. The Burmese military has destroyed fields, burnt villages, stolen livestock, relocated communities and practiced forced labor. Many families and children have fled hoping to reach safety in Thailand.
- Many children travel alone and become victims of human or drug trafficking. Children who flee with their parents can also be vulnerable because their parents work long hours in factories and fields, leaving them to fend for themselves on the streets. These children can also end up alone if their parents are detained, deported, or become ill. In addition, families can be tricked by traffickers into giving their children ’brokers’ who promise good jobs for their children in the city. In these instances, they often never see them again. Child victims are often transported to cities such as Bangkok where they are forced into prostitution or bonded slavery.
The Sustainable Kitchen Garden Program the women and children participate in.
Our Projects with Social Action for Women
- Since 2010 Give Way to Freedom has supported the efforts of Social Action for Women (SAW) on the ground in Thailand with targeted support first to the Children’s Crisis Center and then to the Green Hope house.
- In 2012/2013 we are partnering with Children on the Edge to support not only the Children’s Crisis Center but also the
“Capacity Build” SAW’s programming and increase training to staff of the Children’s Crisis Center and the Green Hope House.
- Give Way to Freedoms’ continued support of SAW and partnership with Children on the Edge will provide 15 children with complete care,
protection and counseling /rehabilitation for one year, including:
- Safe accommodation
- Counseling and therapeutic activities
- Basic needs — food, clothing, hygiene supplies
- Play and leisure
- Health care
- Vocational Training
- A kitchen garden program is encouraging self–sufficiency while also offering a wonderful outlet for the
children and women to create something valuable and provided an opportunity to work through their trauma in a positive, tangible way.
This program has double rewards because the residents also love eating the nutritional fruit and vegetables.
- This project will also provide specialist advice and staff training in trauma counseling and emotional development, child protection training,
and case management skills tall Social Action for Women staff of both the Children’s Crisis Center and The Green Hope House.