2022 is off to a fantastically strong start, thanks to our community of donors who gave so generously to help support children at risk of trafficking. Because of you, we were able to raise an incredible total of $172,465! This generous support puts us in a position of strength and makes it possible to continue the prevention work we’ve been doing. As we’re sure you’re aware, prevention is even more necessary than ever, due to the challenges wrought by COVID. So we want to thank you, deeply, for making prevention possible.
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What We Were Able To Achieve At The End of 2021
Because of your support, we were able to go directly to aid those hit hardest by COVID.
In 2021, COVID hit Thailand hard, especially among migrant workers. Because of communal living or cramped working conditions, it can be particularly hard for people in these communities to socially distance themselves to prevent the spread of illness. Lost work due to quarantine and illness, of course, also impacts workers’ pay. As income loss increases stress and pressure, people in migrant communities become more vulnerable to exploitation. Desperation may push them to accept more risky jobs and opportunities, in the hopes of regaining income. For those not eligible for government relief, there may be very few other avenues to turn to for help.
When families are economically unstable, children are often called upon to drop out of school to help bring in income. When family members are trafficked, the children become vulnerable to trafficking too.
The Freedom Story Makes An Impact At The Point of Vulnerability
To counteract how children become more vulnerable to trafficking, we began partnering with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (or JICA) in September to provide targeted assistance to migrant communities in Chiang Rai. We work alongside the Ministry of Public Health to train volunteers from within the migrant communities to spread awareness about COVID among their people. We distribute COVID health materials, perform COVID tests in the community, and gather data on the risk of COVID and trafficking.
With the help of these partnerships, we can take this opportunity to broaden our reach, working with migrant groups that are underserved throughout Chiang Rai. Our ongoing work with migrants, raising awareness of trafficking and their rights under the Thai labor law, and assisting cases of those who have been abused or exploited goes to the heart of trafficking and prevention. It reaches those most vulnerable, as well as their children, who are vicariously exposed to risk.
In the last quarter of 2021, we supported over 220 people under our COVID-relief projects, while conducting training and awareness-raising for a further 459 people in Chiang Rai.
Because of your support, this expansion in our services has been possible. It makes us well-placed to continue our outreach efforts in 2022, so we can feel confident we can meet the challenges presented by Omicron, or the next variant, or whatever else comes our way!
Together, we are preventing the most vulnerable from being exploited. Thank you.