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What Mina Says About the Impact of TFS Activities
April 17, 2024

In the past couple of blog posts, we’ve been talking about how important enriching activities are to the wellbeing of at-risk children, and how they both directly and indirectly build children’s resilience and protect them from all kinds of abuse and exploitation, including child sex trafficking.

This week, we want to share a student’s perspective so you can hear from her what impact these kinds of enriching activities have made. Let us introduce you to Mina*, one of our scholarship students, whose name has been changed here to protect her privacy.

Mina and the Impact of TFS Activities

Mina grew up in an incredibly unstable environment. Her parents split and both of them continue to change partners often. Her father has a history of drinking problems and the company he likes to keep made Mina unsafe; she was often harassed by her father’s friends. Her mother’s frequent change of partners also sacrificed Mina’s safety – the romantic partners of single mothers are viewed with red-flags here because, especially if they aren’t long-term, committed partners, there is a chance they might take advantage of the children. 

Mina’s environment became so unstable, she eventually moved to a children’s home with two of her half-sisters because her mother could no longer afford to support them. On top of all these issues, her family are not Thai citizens and her mother suffers from chronic illnesses that require regular hospital visits.

When we first met her, Mina was very withdrawn and hesitant to communicate with strangers. She suffered from depression and other emotional scars from her childhood. She relied heavily on her mother to speak for her. Meanwhile, her father showed no interest in his duty to support her. She was often teased by peers for not being Thai, and both kids and adults criticized her passion for Anime cosplay. So, she tended to isolate herself.

When she joined The Freedom Story, her mentors saw her differently. They encouraged her interest and talents for drawing cartoons and speaking Japanese and English. Her mentors saw them as unique skills. Enriching activities, like the camps we’re raising funds for this spring, are just one of the ways we can encourage her passions and help her build strength and confidence. 

Here’s what Mina says:

“Before joining The Freedom Story, I didn’t have a lot of confidence and I felt unsure about talking with people. Getting these scholarships and participating in these activities has helped me relax more, talk about my ideas, and feel more sure about myself. I can communicate better, I feel more connected with others, and I have more chances to show others what I can do, thanks to The Freedom Story. 

I’ve learned that there are compassionate people who can connect with me. I also take pride in leading group activities and value hearing everyone’s opinions. It is important for my friends to grow and become more aware of the dangers in our area so they can protect themselves and others. I can now share what I know with them.”

In our experience, child trafficking prevention requires holistic solutions that account for the variety of factors that put them at risk. Enriching activities is just one part – alongside scholarships and mentorship – of protecting them so that they can grow up in a nurturing environment, safe from abuse or exploitation. 

Right now it’s the hot season in Thailand, and kids in Thailand are out of school for their long vacation. That means a lot of kids from disadvantaged families are spending lots of hours on social media, where they become more vulnerable to online sexual predators and traffickers preying on the fact that they’re lonely and looking for attention and affection. 

Older youth often look for jobs, too, and they’re vulnerable to job offers that are actually traps. So many people are getting lured by job offers posted online, and then end up trafficked to neighboring countries like Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar, where they are forced to commit crimes under the threat of extreme violence. We work right on the border, so this is all happening very close to us.

We are aiming to prevent this from happening to these kids. We have two camps coming up soon where we will provide a safe place for the kids to socialize, learn great life skills, and learn how to recognize trafficking and protect themselves from it.

About Our Spring Camps

Each camp provides 2-3 days of activities, chances to learn about setting goals and trafficking threats, time to build deep, trusting relationships with staff mentors and peers, transportation, lodging & food, and of course, fun games and prizes.

We’re raising $20,000 so we can provide this opportunity to 200 at-risk youth. For your reference, every $100 gift covers the cost for each student to participate in both camps – but of course, any gift of any size would be greatly appreciated!

We’re getting close to our goal, but still have a ways to go! If you can give a gift to provide an at-risk youth with this opportunity, we would love to have your support. Please click here to give:


Thank you so much for caring about youth like Mina and for your support to protect them!

*Her name has been changed and a generic photo is used to protect her privacy.