"We work in the famous Golden Triangle area of Thailand," shares Sally Golding, project manager of FDSC, "Infamous for being a major drug gateway. Besides a couple main cities, much of the population consists of simple farming communities where they grow enough to eat, but have very little for the other necessities of life, including the schooling of their children. Thus the drug and flesh trades have quite an attraction."
Those who end up in the flesh trade all too often return home ill with HIV/AIDS. Some keep this a secret and then pass on the disease to their new partners. This in turn can affect the children and youth drastically.
Our English language program, coupled with job skills, offers the opportunity for a way out of this cycle as it greatly enhances the occupational choices for the young people of the area. With the help of a grant from FCF we have been hosting an ongoing series of 2-day programs at schools throughout the Golden Triangle, focusing on teaching English skills, as well as drug prevention.
In most of these schools, 80% of the students are either orphans or have at least one parent in prison serving long sentences. Or if their parents are alive, they often work away from home leaving the children with older grandparents who struggle to meet their needs. These students we teach are "at risk" and desperately need help and training to secure a better future.