I love Thailand for its delicious vegetarian rich curry dishes, the tropical beaches of Phuket and the glorious animals of the jungles. But with an estimated 400,000 CHILD prostitutes sold in the sex trade and forced to sell their bodies, the beauty of the country is overshadowed by their blood, sweat and tears. These children are no different from my son Levi.
When I taught ESL one summer in a small Karen village in Northern Thailand, the children all lived in a boarding school which housed over 200 students. Children from neighboring villages and those who did not have homes, lived at the school year round as they learned, lived and laughed. My time in this village was short but the experience was unforgettable. Young girls in Karen villages are commonly sold in the sex trade, either as a means of providing their families with money or processions. The children I taught at this school were protected from such exploitation, perhaps only temporarily, but they were at least given a fighting chance. In North Thailand, it is believe that 54% of the sex workers ordinate from this economically poor region and this includes the Karen villages where I stayed.
Child sex tourism is an epidemic in Asian, fuelled by Western and European men. In Cambodia, I shared a taxi with a US military officer who flew from Bangkok, Thailand to Phnom Penh, Cambodia for a weekend of sexual exploitation. He was vague divulging details but his intent was clear. The age of his likely underage victims unknown. This memory sticks out in my mind because he was a husband, a father, an officer and a man no different from any other man I know. Now imagine Levi or your child in this situation....
Thank you for your generous donation! YOUR donation will provide food, shelter and protection for children in need.
Patricia (and Levi)