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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Freedom Story (Formerly The SOLD Project)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, International, International Human Rights, International Relief, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid, Youth Development

Mission: Our mission is to prevent child prostitution through culturally relevant programs for vulnerable children and to share their stories to empower creative, compassionate people to act.

Results: As of 2013, 140 students are receiving a scholarship from The Freedom Story's FREEDOM fund, allowing them to stay in school. To date we have a 90% enrollment rate in a region with statistics that show 50% of students to drop out at grade 6.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 140 children at-risk and the communities they live in

Geographic areas served: Chiang Rai, THAILAND

Programs: To prevent children from ending up in a life of exploitation and to share their stories to inspire creative, compassionate people to act, the sold project offered education scholarships to children at-risk to help keep them in school as well as other necessary programs to aid in prevention. During 2014, the organization provided scholarships to 115 children. Also these children were offered with after school programs, tutoring, computer classes, weekend english classes and weekly creative writing classes, as well as trafficking awareness programs and community trainings yearly at the organization's resource center in chiang rai, thailand. These programs are all being implemented by local staff passionate about education and the future of these children. In 2014, 99% of students graduated from 9th grade and many went on to high school and even university. Hosted an activist awareness trip in january 2014 to educate professionals and people of influence on the importance of prevention efforts to aid in the protection of children at risk of exploitation.

Community Stories

74 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

icimoses

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband and I live in Chiang Rai and have been supporters of The SOLD Project since their beginning. We have been deeply impressed with the integrity, intelligence and dedication of the SOLD Project's founders and staff. They not only raise money to keep at risk children in school, they involve the parents and families, teaching them how to manage donated funds for the childrens' education. They provide after school educational activities in a safe environment. They care deeply about each child and we have seen them go to great lengths to help at risk children. One of the children that has been supported by the SOLD Project since their beginning, now lives with us and has shared her experiences with us. She is very focused on her education, and has described how her life has evolved with the support and guidance of the SOLD Project. The SOLD Project's only agenda is to keep children safe and to support their education as a means to a stable and productive life. We greatly admire the work they are doing and can see that they are truly making a difference in the lives of many children.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Prevention work of any kind is not glamorous. It takes special individuals dedicated to the long haul who can see the power and potential in the slow daily grind. The Freedom Story is made up of exactly those kind of individuals.
I had the wonderful privilege of interning with The Freedom Story in Chiang Rai, Thailand this summer. After being involved with multiple non-profit organizations over the years, it was a breath of fresh air to work with an organization that was truly committed to ethical storytelling, localized leadership, sustainable economic practices, and holistic community development.
In a sea of international aid organizations that can often do more harm than good, The Freedom Story continues to be dedicated to re-evaluating it's methods and practices for true effectiveness that does no harm.

The smells and sounds of Chiang Rai city slowly fade as the "song tao" (two bench bus-truck) speedily makes its way out to the village where The Freedom Story's resource center is located. Through the small windows, I watch shop fronts turn into rice fields against the perfect backdrop of deep green mountains. It's rainy season and the heavy clouds sit low on the mountain tops, the mist curling around the tops of the trees. I get dropped off at the Wat (Buddhist temple) near the resource center and make my way up the road. I pass the Wat and the corn fields. I can't hear the sound of the road anymore. The still and quiet feels like its seeping into my skin. The warm breeze rustles the bamboo and banana leaves. A caterpillar crawls slowly across the road. I keep walking past the newly planted rice fields perfectly reflecting the cloud covered sky above. The road opens up to reveal the happy yellow building of the resource center, cozily nestled among the rice and corn. I love this moment of the day, it's like a warm and peaceful hug. I wonder if the kids have similar feelings when they make their way here after school. I don't know for sure, but I hope so. What I do know for sure is that The Freedom Story's resource center almost effortlessly makes me feel relaxed and comfortable. That is a difficult thing to conjure up in a program, but is easy to achieve when care and acceptance flow naturally from each individual staff.
I hope The Freedom Story never stops being exactly this for everyone who enters it's walls.

Amy P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm often skeptical of NGOs after getting an inside look at a very misguided organization in India. I volunteered at the Freedom Story (by way of The Light Space) for three months, spending a few days a week at their city center, meeting nearly every child/family served by the organization while photographing them for a family day, as well as also spending several days sitting in the office surrounded by staff members at their resource center.

What I found were children who had a safe place to play after school, programs running with mentorship and educational support and what appeared to be genuine joy (not performative like you may find in other organizations).

I think you can trace this back to the source, with a Thai staff that is extremely open and caring (I have not had a chance to meet the US staff, aside from the founder). In my three months, I did not meet a single person at The Freedom Story who seemed to just be "doing a job". There was that same genuine joy emanating from the office.

I am also very proud of their direction and leadership in teaching ethical practices in storytelling. Overall, I highly recommend The Freedom Story!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi. I am Sanjoy Bose ,an art practitioner from Kolkata,India . The month of mid May to mid August,2017 is considered to be the memorable days of my life. Painting a wall mural with the kids of The Freedom Story under the lush green mountain surrounded by the green paddy fields was a dream came true. I was astonished and excited by the amazing imagination of the kids. The location of the organisation , the consultants of the organisation,the caregivers.....all are just amazing. I was speechless......just awesome. I really feel lucky to be a part and a volunteer of The Freedom Story and also have a loads of honour and gratitude for the respect and love they gave me. Miss them so so much. Love to work with them any time,any where.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am currently volunteering with The Freedom Story in Chiang Rai, Thailand and have nothing but positive sentiments to share. This organization is comprised of the most caring, passionate, and conscientious individuals who are wholeheartedly invested in the work they do and people they serve. Although they touch many, many lives, they treat each person with the individualized care, attention, and respect that would be given to family. In addition, great care is taken to ensure that all practices and initiatives are sustainable, culturally relevant, and ethical. As a volunteer, I especially appreciated the emphasis that was placed on ensuring that I was a good match for the organization and community and would be able to utilize my individual skillset to genuinely contribute to the cause, rather than placing an undue burden on the system. I have the utmost respect for all involved with The Freedom Story and will continue to support this incredible organization for years and years to come.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am currently a Social Work Intern at the The Freedom Story completing my senior internship for my University in the US. The Freedom Story is fighting the child trafficking problem in a holistic way that works. The staff are all caring and compassionate individuals, that are using their skills and knowledge to enrich the lives that they interact with. The Freedom Story is constantly evaluating their practices to make sure that they are making an impact. They use research-informed practice which further confirms the work that they are doing. The Freedom Story is also doing important work on increasing mental health awareness which can be commonly overlooked. I have enjoyed my time at The Freedom Story and gained a lot of useful knowledge.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with The Freedom Story in the past and attended several of their events. They truly support a good cause and have an amazing staff to help further their mission in preventing child exploitation. Thank you for all you do!

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Freedom Story takes a distinct role in the area of human trafficking; it seeks to prevent it altogether. Through education and mentoring, The Freedom Story scholarships at-risk children to complete their education thus giving them opportunities to fulfill their dreams. The staff also mentors them and their families not just with school issues but with daily life and needs. Sustainability projects give help to supplement their meager incomes. I have seen Freedom Story in person, in action and have seen the fruit of their labor in helping children thrive in an uncertain world in Thailand. As a board member, I know Freedom Story uses every dollar responsibly and with integrity in providing tangible hope for these young people and their families.

Peggy58

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing charity with a cause that pulls at all of our heart strings. I'm glad to be a small part of it!

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I have gone to numerous events they have hosted. I love their mission and purpose. The company is such a loving and caring group of hardworking individuals that give of themselves selflessly.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been supporting The Freedom Story (formerly known as The SOLD Project) for several years now. I have watched it grow from the early days as a film project, to a nationally recognized and respected non profit doing valued and important work. I have traveled to Thailand twice where I've seen the importance of trafficking prevention, met the students and staff involved in Freedom, and seen the difference this organization has made in Northern Thailand. Can't imagine a more deserving organization of my dollars.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with The Freedom Story at many of their events in the past couple of years. The work they do is remarkable and I love their transparency. I would highly recommend getting involved with this non-profit as they are truly making a difference in the lives of their students and families.

Satvika K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The experience at The Freedom Story was exceptional. I received a tremendous amount of support from the organization throughout my journey in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The staff at the resource centers were always supportive, and I loved working with the children. I would recommend this organization for its great work in prevention of trafficking in Thailand.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent a month volunteering at The Freedom Story, teaching English with the staff and doing activities with the children and young adults they serve. In my interactions with the staff, I was totally blown away by their passion, drive, and professionalism. The staff is a group of people who truly care about what they do. They have seen the effects of lack of opportunity for disadvantaged youth and are doing everything they can to give this new generation the resources and tools they need to break the cycle. This is a group of kind souls with genuine hearts, and I so enjoyed working with each and every one of them!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'd give The Freedom Story 10 stars if I could. It has restored my faith in non-profits.

sydneyboral

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with The Freedom Story for 6 months. The people who work and volunteer for this org care deeply and passionately about preventing human trafficking and child exploitation. The Freedom Story's work is effective and is determined to grow and improve in order to reach as many students as possible in Northern Thailand. If you're looking to get involved with a non-profit that is doing powerful things, this is the one for you!

Shannon148

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to travel on an Activist Vision Trip with The Freedom Story to Thailand a few years ago. I was incredibly impressed by the education and awareness they were able to present in such a meaningful and authentic way. With a complex topic like human trafficking, The Freedom Story truly embodies its mission in prevention through culturally relevant programming, that empowers and develops the staff, students, and families they interact with.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have traveled with President Rachel Goble to Thailand two times now and seen first hand the work The Sold Project is doing to transform the community in Northern Thailand. The staff members are the heart and soul of the organization. They are passionate about positively impacting the individuals they serve, and believe that education is key to changing the lives of the children and their families. The team is cohesive, innovative, and consistently looking for ways to be more effective in ending childhood prostitution and trafficking in Northern Thailand.

elwinsted

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As someone who has been involved in many different types of volunteering, I will say the The SOLD Project is by far, one of the best. I believe in creating positive, sustainable solutions to the world's problems and SOLD does just that. Not only do they employ 95% local staff, they are incredibly committed to these kids and their futures. The first day I volunteered with them, I walked in on their art class. The kids were given a blank canvas to draw different mandalas; explaining their thought process afterwards. They had so much fun and it created a enjoyable, safe learning space for everyone. SOLD provides the resources for the kids to be creative and also encourages them to be unique and assertive. As an English and music teacher volunteer, I feel that the kids are directly benefiting from the presence of SOLD in their community. These high school kids show up on their days off to spend time with the staff and to partake in fun, creative and life-skill building activities. On their day off!! The staff is not only their support system, but their friends; their confidants. Such a wonderful nonprofit and one that focus on prevention, which I find unique and interesting. I am so thrilled to continue to volunteer for SOLD over the next few months while I am still living in Thailand. Two thumbs up!

Tracy U.

Donor

Rating: 5

The SOLD Project is providing hope in Thailand through prevention. By mentoring, encouraging, and financially enabling children to get an education, opportunities are opened for the kids and families to help end the cycle of trafficking.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have beening knowing, learning and being able to help with The SOLD Project. It is a wonderful project and thank you for being a wonderful for the children and the communities. Thank you for making a great different in the world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While volunteering with The SOLD Project, I felt myself genuinely growing alongside the kids and the staff present. There is a palpable energy of goodness that surrounds the entire center, and the most important thing is their clear communication about their mission and who they are looking out for most- children at risk for exploitation. The entire staff was welcoming, warm, and genuinely fun to work with- and their understanding of their organization's goals was impressive and vital to how smoothly things run. I'd give it 6 out of 5 if I could!