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Review for The Freedom Story, Oakland, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

The SOLD project is a nonprofit organization with a proactive and holistic prevention model. Due to poverty and the existence of many ethnic minority groups, Northern Thailand is known as a breeding ground for children who fall into prostitution. Many children are not able to receive the education needed to find sustainable work and are easily lured into the sex industry. Many organizations focus on rescue and rehabilitation of sexually exploited children in Thailand. Here at The SOLD Project, we focus on prevention to help ensure that children are never exploited to begin with. SOLD has identified key factors that place a child at risk—like poverty, lack of education, and the absence of positive role models. My 5 week internship at The SOLD project as part of my Master in Public Health curriculum, was a wonderful and eye-opening experience. I realized that there is so much we can do here to help people around the world. Although I didn’t get the opportunity to meet the Thailand staff, it is amazing how there is a sense of comradery, mainly from the fact that we all have the same focus. The staff and interns at the Pleasanton office are extremely knowledgeable, passionate and so involved with prevention of child exploitation in Thailand that I know they will truly make a difference in the lives of the families in Thailand.
As a home health occupational therapist, my job is to work patients in their home environment to increase their safety and independence. This job is hands on and every facet of what they need to do at home to function safely is evaluated to ensure that we are providing the best care that we can. Although the population with The SOLD project is in Thailand, many parallels are evident. With both target population, our goal is to provide the best care that we can and treat each person as an individual. We need to assess their support network, as well as their current living situation to determine the best intervention. Our goal is to maximize their quality of life and have them succeed in things that are relevant to them.
Education is a valuable tool because the knowledge that you gain can never be taken away from you. For the children in Thailand to be successful in life and to develop the resiliency to never being exploited, they will need the skills and knowledge from the classroom. Since their social interactions will also play a large role in what they will end up doing in life, the more girls and boys who have completed their education, the stronger and larger this circle will be. As there is always a strength in numbers, this will definitely help put an end of child exploitation.

For more information about SOLD, please check out For ways to get involved, please check out The money you spend on a cup of coffee each day is enough to change a child’s life in Thailand.

Role:  Volunteer