It started with elephants, but ended with Daughters Rising. Say whaaaat?
Let me explain.
Mom was here to visit me for Christmas. Ohhh it was so good to see her. I don’t think she’ll be packing her bags to join me out here again anytime soon, but we did have a good time and we got to see some elephants too and that was super cool.
A friend of a friend referred me to the Chai Lai Orchid which is considered “one of the good ones”. An unfortunate reality in Thailand tourism is that there are many elephant camps that do not treat their elephants well and are in the business solely for maximum profit giving little thought to the welfare of their elephants. Chai Lai Orchid, on the other hand, is a social business helping elephants have a good life while offering memorable experiences for tourists. Now that’s a business model I can stand behind!
We had fun playing with DeeDee and her friends! Look!
As it turns out, not only are the people at Chai Lai Orchid committed to helping elephants, but they also have another program called Daughters Rising that really just pierces my heart. Daughters Rising helps to prevent sex trafficking and exploitation of young at-risk hill tribe girls and their mothers; I knew they were perfect for my Conscious Creations website. Tragically, sex trafficking is a thriving industry here in Southeast Asia and especially northern Thailand where there are so many Burmese refugees who have fled their own country with no education, marketable vocational skills or means of income.
Photo Credit for Daughters Rising Photos ~ Alexa Pham
Daughters Rising website reports, “As many as 2 million children are forced into prostitution every year and more than half of them live in Asia. Unlike a lot of problems in developing countries, this is one that is actually getting worse. At the peak of the transatlantic slave trade, 80,000 slaves were transported from Africa to the new world. Today, more than 10 times as many women are being forced into brothels or other forms of slavery. Every 30 seconds, another person becomes a victim. Women are lured by traffickers with false promises of jobs such as domestic help, models, and other hospitality jobs and are then forced into slavery.”
Daughters Rising (DR) helps these young women in a variety of ways:
- Education – DR holds RISE workshops teaching the young girls women’s health and understanding of how diseases are spread, English and Thai language, human and migrant worker’s rights and basic laws, warning signs and dangers of trafficking and creative thinking through art and writing.
- Vocational Training – At risk girls and survivors are provided specialized hospitality training which results in viable employment and work skills as well as literacy and life-skills.
- Craft Preservation and Income Generation – DR cultivates and celebrates traditional indigenous skills through the curation and sale of their hand crafted artisanal products.
“We started with the notion that if we really wanted to prevent trafficking of the most vulnerable victims in the poorest areas, we would need to instill change from the bottom up. We would need to start with young girls – empowering them to respect themselves, to value the role of women in their society and to have the confidence and knowledge to stand up for themselves.” ~ Alexa Pham, Daughters Rising
It’s likely hard to imagine the full scope and magnitude of this problem, but I see it every day when I drive the Chiang Mai streets at night. I see the women on the side of the street and wonder if they’ve chosen this profession (which is likely still by necessity) or if they’ve been forced into prostitution.
I’m so fortunate to have never experienced anything like this first hand. My being born in America allowed me so many opportunities and a life these girls will likely never know. But we can make a difference. Let’s help empower them, educate them and support their indigenous crafts. If you’re not up for purchasing, that’s ok! Maybe you’ll consider sharing my site with your friends and family so we can get their story circling the globe!
Also, I’d love it if you’d sign up for my newsletter on my Crazy Mungo site so I can keep you informed of new products and all the people we aim to help. You can just go to the home page and scroll down to the bottom to sign up. Please bare with me as I make the transition from blogger to business as some posts will be duplicate for a while.
Cool Stuff + Good Karma = Conscious Creation
Let’s help these daughters rise! Are you with me? See more at http://www.consciouscreations.world
“No one is free when others are oppressed.” ~ Author Unknown
Burmese Refugee Situation -Specifically the Post Cold War (1988 – Present) and Kayin State sections.
Hi Erin, Leila here–I read your text to Christie. Yes I vaguely remember that time. I had a ride with Friends passing through Pensacola. Aunt francis–Tanky to us!! told me about the problema and said it would be better not to come. Then she called bsck and said maybe it would be good if I came. I remember your Mom took me to a healing service. I do not remember praying—BUT I know if there was a need I prayed!!
I too am so concerned about the sex and slave trafficking. I found about thts Salvadoran ministry who Works with women, so she invited me to come see her ministry. She invited another missionary who Works with these ladies–at times recomended by the pólice. We had a good meeting. I shared about God´S DREAM RANCH—FOR BOYS AT RISK. The land I want to buy is very large. I said I thought maybe some could be set aside for a program a minister in the States wants to start here. My ranch is on hold because the govt. will not approve any new orphanages. They say they have their own program., which is fine BUT there is such a great need to rescue the youth here.
Hope someday we can have some time together and with your Mom. I pray for your safety and your creativity in reporting. It is exciting to live in another culture, isn¨t it?
God bless you!!! Leila
Hi Leila! So nice to hear from you. I can’t wait to see how Christie’s “The Leila Project” turns out, will be amazing to learn more about you and your journey far away from everything you know and into the lands of unknown all in an effort to help people. Bravo! And yes, would be so incredible to connect in person sometime!
I love the idea of your ranch and I can only imagine the roadblocks you’d be up against there with local authorities and program directors. I wish you much success in your efforts for your Dream Ranch. Who knows, maybe we can collaborate in the future. I am kicking myself a little for not making more of an effort to venture to you when I was in Brazil. At the time I didn’t see how I could make it work, but I wish I’d tried harder, would be so good to connect.
Do you ever return to the states? If so, maybe we can organize a reunion of the whole family.
Thanks so much for checking in. Much love from Thailand. ❤
Hi again— I call this the year of RESTORATION and I hope to see more families restored.The enemy has stolen and stolen, and only God can put lives and families back together again.
It would be great to connect again!! Yes, I come home every year–this year for the graduation of m granddaughter, Esther Marie in Rossville, Indiana. Christie will take me to Greensboro, N.C. for an interview with my sis Mary and maybe my cousin who lives inS.C..
My daughter Barbara has said she will take me to see the grand canyon. Then too I need to spend time with my two sons———— seems that every year gets busier and busier!!!
Yes, I know that God´s Dream Ranch will exist some day!!! God has given me other dreams too and so maybe I will be around a while longer!!
Love to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Adventure must run in our family!!!