It was our privilege, our heart wrenching privilege, to send out a small band of volunteers to HELP build a house for a very poor village family in the hills of northern Thailand.
When most of us consider building a home, we begin by phoning the bank. We start searching for a lender, someone who considers us loan-worthy and someone who will give us a good interest rate. For others of us, the dream of owning our own home is just that – a dream – and so we set about obtaining a home by visiting rental properties to find one we like and one that we can afford. Others are forced by circumstances to consider boarding houses, state subsidized housing or even emergency accommodation offered by a charitable organization. And some of us become homeless.
In the northern hill tribe villages of Thailand things work very differently. Here all it takes to own a house is the money to buy the materials and the ability to prove that you have inhabited a piece of land for over ten years. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. Very, very wrong.
It was our privilege, our heart wrenching privilege, to send out a small band of volunteers to HELP build a house for a very poor village family in the hills of northern Thailand. When they arrived at the village, the materials were there, on site, a few skinny poles with the bark still on them and a pile of fibro roofing tiles. Meager supplies by any standards, but for this poor family, the price paid for these items had been incredibly, ridiculously, cruelly high.
The family needed a new house because the old one was rotting away. In reality the materials to construct the house only cost us $500 USD, but to that family this amount was absolutely impossible for them to obtain. They are so poor that their entire possessions amount to two pots, three plates and one or two blankets – at least until Destiny Rescue got involved. Their floors were dirt and the only clothes they possessed were those on their backs. The path leading up to their home that perched on the side of a steep hill was clay dirt. It was difficult to scramble up this path to get to the house. In the wet season, it must be almost impossible. This is poverty at its most vicious. This is the kind of poverty that creates extreme vulnerability. This is the poverty Destiny Rescue is committed to address.
Sadly, this family had been tricked into sending their twelve year old daughter to work in what they thought was a respectable restaurant. Desperate for some income, they jumped at the opportunity and said, “Yes.” The daughter, carrying a strong sense of responsibility for her family, went willingly. Instead of a restaurant, she was offered up for sexual gratification by adult men. She was physically damaged and emotionally traumatized. Her tender life and budding femininity, such a beautiful gift, placed at the altar of someone’s lust, perversion and sadism. And it was all to help her family pay for a few sticks and a bit of fibro roofing.
This is what we fight to stamp out. These are the kinds of families and situations we work to identify and help, hopefully before the child has been damaged so horrifically.
In this case, we didn’t make it before she had been enslaved, but we did make it. This young girl was rescued this past February by a Destiny Rescue worker; he found her, and saved her.
Her journey ahead will be difficult, but it will be safe and free.
She is being cared for and counseled and nourished back to wholeness at one of our Rescue Homes in Thailand. It was during a counseling session at the Rescue Home that we found out about her family’s need for a new house. She had become extremely anxious during counseling, crying and worrying about the needs of her family, especially their need for a home. She was also very concerned about her mentally deficient brother. She felt very responsible for not being able to work, as had been planned, to help her family.
And so began our mission to build a house, her family’s house – on the side of a steep hill, with a few skinny poles, a stack of roof tiles and a handful of largely inexperienced people under the leadership of a band of experienced Thai tradesmen. We worked all day and although the house is not yet completed, it soon will be. The main supports are in place and the roof is finished.
We shared the house building experience with many of the locals. A really old lady – who was incredibly beautiful in the way only really old people can be – kept smiling at us all day with her one-toothed smile and giving us the thumbs up. She was so happy that the house was being built. The father helped from time to time and made many grateful gestures. His son, the brother of our rescued girl, looked on with large, unfocused eyes. He smiled often too. There were children and women from the village tribe, perched on the dirt ledge above us, all enjoying the show. There were laughs and games, smiles, a few tears: the communion of the human race.
The work of rebuilding the young girl’s life will take much longer, but it too will be completed, with hard work, determination, love, grace and the donations of our ‘inner circle’ of supporters.
It is by putting our hands to the plough; saying “yes” when something needs doing; and giving financial support; that we can change everything for the better, one life at a time. If we can just meet the basic needs of these people, things like building a house, we can absolutely save vulnerable children from sexual slavery. Your donations make a real difference. See what $500 achieved?
Destiny Rescue was also able to provide mattresses for the family, pots and pans and plates to eat from. The father offered us a couple of cereal plates during construction, to be used as digging implements to scoop out the loosened soil from the post holes we dug. They had no tools to offer us and so they gave us plates. We broke two of them in the process and thought little of it. These were the only plates they had!
If you could have been there, with us, at that village, you would know what your contributions can do to change lives. We took photos to help create a picture for you of the poverty and also the great beauty of the people in that hill tribe village. And to celebrate the wonderful end result of a finished house.
We need your help in supporting this young girl and the many others like her. We need your help to reach vulnerable families to put a stop to the actions of deceitful, manipulative, exploitative child traffickers.
Please share this blog so that as many people as possible can learn about the issue of child trafficking and perhaps, like you, be part of the solution.
Disclaimer: To ensure the protection and safety of all our Rescue Children, we change certain details of their stories and their name.