CHIANG RAI – Friends of Thai Daughters (FTD), a Boothbay-based NGO providing education and emotional support to young girls at risk of being trafficked in Northern Thailand, has acquired a permanent safe house with grant funding awarded from the Otto and Fran Walter Foundation.
The new safe house located in Chiang Rai, will allow FTD to reach up to 15 young girls aged 7-18, an increase of nine girls per year. FTD will spend the next two years seeking orphaned, neglected, undocumented young girls who have hope and an eagerness to learn to join the family. Lack of documentation is the number one risk factor for trafficking throughout the world. FTD will continue to provide emotional and financial support to its “daughters” in college as well.
Using Walter Foundation funds, FTD also purchased the abutting property, which will become FTD’s guesthouse. The guesthouse will allow supporters and volunteers to visit, and share skills and cultural experiences with the “daughters” participating in the program. The new space will also allow for FTD family reunions with daughters who have already graduated from college and are fulfilling their dreams throughout Northern Thailand.
The properties have mature fruit trees and raised beds that need to be reclaimed. The food the girls can grow on the property will teach them self-reliance skills, improve nutrition and perhaps provide a new source of income to help sustain the program through sales at local farmers’ markets.
FTD is looking for volunteers and supporters interested in fighting human trafficking, one child at a time. On Wednesday, Aug. 12, FTD will host an event at the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor to raise funds for this growing program. For more information, visit www.friendsofthaidaughters.org or contact [email protected].