Many poor minority groups living on the Thai-Burmese border are considered stateless. Unable to attain jobs many often turn to illicit work; selling and using drugs, begging to feed their children or selling their children into trafficking to make money.
New Stories from Thailand
Not For Sale reversing exploitation towards empowerment in Thailand
May 13, 2013
Nauw’s mother sold her before her second birthday. Her first memories in life were scavenging and begging for money. Nauw did not understand why she had to do this, or why she felt so hurt and alone. In a stroke of fortune, Nauw crossed paths with Kru Nam. Shortly after, Nauw was rescued and received support, shelter and education at the Children’s Home. She is now doing well in primary school where she is a school representative for sports, and takes good care of the younger children at the home. Contribute today, and help us continue to break the systems of exploitation in Northern Thailand.
Lee-Bai is overcoming brokenness from the inside and out
May 3, 2013
Lee-Bai was seven when his parents left him at the shelter. It took him a while to adjust to his new life, as his feet were injured at the time and he had to deal with feeling lost and neglected. With our support, Lee-Bai started coming out of his shell. He started playing games with the other children, and learned the central Thai language like everyone else. Most importantly, he learned to love and hold onto everything he values. This includes his shoes, clothes and all the way to his friends and mentors. Support us today, help us make a change in those who are broken both inside and out.
Thailand’s answer to recovery after exploitation
April 24, 2013
How do these kids bounce back with resiliency and optimism from such dark pasts? How does Kru Nam and her staff create an environment that fosters recovery? One can come up with logical answers, but they are much harder to put into practice. This however, is what Kru Nam and her staff have created, and our international volunteers were recently able to see this first hand. They remarked on the unique community of love and support between the kids, staff and Kru Nam. Everybody was as one family, going through challenges and triumphs together, and all heading in unison towards a better future.
Not For Sale sharing in learning with all
April 12, 2013
At every turn, our stateless children have found barriers to life opportunities that others take for granted. Their desire to learn has gone on deaf ears as they have been repeatedly turned away from local libraries. So, with the profits made from selling jewelry, Kru Nam and her team have built and stocked a library at the Children’s Home. With the international volunteer contingent attending the camp, Kru Nam invited local leaders to the library’s opening ceremony last week. Unlike the local libraries, the Children’s Home library is intended not only for their own, but the whole community.
Thailand role modelling with fashion
April 8, 2013
Last Friday's activities at Team Not For Sale Camp ended with a fashion show. It was an activity where the older kids worked with the younger ones to design and make outfits out of newspaper and craft supplies. It has been great to see the growth of the kids through the past four camps, such as those who have grown to become strong and supportive role models to the younger kids. It is truly great to see the children, both younger and older, the staff and Kru Nam all work towards a bright future. Join us today, and help us ensure these children are able to achieve their aspirations.
Team Not For Sale camp, fun on and off the court
April 5, 2013
Team Not For Sale camp is in full swing. 130 kids are joined by volunteers from four continents in the name of fun, friendship, and growth. We believe play is essential for recovery, and the kids have been taking their craft and sports activities without abandon. Two years ago, NFS Founder, Dave Batstone introduced basketball to the children. This year, he reunited with the kids on the court. With all of the practicing they've been doing on the basketball court we added last year, they certainly gave him a run for his money this time! Support NFS Thailand by being a Not For Sale partner today.
Team Not For Sale Camp in full swing
April 3, 2013
From Northern Thailand, Senior Director of International Projects – Christina Hebets: “The Team NFS Camp Opening Ceremony! The kids welcomed us by lining up, putting flowers around our necks and paint on our faces. We had to jump and dance to get to the end of the line. The kids then performed a traditional Thai dance for all of the volunteers. We quickly got to work. We paired up with the kids to make a cloth picture to be hung in the new library. At the end of the day, there were five lanterns spelling out Team NFS Camp 2013, which we let fly into the sky. This marked the start of camp!”
Pan – Flourishing Through Adversity
March 19, 2013
As a child, Pan was forced to beg by his traffickers. Through continued exposure to abuse, he suffered a permanent disability that prevented him from having his enrolment accepted in public schools local to the Children’s Home. Pan, now 10 years old, is currently supported to attend boarding school catered to accommodate his needs. Whilst there remain many challenges ahead for Pan’s successful rehabilitation, the staff are delighted to see that he is now in an environment that can truly foster his abilities and talents and give him the best opportunity to develop his skills for the future.
Thailand Children’s Camp to Affect Cultural Change
March 11, 2013
The Children’s Home is buzzing with preparations underway for the Free2Play Camp '13. Excitement is in the air with the children eager to see the international volunteers they know, and to meet those coming for the first time. We are most excited that for the very first time, local school staff representatives have committed to participating in the camp. Although a small step, it is one in the right direction towards fostering change on how “stateless” children are seen and supported by the local community. Why not be a NFS partner and help ensure a long-term bright future for these children.
Ah Lu: Empowerment Through the Right Support and Nurture
February 8, 2013
As a “stateless” child, Ah Lu spent his formative years teetering on a fine line between danger and survival – a life comprised of stealing, begging and trafficking drugs. Our team made contact with him four years ago when he was ten, and he soon moved into our Children’s Home. The transition was not easy as he was often teased by his peers for his less-than-enthusiastic attitude towards school. With the support of our staff and the holistic nature of our programs, Ah Lu has become a mentor to the younger children, more engaged in school and recently found his niche in Animal Husbandry.
NFS Scholarship Fund: Trailblazing New Futures
January 31, 2013
Even in the last decade, it was unheard of for stateless children to attend university studies. NFS’s scholarship fund was established to further enrich the futures of the children at NFS Thailand. Here are a couple of updates from our recent scholarship holders. 1) Ta-a - With her high GPA, she was accepted into a very reputable university in the north. She plans to be a Social Worker to help other stateless kids in the future. 2) Bao - He wasn't the best student in high school, but he loved to learn music, art and sports. He now attends university in the east, majoring in music education
7 Children Rescued This Holiday
January 3, 2013
Last week, 7 new children were rescued from the streets of Mae Sai to begin rehabilitation at Not For Sale Thailand. All children had been living homeless for some time, several with their mothers. The children and mothers were received just before Christmas Day and have spent the holidays in recovery. We look forward to sharing more news about the progress of these individuals as they begin down the road to a new life at the Children's Home.
Third Annual Party and Prevention for Local Families
December 26, 2012
This week NFS Thailand is hosting the third annual holiday party for children of Kru Nam's home and children and families from nearby villages. Not only is the party one of the high points of the kids year with karaoke, gifts, dancing and games but also presents a chance for care workers from the home to share guidance with local vulnerable parents on reducing children's vulnerability to trafficking and abuse. This year, the discussion focus will be one on how to recognise and protect kids from potential traffickers and, celebrating family events (like New Year's Day) without alcohol.
Stateless Children Overachieving In Thai School
December 3, 2012
At the beginning of the school year, there were five children from the Not For Sale Children’s Home who were enrolled in school for the first time. Before entering primary school, NFS staff taught the children at the home in order to prepare them and make their transition easier. Being from a tribal minority group and formerly homeless, the teachers had very low expectations of how well they would behave and study. Now, the reformed street children are out performing their Thai classmates. They have all shown great commitment and incredible strength to get to this stage.
Slow And Steady Improvement For Survivor
October 29, 2012
Khem arrived four years ago after being forced to beg and smuggle drugs across the Thai-Burmese border for the first nine years of his life. Khem had always struggled to adapt to the home. Just recently, however, staff have noticed a huge improvement in Khem’s behavior. Before, he would fail to wash his school uniform – today, he keeps it clean and ironed. Before, Khem would struggle to do his homework – today, he proudly brings his homework to staff to check well before dinnertime. It is the small things that show drastic improvement in a survivor's life. Khem, we salute you!
Artistic Recognition For Kids At Not For Sale Thailand
October 19, 2012
The kids at NFS Thailand have always excelled at portraying their artistic ability. During this past school quarter, three of our students were also recognized for their artistic ability. Me-A, Tawan, and Bee won first place in their respective classes in a sculpting competition. Art therapy has always been a staple in NFS Thailand director Kru Nam’s approach to rehabilitation and it has definitely influenced the kids. It is incredible that these once exploited children now have the capacity and are willing to express themselves in such a constructive and beneficial manner.
Agricultural Vocational Training Update
October 1, 2012
The agricultural vocational training activities at Not For Sale Thailand have continued to thrive. There are now over 10,000 fish, 70 free-range chickens, 60 egg-laying chickens and seven pigs. Together, the children and the women who are going through Not For Sale’s drug-rehab program take care of the animals. Rice and vegetables are also grown and helps reduce costs at the Children’s Home. Surplus is then sold at the local market. The farm allows for survivors of trafficking to gain valuable life and job skills.
Not For Sale Inspires Through Sport
September 24, 2012
Living with Not For Sale Thailand for the last seven years, Nat, 15, has participated in three Free2Play camps. She enjoys playing sports and looks forward to the camp each year. At her school, she tried out for the basketball team and soccer team and was selected to be on both! But because of her experience on the basketball court at the Children’s Home, she chose to be on the basketball team and practices every day after school. We wish her all the best in her pursuit of education and enjoyment through sport. Go Nat!
Survivor Of Forced Begging Inspires Through Education
September 10, 2012
Pon turned 14 this year and has continued to excel in school. He was selected to participate in an academic competition recently that competed against neighboring schools. Pon won each match and quickly moved on to compete in the county-wide level where he also placed first. However, there was more for Pon to celebrate in the last few months. His nine-year-old brother decided to follow Pon's lead and go to school at the beginning of this school year. For all of Pon’s incredible accolades, perhaps his greatest achievement is acting as an inspiration for his family.
New Land Expansion At Not For Sale Thailand
September 4, 2012
This week from Not For Sale Thailand we pleased to report that the strip of land we purchased recently has been planted with organic rice. The first crop should be ready to harvest in late November. The Not For Sale team has been busy improving the soil with organic fertilizer to the land as the previous owner used chemical fertilizer. Last year, some Not For Sale staff and several older kids attended a workshop on organic agriculture where they learned how to make effective microorganism liquid fertilizer.
A Family Reunited
August 20, 2012
Before Not For Sale Thailand, Somkist’s parents, would take him to beg on the street to find means to purchase narcotics. Somkist has two older sisters who came to live at NFS’s Children’s Home when they were young. NFS Thailand found out that Somkist’s mother had been arrested for drug-trafficking and that the father left Somkist to fend for himself on the streets. Not For Sale outreach staff quickly brought Somkist to the Children’s Home where he was welcomed by his two teenage sisters. We are delighted our work can now provide a more sustainable future for an entire generation.
Important Rebuilding Completed!
August 13, 2012
Today from Not For Sale Thailand we are pleased to report the completion of important building work. After the pig pen and chicken coops were destroyed by heavy storms earlier this year, NFS Thailand has rebuilt them in order to allow the children to continue to gain agricultural skills that they can use now and in the future. Today, there are seven pigs who are looked after by a team of the kids who rotate through the different vocational activities each month. At Not For Sale Thailand each child is guaranteed formal educational and/or vocational training.
Not For Sale Scores High With Progress
August 6, 2012
Today a story of incredible progress at Not For Sale Thailand. Min was taken in by Not For Sale when she was begging on the streets. In Thailand, we encounter countless children who are forced to beg as their families cannot earn a sustainable income. Min has gone through a wonderful transformation at Not For Sale since entering into public school. In a class of 120 children, Min’s midterm scores have placed her at the top the class. Every child at Not For Sale Thailand is guaranteed education and it’s stories like the one of Min where we see our efforts lead to real change.
Medical Students Provide Care to Stateless Children
June 26, 2012
Today, students from Emory Medical School will make their annual visit to NFS Thailand to provide healthcare to stateless children rescued from exploitation. For one week they will conduct check ups and do HIV testing to the 130 children at Kru Nam’s and dozens more at the drop-in center on the border. Normally, stateless people do not have access to free health services as they are not considered citizens by the government. Yet, with the support of medical students, local doctors, and donated medical supplies, NFS can provide preventative care and treatment to all stateless people in need.
Local Community Contributes to the Cause
June 19, 2012
Kru Nam, an artist herself, has enlisted the help of two local artist to design a library and meditation center for the 130 children living on site. All of the children at Kru Nam’s come from hilltribe communities and are not considered citizens by neither the Myanmar or Thai government. Traditionally, stateless people have been highly discriminated and stigmatized. Yet, Kru Nam’s effort to involve the local community- whether it be artist, doctors, or university students- is imperative to breaking down misconceptions about stateless people and critical to creating a future free of hate.
Survivor Assists Young Mothers in Their New Futures
June 4, 2012
NFS Thailand strives for the support and healing of family structures whenever possible so that those who have been trafficked can break the cycle of exploitation with their own children. One NFS Thailand staff member is using her story of healing to help others through the process of rehabilitation. Being a victim of trafficking herself, the staff member finds it easy to relate and to counsel other young mothers who have been used in the sex industry. Her personal strides towards freedom and willingness to help others is what it looks like to embrace a new and more dignified future.
Kru Nam Takes in 18 New Children
May 24, 2012
This month, NFS Thailand has taken in 18 new children, mostly whom are below the age of 10. For years, Kru Nam has seen and visited these exploited children while doing outreach on the streets of Mae Sai. Many of the children have older siblings at the Children's Home which helps make the transition much easier. The older kids are teaching the new children how things at the Children's Home work - standing in line for dinner, washing clothes, rules for different basketball games and constantly making them be still during meditation (even though the older kids should be meditating too)!
Major Storm Nearly Destroys Children’s Home
May 17, 2012
A major storm hit Northern Thailand just a few weeks ago, leaving the Children’s Home is shambles. Fortunately, with over 100 hands on site, the kids and Kru Nam are eagerly pitching in to make repairs on the dormitory, chicken coop, pig pen and office before the rainy season begins. The organic farm at the Children's Home is a major source of food, income, and life skills training for the children. Its success is essential to the success of the kids at Not For Sale Thailand.
107 Reasons to Celebrate!
May 11, 2012
It's the beginning of a new school year in Thailand and NFS staff have realized how easy it would be to only fill out one or two forms like the other parents! Though all the extra work is challenging, 107 children are getting to go to school this year thanks to the hard work of our wonderful staff. Celebrate with us as the kids enter another year in school!
The Effects of Suu Kyi Taking Office in Myanmar
May 3, 2012
Yesterday, great strides were taken towards democracy in Myanmar as opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi took a seat in parliament. Meanwhile, on the other side of the border, Kru Nam is designing a line of NFS silver jewelry and teaching young stateless adults to make them. In Thailand, most gems come from resource rich Myanmar. Yet, Kru Nam tells us that with changes in government and sanctions in Myanmar, many are accumulating gems to sell within Myanmar to international markets. Ironically, the greater demand for gems may fuel forced labor in mines. For now, NFS will stick with using silver.
Asa Excels to Top of Her Class
April 26, 2012
In Thailand, stateless individuals are deprived of social services and often turn to illicit activities to earn an income. Asa, a young Akha girl, began begging on the streets with her mother when she was only a few days old. NFS Thailand first encountered her while providing first aid to kids on the streets. She eventually moved to Kru Nam’s village. Asa just graduated from 7th grade and was selected by her teachers to compete in provincial academic competitions. Though she didn’t win, she made it to the final round and is now on the of top in her class. Education is creating new futures.
Helping Vulnerable Street Children
April 24, 2012
What we are doing and why we are doing it - Thailand
Organic Farm Aims to Achieve Triple Bottom Line
April 18, 2012
Kru Nam is generating her own food sources and income to sustain the livelihood of the 130 children living at NFS Thailand. The children are assigned responsibilities and taught how to care for fruits, vegetables, pigs, and chickens. Tai, 14 years old, is the chicken manager who records the amount of eggs collected a day- typically at least 100. Waste from the organic farm creates biogas as source for alternative energy for the Children’s Home. NFS believes protecting and investing in vulnerable people will inherently protect the planet.
New Social Venture: Handmade Silver Jewelry!
April 10, 2012
Between the Free2Play Camp and a blossoming new social venture, it is an exciting week for NFS Thailand! After weeks of hard work, we reached a huge milestone when we received the very first samples of jewelry from NFS Thailand this last week! Kru Nam and a young man known as Cho* have thoroughly impressed us with the work they put into the design and creation of a beautiful new line of handmade, original NFS silver jewelry. Social Ventures model our belief that trafficking can be stopped "upstream" in poor and marginalized communities through the creation of dignified employment.
From Street Children to Star Athletes
April 10, 2012
Day two of the annual Free2Play camp in Thailand ended in success. For nearly eight hours, 130 children at Kru Nams learned the fundamentals of passing, dribbling, played steal the bacon, line tag, had water balloon tosses, painted faces and more! These once exploited stateless children are now the best child basketball players in Thailand. Volunteers from NFS Korea led the art and sports activities while NFS Australia volunteers spearheaded music activities. This is truly a global movement to end slavery.
Healthy Children are Free2Play
April 10, 2012
In 2009, NFS donated nearly $2 Million of medical supplies to the Thailand project. The supplies has reached over 535 people at Kru Nam’s village, in the streets, and at the government run hospital. Thanks to the donation, local doctors who once feared providing healthcare to stateless individuals, are willing to serve children like Aroon, who suffered from seizures all his life. Aroon received medication and has not had a seizure in three years. He is now healthy, active, and able participating in the annual Free2Play camp today! http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/?p=15551
The Healing Power of Play
April 4, 2012
130 children rescued from exploitation at Kru Nam’s village are anxiously awaiting the annual Free2Play camp to begin next week. Meanwhile, 20 volunteers from 3 continents, are busy packing their bags and planning activities. NFS believes play is an important tool for rehabilitation. J K, NFS Thailand Coordinator, agrees that the basketball court and sports program established in 2010 has really improved the behavior and self-esteem of the kids. Sports therapy is especially good for the children who have mental or physical disabilities. Now you can join team Free2Play TODAY. nfs.am/free2play
Exciting News from Thailand: 2 Teens Accepted into University
March 30, 2012
Two teens who grew up at Not For Sale Thailand were recently informed of their acceptance into University. One of them will be studying music education while the other has chosen to major in social work. From the NFS staff in Thailand, NFS staff in CA, and all of our supporters across the globe, "We could not be more proud of the educational successes of these two brave survivors of exploitation".
Celebrating New Life in Thailand with 2 Healthy Baby Boys
March 22, 2012
Not For Sale Thailand has many reasons to celebrate! Two women who successfully finished NFS Thailand’s drug rehabilitation program during pregnancy have each given birth, and the two healthy baby boys have joined the NFS Thailand family. We are celebrating not only these new additions, but also the new futures that the women and their families will now experience. Their children will no longer be vulnerable to exploitation as these young mothers are now living healthy lifestyles thanks to the medical care and rehabilitation which NFS Thailand provided for them.
Stateless Woman Empowered to Create a New Life
March 19, 2012
NFS Thailand reports that a young stateless woman who fell victim to exploitation and human trafficking after crossing the Thai border is now enjoying her freedom. Thanks to NFS Thailand, she was empowered to create her own future. She is now attending adult education classes and has begun working as a volunteer at NFS Thailand, assisting others who have been victims of exploitation. NFS Thailand provides survivors of human trafficking a stable living environment, meals, health-care, the opportunity to go to school, and vocational skills that prepare individuals for a healthy future.
NFS Thailand | Farming Project Growth
March 9, 2012
Not For Sale Thailand is developing a sustainable farming project to unsure future opportunities for children rescued from exploitation. Reporting on the recent growth of the farming venture, the NFS Thailand coordinator says, “We now have over a dozen pigs, 100 chickens and 500 fish”. This sustainable farming venture will provide income and vocational training to kids living at NFS Thailand. This is a part of the bigger mission of NFS to provide dignified employment for survivors of exploitation. Visit the social ventures page to learn more about NFS' methodology to create new futures.
Free2Play empowers 16-year-old from NFS Thailand.
February 29, 2012
Not For Sale utilizes the healing power of play to enhance the lives of survivors of slavery. The results of using play to rehabilitate those who have experienced exploitation continue to be remarkable. One example is 16-year old Ya-Mee from NFS Thailand. Ya-Mee was recently chosen to compete in a provincial volleyball all-star tournament. Thanks for your continued support to create new futures for survivors.
See the Impact
Since 2007 Not For Sale has worked alongside Kru Nam, a leading Thai abolitionist, to offer emergency and long-term support to hundreds of stateless children rescued from exploitation. Not For Sale has built four dormitories, a library, basketball court, medical center, provided nearly $2 million of medical supplies, and established an organic farm. The Children's Home provides therapeutic programs to encourage physical, psychological, social recovery and development. Similarly, due to the fact that a primary cause of these children's vulnerability is their lack of citizenship, Not For Sale assist stateless children to legally obtain formal identification documents. These once marginalized children are now provided access to state-funded social services, and a broader potential for future employment.
On the Ground in Thailand
The long-term aim is for the Children's Home to become economically self-sustaining. The organic farm is a reliable source of food and income while providing opportunities to educate the children on the practice of organic agriculture. Solar panels will also be installed on the buildings in 2013 providing up to 25 years of energy at a greatly reduced cost.
Similarly, harnessing the passion and vocation of Kru Nam, the children are trained in jewelry design and the intricacies of the silversmith. The products are then sold through Not For Sale, allowing young jewelry designers to earn a fair income and a means for Not For Sale to reinvest funds into the rehabilitation of children.
All 130 children currently under the care of Not For Sale are enrolled in some form of education. Just recently, three of the first children rescued by Kru Nam have enrolled in University. Inspired by the transformation, Not For Sale has established a scholarship fund to provide all children with the eventual opportunity to pursue technical or university studies. Once heavily discriminated against, these stateless children now have the ability to thrive in Thai society and give back to their community.