Sunday, 29 June 2014

The road to nowhere.... #Nochildtaken

Dear Nang,

I had to write to you and to all the other girls like you. I wish I could make you understand but I fear I'm typing my words and they will all disappear and never be heard.  You see the road that leads to Thailand and I know it seems attractive. What lies over the mountain you wonder? You hear stories from the families of girls who have gone to Thailand, you hear about the new life they have, the better life, the one where they can eat every day and buy themselves new clothes. It all sounds so glamorous, karaoke bars, well-dressed men who want to talk to you and maybe dance with you. Men who could become your husband and save you from this poverty that you know.

But this road, the one from your home village in Laos, near Vietnam is exactly as it looks when you stand there. It is a dusty old road to nowhere, nothing good will come of your trip to Thailand I fear. These karaoke bars are just fronts for brothels, where bad people will sell your body and yes you might be able to have new clothes but at what expense? Your dignity? Your self respect? Your health?

Please Nang, take good care of yourself and stay in school for the last year. I know you would love to be a nurse but that feels like a distant dream as your parents can not afford to educate you. It breaks my heart Nang, I pray for you and all the girls like you regularly and I wish I could wave a magic wand and make our world a fairer place but sadly I can't. I just know that living with your parents and being poor has to be better than living alone and being abused, beaten and treated as a commodity.

When you see those people come to your village and they promise you a great life and riches be weary of them Nang, these are traffickers sent to lure you to Thailand so that they may use you. I pray that you can find a dream and a hope for a future, you want to be a nurse and that is a wonderful career to choose, stay strong Nang and fight for what you want and what you deserve.

I send you every blessing and pray for your safety.

Yours sincerely,

Michelle Pannell
(Heart broken in the UK)

It is estimated that 1.2 million children get trafficked each year and I'm happy to support Tearfund to help ensure that 50,000 of those children avoid that future.  Of course 50,000 is not enough but we have to start somewhere and we have to do something.  Every single child saved from this plight is a success.

How can you help?
If you want to support Tearfund then please do make a donation here.  Give what you can, £9 will provide invaluable trafficking awareness training. £12 will provide a starter kit to help a new business start and £26 will provide one family with awareness training, a starter kit and practical help to keep their children safe in school. Of course you can also give another amount, ever penny counts.

Or spread the word, blog for Tearfund, tweet with #nochildtaken, share on FB, again anything you can do makes a difference.

Of course pray too, this problem is bigger than all of us.

And watch this short video to help understand how your donation will make a difference to a girl like Nang.

Thanks for reading and thanks for your support, Mich x
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