We are frequently asked, “how do you find your Daughters?” This is actually an incredibly important question. After more than a decade visiting remote hill tribe villages in the Golden Triangle, FTD is known as a highly respected program for at-risk girls to pursue their education and achieve their dreams. We focus on girls who are most vulnerable to being targeted by traffickers, exploited by relatives or forced into child marriage.
Many of our Daughters are orphaned or have been abandoned by parents unable to care for them, leaving them in the care of impoverished elderly relatives. As Thailand lacks birthright citizenship, several of our Daughters are stateless, rendering them unable to work legally, move freely beyond police checkpoints or have access to government provided healthcare.
I was constantly hungry, tired and worried. I thought only about getting enough food for my little brother and sisters and keeping us safe.
When my mother returned from jail, she agreed to let me go down off the mountain to stay at a children’s foundation where I could attend school. I was much older than the students in my class because I had missed so many years of school but I loved to learn and was keen to get an education so I could get a good job and support my mother and siblings.
After finishing Grade 9, I was told that there wasn’t enough money for me to go to high school. I was very disappointed because I knew that without a high school degree, my job options were pretty much limited to working as a day laborer, or as a sex worker, or a drug dealer.
That’s when Friends of Thai Daughters changed my life. FTD supported me through high school AND university, providing love, support and everything I needed to succeed.
Evaluation Criteria for Entering Our Program
- Absence of responsible caregivers (parents are incarcerated, addicted or deceased)
- Siblings/parents in sex work
- Desire to attend university
- Good references from teachers and village headman
- Positive attitude and good behavior