HUMAN TRAFFICKING & THE SEX TRADE // PART 4

I mentioned on Monday that I visited an organization Called Rahab Ministries in Bangkok, Thailand. These guys do incredible work and I thought the best way to let you know what these guys do was hear it directly from them. So give it a read and get involved.

1.  WHAT DOES RAHAB DO? WHAT IS IT’S MISSION?
Rahab gives women working in prostitution in Patpong, Bangkok, an opportunity to change their lives.  For 21 years Rahab has been reaching out to these women and they are situated right in the middle of Patpong, one famous red light area Thailand.

2.  WHAT DOES IT ACCOMPLISH THIS GOAL/MISSION?
The initial vision was of a beauty shop as a means of making contact with these women.  Now Rahab’s main focus is outreach into the bars. Fours times a week, twice in the afternoons and twice in thee evenings the Rahab outreach team visits different bars, talk and build relationships.

3.  WHAT TYPE OF WORK ARE THESE GIRLS DOING THAT YOU ARE WORKING WITH?
Before coming to Rahab, the majority of these women we work with are working in Go-Go bars dancing while scantily clad to attract men.  Some have come from street prostitution, even more demeaning and dangerous and poorly paid than the sex bars.  Once they come to Rahab, they make jewelery.

4.  CAN YOU GIVE SOME EXAMPLES OF HOW THESE GIRLS GET TO WHERE THEY ARE?
90 % of the women Rahab works with come from Isaan in North East Thailand.  Many of them have been married or in serious relationships, but their husbands have left them with children and no provision.  They leave their children back in Isaan with the families and come to Bangkok to find work.  Many of these women have very little education having let school at an early age to work on the family rice farm.  Boys are given more opportunity to complete schooling.  Some families have huge debts to money lenders in the villages.  Once they reach Bangkok, with no education and family members and debts to support, most of then cannot make enough money anywhere except in the bars.

5.  HOW OLD ARE THE GIRLS YOU ARE WORKING WITH?
The majority of these women are in their early twenties to late thirties. Some as old as early 40s.  We have met 14 year olds, but it is not common in Patpong.  Others areas of Bangkok are known for younger women.

6.  ARE GIRLS OFTEN TRAPPED OR ENSLAVED IN THEIR JOBS?
Yes, mainly by debt, either to a money lender back home or in some cases the bar has given her money to get started, but keep the debt going to hold her there.

7.  WHEN A GIRL DECIDES TO COME OUT OF THIS LIFESTYLE, WHAT DO YOU GUYS DO? HOW DO YOU HELP?
We give her a new job making jewelry.  Rahab can only pay around the minimum wage, so some women cannot afford to leave the bars and come and work here.  After about 6  months when the women show they are committed and responsible we offer retraining through sponsorship.  This may be as a hairdresser, sewing and pattern making or nail art. Others go back to school.

8.  WHAT KIND OF SKILLS DO YOU GIVE HER?
Life skills such as budgeting and building self esteem. Teaching English and some computer skills. We also teach the women to make jewellery.

Some of the girls are set up in their own businesses or found jobs outside Rahab.  they re mentored through this process.  Hair dressing especially only makes money once they build up clientele.  Rahab subsidizes the women to the level of wage same as at Rahab until they build up their client base.

Those setting up in business are also supported initially.  Rahab pays there rent on a small shops as they build up their confidence.  After a year to 18 months, they re offered the opportunity to fully take over the running of it.

9.  IS THERE A SORT OF REHABILITATION THAT THE GIRLS GO THROUGH?
Yes many girls approx 50% are quite traumatized by their previous job. This can take quite some time to work through depending on the level of abuse and how the lady has coped with it.

10. ONCE THE GIRLS FINISH THE PROGRAM, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Many stay in touch with Rahab as the majority of the women who come through Rahab become Christan and become part of Jaisamarn church. They fellowship together and keep in touch.  Others do go home to their villages, but it is not always easy for them.  Families who have been used to the women  bringing in a lot of money can continue to pressure them to return to the bars.

11. TELL ME MORE ABOUT THIS JEWELRY THE GIRLS ARE MAKING?
Rahab Bazaar products are all made to a very high standard with strict quality control.
All the materials are either semi precious stones, fresh water pearls or silver which is 92.5 % pure.

12.  HOW CAN PEOPLE PURCHASE THIS JEWELRY?
You an buy Rahab Bazaar products on line from our web site
http://www.rahabministriesthailand.com/shop/
or contact us direct on rahabbazaar@gmail.com or come in and visit.
We also sell at the Thai Craft Fair

13.  WHY IS INCOME GENERATION IMPORTANT IN THIS MINISTRY?
Although Rahab bazaar comes nowhere near to fully supporting the ministry, it does help.  WE have to be able to offer work to women we bring out of the bars and jewelery is the most productive product we have found.  It is also very therapeutic for the women making beautiful products while their lives have been so ugly.

MORE RAHAB GOODNESS:
Jewelry Catalog:  If you want to download a jewelry catalog click here.
Rahab Brochure:  Download the brochure by clicking here.
Newsletter:  Download the latest newsletter here.
Outreach Powerpoint:  Download a PPT of Rahab’s outreach to remote villages here.

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