Villages of Hope created for the “least of these” are being built in multiple locations in Thailand and Southeast Asia.
Villages of Hope provide rescued children with a community-like experience where they may recover, and eventually, thrive. These villages are designed to offer a wholistic approach to the needs of these children.
Villages of Hope
Villages of Hope consist of ten Homes of Hope where 20 rescued children and their houseparents model love and acceptance in a family environment.
Each Village of Hope has a school where the 200 children living in the Homes of Hope attend. In some cases, the school is open to area children on a tuition-basis. Children are equipped to go on to university or vocational training. This education gives them the freedom to escape any legacy of abuse and trafficking.
Each Village of Hope includes a church where residents and members can worship, study, and fellowship. In Thailand, it is estimated that fewer than 1% of the population are Christians—we find that most, maybe all, of our children choose to become Christians after experiencing love, security, teaching, and acceptance in the Villages of Hope.
The Villages of Hope include small businesses and agriculture that not only generate revenue for the villages, but also provide vocational training for the children. Because poverty is at the heart of the trafficking issue, we believe equipping young people with employable skills is critical toward defeating the cycle leading to trafficking and exploitation.
We often are asked how we find the children who live in the Villages of Hope. Our answer to this is they are children and young ladies/mothers who have either been trafficked or are at great risk of falling into trafficking.
Here is how most young people arrive at a point where they need our intervention:
(1) Those In the Sex Industry
So many girls are in this industry for different reasons. Even young college girls are willing to sell themselves in the evenings to have the money to pay tuition and go to college. Young girls with ambition and dreams of better jobs and opportunities are often the prime targets of traffickers. With the promise of a good-paying job, these young girls – some of them children – are tricked and essentially trapped in brothels and bars to work as sex slaves. They are ‘seasoned’ into believing that this is the best way for them to succeed, and thus this is their own decision. Some are beaten if they refuse their captor’s commands and they suffer long-lasting physical and emotional trauma.
(2) The Sexually Abused
In Asia, the young female is very vulnerable. The culture is such that sexual abuse takes place but then is often hidden.
(3) Child Brides
Among tribal groups marriage at 13 is not uncommon. Marrying an older man who can bring some source of money into the family and care for a young girl is often seen as advantageous by parents or relatives. The vulnerable female is forced or pressured into a marriage/sex with someone she does not love nor loves her. She is truly only an object of lust and a servant in a relationship where she will eventually be discarded–often with babies and/or young children.
(4) Those Abused Physically or Emotionally
This is a child who is being abused by a parent (or often a step-parent) who does not want them.
The children have no parents because of death, imprisonment, or causes that have resulted in the long-term separation of children from parents.
(6) The Neglected or Abandoned
Many children who are not orphans are ‘practical orphans’ because their parents have abandoned them. Often in this culture parents will leave their children with an aged, sickly, or very poor grandparent while they go to work in Bangkok. Ultimately they do not want to be responsible for their child’s care.
(7) Those in Poverty / Lack of Education
In remote or mountainous areas near the borders of two nations, refugees have fled neighboring countries and are extremely poor with no education.
(8) Young Mothers with Babies
A young mother as a result of rape or abuse, or because of having been manipulated by a man and then fully abandoned.