FOREST, Va. — This Christmas season, World Help will deliver a message of hope and freedom to women who are trapped in Thailand’s sex industry. The organization, in collaboration with its in-country partner, invited 300 women from Bangkok and Pattaya to attend “Nights of Freedom,” — Christmas celebrations where they will be offered the opportunity to leave the sex industry.
“These Nights of Freedom allow women who are trapped in the sex industry to be in a safe and caring environment,” said Noel Yeatts, vice president of World Help.
Yeatts, who has spearheaded World Help’s freedom initiatives in Thailand, explained that poverty drives thousands of women in that country to extreme measures to provide for their families. Most of the women invited to the event have factory jobs from 9 to 5. Once their day jobs are done, they head to bars in the red-light districts of the city to work through the night.
“They are trapped in what we call ‘cultural slavery,’” Yeatts said. “Stopping work for a night and attending our event is already a step of faith for them. Their time is important and very valuable. Each moment that ticks by is a moment they could be making money to send back home to their impoverished families.”
World Help’s partners in-country have spent the past year visiting the bars and cultivating personal relationships with the women. Through their dedicated efforts, World Help’s partners have built a foundation of trust, which helps make the women more receptive to attending the event.
The Nights of Freedom will be held three nights at local hotels; guests will enjoy a meal, receive gifts, participate in group activities and listen to a gospel presentation. They also will be introduced to the World Help-supported safe house in Pattaya and Bangkok. These facilities offer a secure place to live as well as provides daily meals, a fully funded education and vocational training, trauma counseling and medical care — all in the environment of a loving community.
“For many of these women, this will be their first introduction to the opportunity to escape the sex industry and, most importantly, to hear the story of Jesus,” said Yeatts. “For the first time in their lives, they will hear that there’s physical and spiritual freedom available to them.”
The story of 18-year-old Nan demonstrates the impact of World Help’s Nights of Freedom.
When Nan’s father became sick, she was forced to quit school in order to care for him. Nan was working at a bar when she accepted an invitation to attend a Christmas party hosted by World Help. At the event, Nan chose freedom by deciding to live at a Bangkok safe house. As a recent graduate with a degree in food product development, Nan hopes to start a cooking school for rescued girls just like herself.
World Help’s Nights of Freedom are possible thanks to the generosity of many donors and supporters, who raised the funds so 300 women in Thailand are able to attend the event.
Those interested in joining World Help’s work to free women from modern-day slavery can do so through World Help Gifts catalog.
World Help is a Christian humanitarian organization serving the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world. For over 26 years, World Help has worked with partners to deliver humanitarian aid to more than 79 million people in 70 countries.