Freedom Stones is a key project of the non-profit organization Not Abandoned. Its purpose is to not only create beautiful jewelry, but also to train and employ artisans who are either survivors of sex slavery or at-risk of being trafficked. 100% of proceeds from the jewelry line go directly back into our work for freedom. At Not Abandoned we are driven by the fact that SHE IS STILL THERE. She could be 8 or she could be 45, but her situation is the same. All over the world “She” is daily being sold into sex slavery. While we are living in freedom, the reality remains that without our help she is still there, trapped and alone… Our mission at Not Abandoned is to combat sex slavery through prevention, intervention, employment and restoration. Along with outreach to victims of slavery, we offer transitional housing, counseling, employment opportunities, business mentoring, life skills training and support throughout their community reintegration. To learn more about Not Abandoned visit our main website here
A STORY OF RESTORED HOPE.
Like so many others in the Pattaya sex trade, Twee comes from the impoverished region of Issan, where her father is a struggling rice farmer. Twee originally came to the city to find a good job that would help provide for her family. Desperate for income, Twee accepted a job at a bar, even though she had never had a drink herself. Unfortunately, this job was just a trap and Twee was quickly raped and manipulated into spending night after night with tourists who bought her for sex from the bar for only $10 USD.
Twee did not want to go, she did not even understand exactly what was happening, but like all “good” Thai girls, she stayed quiet and humble. Her culture taught her to respect any boss, elder or leader. Twee described the men who bought her as “gross, rough and always smelly.” Upon fulfillment of the men’s sexual desires, she was usually kicked out of the hotel room and left alone in the night, traumatized.
Three years later, in the safety of our Not Abandoned program, Twee has hope...
“I hadn’t eaten in three days when one of my friends invited me to eat at the house where she was staying” remembers Twee. “I had been stuck working in one of the sex bars in Pattaya for a little over two years and hadn’t even seen my family since. Once I entered the house I immediately felt something different, I felt loved. I felt accepted. The staff told me that I had value, that I could have hope and even a new job. It took almost a year, but I finally feel like myself again. There is no more abuse in my life, only love. Now I am working as an artisan with Freedom Stones and continuing my life coaching with Not Abandoned’s mentors. I used to only live for the day, thinking that tomorrow I may be dead. Now, I have hope. Now, I have freedom.”
She is cared for under the direction of our staff, undergoing counseling and employment training, learning new business skills. She now has a job close to home with Freedom Stones where she is able to use her newfound artistic skills. She has also joined our local outreach team in Pattaya, entering the sex bars to share her story and build relationships with other girls in need. With a story that has come full circle, Twee now helps others like her find hope. What a beautiful story of new life and hope!