Leaving their rural homes in search of work, hundreds of boys and young men are drawn to the flashy lights and busy streets of Thailand’s tourist industry. When their desire for freedom and dignified work succumbs to a basic need for survival, their dreams end in dirty bars and brothels. Wandering the same city streets are orphaned and abandoned boys, some as young as eight years old. Homeless and hungry, they sell their bodies to strangers for a few bowls of rice. At times they are beaten or tortured; some contract HIV. Strong Foundations offers hope and escape to these desperate young men, enfolding them into a supportive community where they can receive shelter, counseling, valuable skills training, and education. A sister facility nearby cares for young women, welcoming them to embrace new lives within the same sort of therapeutic community. Strong Foundations works tirelessly to transform the pain of sexual slavery into the hope of a bright future, reminding young men and women alike that they are valued far beyond the red-light districts of the world.
To protect our partners, we use a pseudonym for the name of this program.