Hear from a volunteer: US university student

First off, I want to express that being here in Thailand is a dream come true. As a child, I always dreamt of helping others in a meaningful way to bring light and hope for those in need, which is exactly what DEPDC/GMS has allowed me to do. I come from a third world country, El Salvador, and I know from first-hand experience how difficult it can be to reach your goals when you do not have the opportunity to receive a good education and a good quality of life.

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I was fortunate enough that my father migrated to the United States, which allowed my three sisters and I to attend school. Nevertheless, we experienced the effects of a broken family as many Thai students do. My mother was a dressmaker/tailor and that was how I was able to obtain my school uniform, as she handmade them. Despite my struggles, I realized that education is the root of positive change and success, so I pushed myself to exceed academically so that I can one day give back to society.

Like many of the children in DEPDC/GMS, I had to start working at a young age after the death of my father. My first job was cleaning offices but after only two weeks, I realized that I could be doing more with my life. With the little English I knew, I applied at a retail store and eventually rose to manager while attending school full time. Although it was difficult and exhausting, I would constantly remind myself of my aspirations. This mindset, as well as my parents’ and sisters’ support, is why I am here today helping children in Thailand. Every time I see the children – eager to learn – I see the same potential that I saw in myself. So every time you come across those who are less fortunate, please know that they have the potential to one day achieve their goals.

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Giving even just a little bit of hope to children around the world is better than not helping at all. One step at a time, networking, building connections, using media to raise awareness and passing on the voice of children who lack the opportunity of education WILL transform the lives of others. If we come together to prevent human trafficking and bring light to the life of children in marginal areas, we will significantly improve the lives of at-risk-children around the world. You do not need a reason to help people, it is the humane thing to do; it is a calling that lives in the hearts of humanity.

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Human trafficking is a global issue, in which support is vital to make a positive change. We can drive the movement against human trafficking by raising awareness, building connections, and getting people involved. My time at DEPDC/GMS has taught me that even if you cannot change the whole world, one person can make a difference.

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