New Project Brings New Hope
Two thousand eighteen has only just begun and already it is proving to be a year full of hope and promise. We are excited to share that DEPDC/GMS’s new project, Shan Youth Safety Training to End Risk Migration (SYSTERM) will officially commence this Saturday, January 20th with 55 bright beings arriving at our headquarters in Mae Sai District, Chiang Rai, Thailand.
The Development and Education Program for Daughters and Communities Centre in the Greater Mekong Subregion (DEDPC/GMS) is a non-profit organization working towards the prevention of human trafficking and exploitation of at-risk youth and women. DEPDC/GMS is strongly committed to affecting change through protection, education, awareness, life-skills training, and empowerment. Over the course of 28 years, DEPDC has served over 7,000 of the most vulnerable women and children in this region. Through DEPDC’s time tested approach, that has proven to be successful, we continue to strive to broaden and expand our outreach. SYSTERM is one more step in increasing protection and services for at-risk women and children.
Regional migration is increasing and migration trends and policies have created a dangerous environment for thousands, particularly for stateless women and children. Human traffickers have created hubs along the Thai-Myanmar border and within the GMS in order to prey upon those most vulnerable. Awareness of the gravity of this issue ignited the development of SYSTERM. DEDPC/GMS’s founder, Sompop Jantraka, and team members realized that action was needed and that the time to act is now.
This last November, DEPDC/GMS organized an introduction and open discussion forum around the SYSTERM project. There were several dozen people present from likeminded organizations and universities all across Thailand, as well as several who travelled internationally in order to attend. These passionate, driven people arrived with the aspiration to contribute their professional experience and/or human resources to the development of SYSTERM. DEPDC/GMS was honoured and encouraged. Their attendance and desire to help is testimony to the importance of this project.
The goal of SYSTERM is to provide 100 at-risk, stateless migrants with intensive leadership training with a focus on safe migration. The project will support the willing youth to build self-help projects in their country of origin in either independent groups or with the support of carefully-selected host organisations. The project will be broken into two separate six month periods, training a group of around 50 youth participants during each period. It is our hope that this grassroots project in conjunction with a specialised curriculum taught by experienced professionals will organise, prepare, and build the next generation of anti-human trafficking leaders and organisations.
Projects like SYSTERM are made possible because of our donors. Donations to support the second group of 50 willing youth are still needed as the project is only half funded. Your donations bring these projects to life and provide never before had opportunities for at-risk youth to learn vital skills that affect change more than we can imagine.
Supporting SYSTERM supports a global impact and change to end human trafficking. The ripple effects of your generosity give hope for a brighter future. A future that shifts the paradigm that leads to human trafficking. A future that embraces equality, rights, and empowerment. To say thank you hardly feels fitting. From all of the staff, volunteers, and students of HDS and SYSTERM, we offer our most sincere gratitude. Here’s to a great year! We look forward to sharing more with all of you as the year continues.