Tamar Center in Pattaya, Thailand, is a part of Project Life Foundation in Thailand which is audited which is being audited externally once a year. The charity was founded in 1999 and has between six and eight Thai and three to five foreign employees as Staff. Pattaya is Thailand’s unofficial capital for sex tourism. More than 30 000 women from mostly poor areas of North Thailand (that are a 5 to 12-hour drive from the city) work here. Many of these women chose this profession, because they do not see a different way to earn money for their families. Others have been sent to Pattaya early in their lives by their families to work in bars and do not know anything else. Tamar is helping the women who are usually between 18 and 40 years old and who want to get out of this situation. Housing, employment, training and trauma counseling are provided by Tamar and its workers. Once or twice a year, they offer classes on ‘how to live” in which the women learn how to make decisions independently and how to cope with everyday life.
Steffi Vaupel from Tamar Center explains: “Most of our participants do not know the basics of daily living as the bars where they work arrange most things for them. Things like paying rent, shopping on a budget, saving money, not buying everything what they see and like, looking for discounts, etc are foreign to them. In our program the women can learn the following skills: cooking, baking, hairdressing or sewing. They can either work a little bit in each area to see what they like or decide in the beginning what they would like to do. Furthermore, they make beautiful greeting cards as therapy when they first come to us. When the course is finished, the women can participate in follow-up courses. “These either take place in Thai schools, which give out certificates that are recognized nationwide and with which the graduates can easily find work, or we employ the women in one of our businesses in order for them to get some experiences” explains Vaupel.
What We Support
“The women have to overcome many traumata when they come to us. They also have little to no working experience except from their old work and are not used to staying at a workplace all day.
This is why we give them the production of greeting cards as their first ‘easy’ job where they can focus on creative working as well as cutting and gluing the cards. This way, they are busy and do not think of their past” explains Vaupel.
We sponsor the starter sets for all new participants. This includes all necessary materials as well as individual training and support. With only 50€ per pack, we are able to help new participants to make their first steps toward an independent life.
We would like to support any participants who expresses a desire to complete a professional apprenticeship after their three-month course. With this, their chances for a well-paid job and an independent life increase greatly. Since every case is addressed individually and for optimal training possibilities for each participant may look different, there is no “standard package”. Also, cost vary depending on the location, nature and duration of the apprenticeship.
Steffi Vaupel on our cooperation: “Financing the post-educational courses has always been a large challenge for us due to our constrained budget. Therefore, we are very excited to have found a partner for these apprenticeships in Global Micro Initiative. This opportunity does not only mean an improvement of the lives of the participants but of their families as well.”