Our Thailand Travels, and Shear Love International
Human trafficking, it's still around and you won’t believe how big it’s gotten! Hi, my name is Jonathan and I want to share with you the heartfelt experience I had in Thailand working alongside a nonprofit by the name of Shear Love International. My adventure started in Jersey with a simple conversation with one of my many roommates, Tharma. She had it in her heart to use her vacation to find a nonprofit that she could volunteer with. When she came to me with this idea I knew exactly which nonprofit she would like to partner alongside. I contacted my friend Dianna who is the Director over at Shear Love, and we set our travel date.
Before I continue, I think it’s only fair I explain to you what Shear Love international is. They are a global nonprofit that trains people from all walks of life. Whether coming from a background of poverty, abuse, exploitation, or trafficking, they believe all people deserve an education and an opportunity to succeed. Like Nelson Mandela once said “Education is the most POWERFUL weapon which you can use to change the world.” https://www.shearloveinternational.org/home1/#mission
After many FaceTime conversations with Dianna and our travel date approaching, we began to educate ourselves with books that were recommended by the organization like Unstoppable, by Christine Caine and He Walks Among Us by Richard and Renee. I highly recommend Unstoppable!
Our date of travel was here and we made it to Thailand safely. Our first night in Thailand was something I don’t think I would ever forget! Dianna took us out to dinner so we could discuss what the week would have in store for us, but before she started she asked us to look around the restaurant and asked if we noticed something strange. We immediately picked up on what was happening. Exploitation was happening right under our noses and there was nothing we could do about it. I remember my thoughts that night. I wanted to flip a table and go talk some sense into some of the old men. I wanted to ask them if they where in this country doing what they were doing. What we saw were old men having dinner with YOUNG girls that clearly they didn’t know. This was evident in the way they didn’t even talked with each other; they simply stare at the distance or at their phones. I remember the fear on their faces as their only job was to satisfy their buyer. The whole scene was eye-opening and heartbreaking.
After that awakening, Dianna told us about her dream in Thailand and why she started the organization. It was to take away their fear from their faces and teach them a new skill, a new way to see life. A lot of what Shear Love does is to educate students about cosmetology and barbering. Dianna was a stylist back home and she used her skills to teach others. The following morning we got to meet the rest of her team and we had our jobs for the week. Tharma and I were in charge of taking photos of the students so they can use the content for a project they are currently working on. Tharma had the opportunity to use her voice to teach music to some of the students! As the week went on, every day brought something new to the table; freedom was happening and students were being educated. I think if I go into detail about what everyday brought to us I would have to write a book, but the highlight of the trip was when we got invited to a little music school out in the slums of Thailand.
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I will never forget the kids faces when we got there and began to sing and play! Our trip was full of laughter, sadness and hope.
Even after we encounter sadness and hopelessness at times, we left with a full heart. We know that there are people out there who care about the wellbeing of others and that they are doing the impossible to achieve or help them achieve their dreams.
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