The Keep Girls Safe shelter in Thailand is a haven for young girls. Here they are able to live in a safe, stable environment while they attend elementary and high school. 

Nina* was not born in Thailand, but moved there with her mother and four younger siblings.  

Nina’s mom had to leave her children early in the morning to work as a labourer. As the oldest child, Nina had the responsibility of waking at 4:00 am each morning to cook breakfast for her siblings, take them to school, clean the house, and take care of the youngest child who was not yet in school. Nina did attend school, but the other children bullied her because of her poverty. 

As a young teenager, her mother would force her to put on make-up, dress up, and work at a karaoke bar in the nearby town. She wanted Nina to stop going to school and marry a rich man. 

Shelter, Not Suicide, ADRA Canada

Nina hated her life. One morning she decided to commit suicide. Her mother had some herbicides in the house and Nina drank them before going to school. At school, she was dizzy and had a terrible stomachache. Her teacher and the school headmaster took her to the hospital, where the doctors were able to save her life.  

The headmaster was concerned that Nina would try to kill herself again or that her mother would force her into marriage. He went to talk to the local Seventh-day Adventist pastor. The pastor contacted the Keep Girls Safe shelter and asked them to take Nina.

The shelter staff immediately went to visit Nina. At first, her mother refused to let her go to the shelter, but the local social workers, the headmaster, and the pastor convinced her that Nina would be able to live a better life if she went to the shelter and finished her education.   

Nina has been at the shelter for two years. Her life has completely changed. She is happy and has made friends with the other girls. She has talents for drawing, Hmong embroidery, and playing the guitar. She participates in cooking classes and helps to take care of the shelter’s kitchen garden. Nina will be graduating from high school soon and dreams of becoming a fashion designer. 

Two of her siblings have been adopted by another organization.  

Your support of the Keep Girls Safe shelter has helped Nina and other girls like her live free of fear. They are secure in the knowledge that the staff will care for them physically and emotionally. All of the girls at the shelter have experienced trauma, but your generosity gives them happiness and hope. Thank you for your unfailing kindness. 

 *Name changed to protect her identity.