WRAPPING UP 2017
These last few months have seen a wide variety of activities. I’m including the 3rd and 4th quarter in this report and you’ll find a mini review of the highlights of the work. A huge thank you to all the generous financial supporters as well as everyone who keeps reading, listening and learning to help keep Relentless being RELENTLESS!
The Europe trip covered four countries in five weeks leading workshops on various topics for organizations of various sizes. For more details of what we did there please see the pre-trip, and the post-trip reports.
The Asia Regional Anti-Trafficking Conference (ARAT) took place in Bangkok 13-16 November 2017. Because Relentless works by 100% collaboration (that is, if I don’t have partners, I don’t have much to do) I was asked to present about some unique partnerships and ways organizations can think outside the box for collaboration. I was also invited to be a lead learner in the aftercare discussion forum.
On 14 December a Roundtable was organized by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, The Division of Anti-Trafficking in Persons and the Mekong Region Law Center (MRLC). Attendees included legal professionals, counselors, social workers, and others. Both government and non-profit organizations represented. I was a part of a panel to present brief remarks on trauma informed care and my experience in caring for trafficked people, followed by a long question and answer session. It was informative for me as I learned a lot from their questions and the feedback from the participants was positive and discussions for future training opportunities are already in progress!
Some of the clinical opportunities Relentless has are multi-organizational outreach events involving participation by several different organizations reaching out to various sorts of sexually exploited people such as Thai women, international women, transgender women, men. We see between 32-56 patients per night. These clinics provide an opportunity for a free HIV check, a consultation with a physician, as well as meet people who can and will help them out of their exploitative situation if they want. The last clinic was held on 8 December and at least one woman trafficked from an African nation was freed and repatriated back home as a direct result of attending the clinic and learning about the available help. Her words to us: “Thank you for loving us.”
FOSTER CARE of children in detention
It is against Thai and International law for minors to be held in the International Detention Center (IDC) yet there are dozens of children imprisoned there. At last, Born Free Foster Care Program was launched a few months ago to get kids out of a horrifying situation and into foster families. I’m getting involved to help because I believe in freedom for ALL people – if there is something I can do as a physician to help free people I will. If you live in Bangkok and are interested in becoming a full time or part time foster parent please be in touch with me!
Looking forward to 2018!
The every day work is not quite as glamorous but the opportunities highlighted above are the product of doing the work with beneficiaries and staff as well as spending time in the literature and keeping up to date on everything so that Relentless remains cutting edge in providing care and services.
I’m looking forward to being a part of a “Strengthening Mental Health Services” project with Freedom Fund, Raks Thai Foundation and other partner organizations. There will also be a couple more trips to Europe to present workshops and speak at conferences. I’ll be continuing the clinics and consultations with organizations in Bangkok and throughout Thailand. Please like the Relentless Facebook page for more immediate updates on what Relentless is up to!
For those of you who are runners, the Relentless Endurance 6/12/24 hour Run will be back again in November! Everyone is welcome! If you don’t run, we’d love your help to volunteer!
Again, thank you to everyone who helps keep Relentless going financially, prayerfully, or personally! I can’t do this without you!