Karen is the program consultant to the New Life Center Foundation (NLCF). This ministry, based in northern Thailand, serves ethnic minority women who are at risk for labor exploitation. The NLCF also provides protection and rehabilitation services to young women who are survivors of human trafficking, forced labor and sexual abuse. Warmly evangelical, the NLCF strives to demonstrate the love of Jesus to all residents. Karen’s assistance includes writing grants and reports, public relations, strategic planning and supporting the staff.
She writes – The evidence is clear: education changes lives! Data from the United Nations Development Program and other sources indicates that children (particularly young girls) who are able to complete high school and/or university have increased wages. They marry later, have fewer children, and are less vulnerable to violence. Higher education levels are also linked to increased family well-being and lower child mortality rates. At the New Life Center, we are privileged to bear witness to the life-changing power of education in the lives of the tribal women entrusted to our care.
This past January, the New Life Center was also privileged to join the celebration of the official launch of the Create Your Future Foundation. “Create Your Future” is the new, Thailand-based branch of the Sievert Larsson Scholarship Foundation – one of the New Life Center’s main partners. (Through support from the Sievert Larsson Scholarship Foundation/ Create Your Future, the New Life Center provides educational scholarships to over 200 tribal women and men per year. The New Life Center also provides case management and mentoring, which helps each student succeed.)
This opening celebration brought together a group of people in Thailand who ordinarily would never be in the same room; senior ranking politicians, business owners, bankers, and diplomats sat and talked alongside tribal and Thai scholarship recipients and other guests. Wandee Chuenchooprai, the New Life Center’s senior social worker, brought greetings and spoke eloquently about the NLCF’s main activities and ministry. I also brought greetings to the group and congratulated my friend Sievert on his vision for education and the expansion of the scholarship program that he began so many years ago.