EXPANDING WORLDVIEW: Trip to Thailand exposes students to effects of sex trafficking
Stacy Utecht, resident director (RD) of Blossom Hall, took a group of students to Thailand, where they were immersed in the Thai culture and learned about the effects of sex trafficking on the country.
While there, students also will worked with an organization called Remember Nhu, which was founded by Carl Ralston ’92. Remember Nhu’s mission involves preventing children from being sold into to the sex industry. Part of that means placing vulnerable children in safe environments where they receive care and protection – the organization has 34 homes for children in nine countries, and since 2005 has helped more than 700 children.
Malone students worked with 180 of these kids in an orphanage in Chiang Mai.
“I was most excited about experiencing and embracing this new culture alongside my group,” said participant Emily Kublin ’16.
Utecht is passionate about travel – and about exposing college students to other cultures.
“It’s easy to go with a ‘let’s save them’ mentality, but the issues in Thailand are much deeper than a 14-day trip can solve,” said Utecht. “My hope was to partner well with Remember Nhu, learn about them, and get a chance to interact with kids.”
Utecht believes service-learning trips are a great way for students to learn about other countries – and how to figure out their place in Christ’s Kingdom.
“My hope for the students on this trip,” said Utecht, “was that they would become educated on the issues within the sex trade, that they would have their worldviews broadened, and that they would come to understand their place in bringing education and awareness to their friends and family back home.”