10? Well, maybe this a loose interpretation on the theme today, but bear with me...
What were the things you were concerned with when you were 10? Let me put it into perspective, you were probably in the Fourth grade. If you are having a hard time coming up with something, I did too. I remember Kevin falling down in class and his finger going into the light socket. I remember, in science class, scraping cells off my cheek. I remember seeing Return of the Jedi.
Now imagine at 10 or 12 thinking about how you will support your family. Your brother brought honor to the family by donning the saffron robe, but that did not help your family to eat. It did not provide a roof over their heads. One day you are told you are being sent to work for an "uncle", only to find that it was a bar for men to find their pleasure. Then realising if your family wanted to survive, you had to comply and give up the last thing you have left to give, your body and your dignity. Imagine the desperation it would take to "willingly" step into this lifestyle, as the only hope for you or your family.
"The internal traffic of Thai females consists mostly of 12-16 year olds from hill tribes of the North/ NorthEast. Most of the internally trafficked girls are sent to closed brothels, which operate under prison-like conditions." (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)
The sickness felt as I write this, is nothing compared to the hopelessness they feel. My heart screams at the injustice, as the tears roll silently down my cheek. 4...2...4...numbers that signify freedom. To have a girl for an evening is $24, so freedom 4 (for) 24 hours is bought by paying the "bar fee".
There are groups that are trying to do something about this, to provide a ray of hope and freedom. Freedom424 raises awareness and funds, they send to Beginnings. The employees at Beginnings go into the bars, purchase this night of freedom, and then tell the girls about alternative means of survival and opportunities for life that they could never have imagined. Education. Employment. Health care.
4...2...4...is a whole lot more than 10.