All Posts in Education

August 19, 2016 - Comments Off on I’m gonna come and help you

I’m gonna come and help you

What began as a 40 minute session was extended well past an hour as the students in year 5 & 6 continued to seek answers to their questions.

Their hearts had been touched, the injustice they felt for kids their age was evident.

They needed to know why it was happening and they needed an answer…today!

This is often what is so hard for all of us to grapple with as we work to fight slavery. We sit and have the questions of ‘how’ and ‘why’ has this happened. Then, given the enormity of the task, we can feel it is too big to solve, so we shift our focus onto other ‘more solvable’ matters.

But what happened amongst this group of students is that the questions started to shift, as they wanted to know what they could do ‘right now’ to help.

As we ended the session, their teacher, Miss Lucas asked the children to write their personal reflections of what they had learned about.

Immediately a student approached me with a serious question. He asked if I would keep doing ‘this’ for a while. Though unsure of the reason for his question, I answered "Yes, my plan is to continue for some time." He then asked if it would be 'years', to which I also answered "yes, I plan to continue this for many years." Satisfied with the response he said, "Good, 'cause once I finish school, I’m gonna come and help you."

 

The reports from Miss Lucas continued into the next day and the weeks to come. Some kids raised awareness through telling friends and family while others did fundraising by buying or selling ZOE colouring books. She wrote:

"You have definitely inspired our students.  The kids have been continuing to learn about the issue of human trafficking at school and have explored further the different perspectives of those involved in the trafficking and those trying to stop it, reflecting on the teachings of Jesus and Scripture and learning about human dignity." - Miss Lucas

...To be honest Miss Lucas, your students have inspired me!

Note from student

Reflection about slavery

 

November 15, 2015 - Comments Off on The day ZOE changed my life

The day ZOE changed my life

My first contact with ZOE was in 2013 when I met David Cross while on a mission trip to Chiang Mai with my son’s school, Maranatha Christian School. David told the group the story of Moses, the first man to try and abolish slavery. In Exodus 4 Moses, confused and overwhelmed, tries to convince God that he has nothing to offer that can help to free the Israelites from slavery but God asks him “What is that in your hand?”

I knew just how Moses felt. I really felt I had little to offer in the way of practical help and was confused about why I had agreed to go on this mission trip in the first place. But David’s retelling of Moses’ commission made me ask the same question that Moses had been asked: what was in my hand that I could use to help?

My skills are as a writer. I have written or contributed to about forty books that are used by teachers and students throughout Australia in their study of history and geography. Each day tens of thousands of high school children read what I have written. I knew before David had finished speaking that this is why God had brought me to Thailand. This is what is in my hand! All I had to do was to convince David.

Fortunately God put me on a work party at ZOE for the next few days and David and I found ourselves working side by side as bricklayers. Over many laughs and questionable bricklaying we eventually worked out that we were the answer to each other’s prayers. God had bought a writer and a missionary together.

Six months later, the curriculum was written, published online, presented at a teachers’ conference in Melbourne and was already being used in Australian schools to educate the next generation about child trafficking and the awesome work that ZOE is doing in Thailand. So now I ask you the same question that God asked Moses: “What is that in YOUR hand?”

Written by Mark Easton

October 6, 2015 - Comments Off on Bookworm Bliss

Bookworm Bliss

In April 2015, we celebrated the Grand Opening of the ZOE Library.  Our goal is to instil a love of reading in the ZOE kids.  Although our library has several hundred books, both Thai and English, there was no one to oversee and set up a system for reading and borrowing.

Bronwyn Maidment with ZOE Teachers_Mike and Carol Hart and David Cross

Now from 1pm - 2pm each day, any ZOE child, leadership training student or staff member can visit the library and borrow one book at a time for up to 2 weeks. An added blessing has been that a few of the kids have taken such an interest in the library that they serve as the resident librarians and take pride in tiding up the room, organizing the bookshelves and checking out the books.  It is such a joy to see kids lounging in bean bag chairs reading their favourite stories.

Coming soon….“Story time” and maybe even a class on children’s book writing.

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Written by Cissy Boyer - ZOE Language School Manager

August 30, 2015 - Comments Off on An invitation to ‘Interaction’

An invitation to ‘Interaction’

Trafficking is an issue we need to increase the awareness of. Since our geography curriculum "Child trafficking – a case of human wellbeing" was produced, we've been excited to share it with many Australian schools via the Geography Teachers' Association of Victoria (GTAV) conference! After the conference in 2014, we were invited  to contribute to "Interaction", the GTAV’s quarterly journal to members.
See our feature at this link: Interaction December 2014_ZOE Foundation Australia.

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In 2015, we were excited that 141 geography teachers received our resources to help educate their students
about human wellbeing and trafficking. Thanks to our wonderful volunteers, Gary and Sonia, over the
two day conference as they worked alongside Dani.

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May 13, 2015 - Comments Off on Transitioning…

Transitioning…

The odds are stacked against the more than 9,000 young people who age out of foster care in Australia each year. A recent report from Swinburne University states, “50% of those who left state care at 18 years old would be homeless, in prison, unemployed or a new parent within 12 months of leaving care”. (ABC News)

Now whilst the ZOE Children’s Homes is not the same as the foster care system, as you can imagine, there can be similar challenges when children finish school and start to head out by themselves into the big wide world!! Whilst we recognize that the transition to university or work must occur, we do not want to see any of our children unprepared for independent living or feeling like they are suddenly all alone.

As ZOE means LIFE, we want to see all our kids succeed through life’s transitions. We want them to go on to become successful, happy adults in their chosen career, following their dreams, loving LIFE and living it to the full.

ZOE’s Transitional Program (TP) aims to offer guidance and support to young adults leaving the children’s home and moving forward with their education, or work, goals.  

The TP is based at the Transitional House in the city.  The house is in a central location and close to all the main universities.  The program offers:

  • tutoring/ study assistance
  • English language classes
  • spiritual mentoring/ weekly prayer and Bible study
  • social get-togethers and opportunities to have fun
  • accountability
  • a safe and comfortable place to “hang-out” and bring university friends or study groups.

We are so excited about this new program and so are ZOE kids that are already a part of it along with the ones coming through the Life Skills program, leading up to transition.   

We look forward to updating you more about the house and the program as it develops further!

TH Collage 2

March 9, 2015 - No Comments!

Coffee & Confidence

At ZOE, our Vocational Training & Life Skills Program is designed to equip our students with skills needed for life once they leave the children’s home.  The vocational training gives specific education that would help them get a job, while life skills training equips the students with things that are needed to navigate everyday life such as banking, job interviewing, and getting around town. 

Where do coffee & confidence come in? In addition to learning skills, one of the more important and often overlooked objectives is confidence building.

Many students enter into these programs without a clue of what its like to be an adult or how to go about daily life.  They are used to either growing up at ZOE or living on the streets, and neither of these scenarios prepares a student to pay bills, get a job, or apply to college.  So they are scared of the unknown world that is approaching them quickly.

One girl in particular came into the vocational program hesitant, much like the other students.  It seemed as though she was prepared for regular schoolwork; just sitting at desks, taking notes, and doing worksheets.  Instead we jumped right into our barista coffee class, and right away the students were pulling espresso shots, adjusting the coffee grinder, and steaming milk.  Though her first few drinks weren’t all that good, as the weeks went on, she began to memorize the recipes, refine her steaming technique, and learned when a shot of espresso didn’t look or taste right. 

A few months later, the same girl rushed into the coffee house with an eager smile on her face. 

“Kruu (teacher) Jon, test me!”

“Okay, make me a café latte,” I replied with a smile on my face.  I had told the students that a simple latte is one of the more difficult drinks to make because there was no vanilla or chocolate to hide a bad shot of espresso or poorly steamed cup of milk.

She jumped right in, and a few minutes later presented me with my latte.  It was truly great, and she saw the approval in my eyes.  “Kruu Jon, do you think I could get a job at a coffee shop?”

“Of course!” I said with genuine conviction that she had learned a profitable skill. 

Without another word she skipped out of the room, and it was clear to me that while she had in fact learned a new skill, she had also gained new confidence.  This is a great improvement from the timid girl I knew before who had been used to people telling her she was incapable or stupid.  Now she has the assurance of knowing that she is capable of using her new skills. Our hope is that this will transfer into all other areas of her life so that she can live fully with confidence and courage. 

If you are interested in helping others become equipped in vocational and life skills, please donate here and add vocational & life skills in the comment box.

 

January 3, 2015 - 1 comment.

5 Ways You Can Help End Human Trafficking


"Slavery tears at our social fabric, fuels violence and organized crime, and debases our common humanity. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we renew our commitment to ending this scourge in all its forms." | President Barack Obama

On December 31, 2013, President Barack Obama proclaimed January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. He recognized that everyone can play a role in ending slavery. This Saturday is set aside as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

This past year at our ZOE Rescue Walk, our theme was D.O.T. "Do One Thing." We too, recognize that everyone can do something to help end the slavery of human beings. Imagine what would happen if everyone in your circle of influence was challenged by you to "do one thing." An awareness of the reality of human trafficking and action steps to end it would be taking place throughout not only our country, but the world. It is possible for us to eradicate human trafficking in our lifetime. We must make a choice to do something about it. Below are five simple things that most people can do.

BE-educated

1. Know the signs of human trafficking 

2. Know the human trafficking hotline number | 1.888.373.7888

3. Read the Trafficking in Persons Report

4. Read the book, "Justice Awakening" by Eddie Byun

5. Sign up for the ZOE Newsletter and for blog post notifications

 

BE-vocal

1. Follow ZOE on social media | Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest

2. Share facts and stats on human trafficking on your social media pages

3. Invite a ZOE representative to come speak to your group about human trafficking

 

BE-supportive

1. Financially support ZOE international

2. Easy ways to give to ZOE | Amazon Smile, Ralphs Club Community Rewards &  Goodsearch

3. 9 Ways to support a zoe missionary

4. Write letters of encouragement to missionaries overseas or locally

 

BE-involved

1. Volunteer your time and talent

2. Advocate for foster care and orphan ministries

3. Join or start a task force in your city

4. Attend events that raise awareness of human trafficking

 

BE-prayerful

1. Commit to pray for those on the front lines fighting trafficking | January 10th join believers around the globe in prayer

2. Join ZOE's monthly prayer night on the 4th Tuesday of every month at 6pm, in person if you live locally, or on your knees where you are if not

3. Read our Prayer Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 16, 2013 - No Comments!

Want to Learn More About Human Trafficking?

At ZOE we are passionate about our mission to reach every person and rescue every child with the love and compassion of God. We do this through rescuing and caring for orphans and children at risk of or involved in human trafficking. This modern day slavery comes in many forms, with humans being traded as goods for sexual services and and cheap labor. It is rampant in every country in the world. It is wrong and must be stopped. At ZOE we are specifically targeting those who are intent on trafficking the most defenseless in society - the children.

Next month is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Throughout January, we will be highlighting not only what human trafficking is, but how you can be aware of it and how you can take steps to prevent it in your community and circle of influence. We want to get the word out so that we can end child trafficking in this generation! Check out the share buttons and email sign up below. Inform yourself and others by signing up for our blog to come in your email box and by sharing on your social networks. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram as we aim to increase awareness of this harsh reality to as many people as we can.

Below are some organizations that are great resources for learning more about the facts on human trafficking.

http://www.polarisproject.org

http://www.ijm.org

Sources:

http://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/blue-campaign

http://www.stopthetraffik.org/the-scale-of-human-traffiking

http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/sex-trafficking-in-the-us

September 12, 2013 - 1 comment.

At ZOE, Children Are Safe

ZOE houseparent & kids“I sleep peacefully through the night now for the first time in years. I don’t cry anymore and I have no fear.”

These are words uttered by a child who should not even have to think about such things. Yet before many of the children at ZOE were rescued, safety was not something they could take for granted.

What is the value of safety? For most of us, the definition of what safety looks like is very different from the above quote. Sometimes our safety lies in holding onto false securities; the areas of our lives that replace wholehearted abandon to God such as pride, food, our loved ones, money and even ministry. We cling to things for a variety of reasons rather than giving complete control to God. There are also those places of deceptive safety where we hide from things that would bring about the plan of God in our lives and how He wants to impact the lives of others through us. This is false safety - fear. We may play it safe by not stepping out and praying for someone to be healed. We may refrain from preaching the gospel, or doing something for the Lord He has placed on our heart to accomplish with Him.

The other area of safety is probably the one we most often think of, our physical safety. Often we can take this basic need for granted if we are not careful. Sometimes we may forget the value of a shelter, our comforts, our homes, having our family and friends and the security and love they afford us. Even going about our day and having the freedom to live our lives and make our own decisions is something other people, often children, may never experience. Having the assurance of a shelter from darkness both physically and spiritually is a gift.Knowing the love of the Father and having Him cover you with His wings is the safest place to be of all.

This safe place is something ZOE desires for all children to experience and is one of the first things that a child is told when they arrive at ZOE:  You are loved and you are safe!  Over and over again as you read the ZOE stories of rescue you read these words; “they are safe”, “she is safe at ZOE”, “children live happily and safely”.

At ZOE, children are safe.

The Lord is our trustworthy refuge, our shelter who lifts us high above the enemy. He wants us to know the safety of intimate fellowship with Him. It is here where the fatherless are wrapped and embraced in the arms of the Father. We are ever conscious of His love and acceptance as His child.

In the arms of our Father, we are all safe.

Written by ZOE Supporter Jennifer Barnett

September 5, 2013 - No Comments!

New ZOE Educators

ZOE_Education2

Happy to be teaching our ZOE kids!

ZOE has recently been blessed with new members of our education team, and they couldn’t have come at a better time.  Over the past few months, ZOE’s need for on-site, supplemental education has grown tremendously.  As some of the ZOE children cannot attend school due to protective reasons, there is need for a structured educational environment for those who must remain on the ZOE campus.

This structure has been working beautifully and, with the help of our new teachers, it can only get better.  Not only are they intelligent young ladies, but they are very encouraging and nurturing.  Miss Yee has been a part of the ZOE family for a long time, but until recently, she was helping as a parent to the girls at ZOE.  Now though, we have begun to utilize the education she received from Payap University in Chiang Mai.  She is responsible for teaching Thai Language, Art, Home Economics, Music, and Computer.

Miss Bang just graduated from Rajabhat University with a degree in English Education.  She is very excited to be working at ZOE, and she loves serving God while getting the opportunity to educate and take care of children.  She is responsible for teaching Science, English, and Beginning Chinese.

Miss Dao is our newest addition to the team, and she has been fitting in beautifully with the culture at ZOE.  Like Miss Bang, she graduated from Rajabhat University but majored in Sociology, which gives her the experience needed to teach Social Studies.  In addition she also teaches Math.

ZOE_Education

We’re so blessed to have these three wonderful teachers for our children ... and we think ZOE is pretty smart for hiring them!