What about men? Aren’t they part of the problem?
While our programs and facilities are geared towards women, we freely welcome and work with men (especially husbands or boyfriends of the women) to help build and heal families. A few work in building maintenance and sometimes help with some Narimon production tasks. These men also take classes at the Well. We are working to help men become healthy husbands and fathers. This is an area of our organization we hope to increase in the coming years.
For those concerned about Western men, whether sex tourist or those who take up residence in Thailand in order to participate in the sex industry, we recommend The MST Project.
What is the age range of women at The Well?
Obviously we do not discriminate based on age, and so we have girls in their teens through to women in their forties. The median age is roughly in the mid-twenties.
What is the length of your program?
We do not have a specific time limit for women to complete or graduate from our training program. Girls and women come to us with all types of needs: some are barely literate while a few have finished high school or even done some college. Some have a fairly stable common-law husband, while others are in abusive, codependent relationships. Some have healthy outside influences; others are surrounded by dysfunction. Some have no children, others have several. We therefore manage each case individually, but in general we welcome women to stay with The Well as long as it can benefit their life goals, whether those simply involved getting to emotional stability, or graduating from college.
How many do you serve?
While generally have about 30-35 teens to adults in our Bangkok training program, who have about 30 children living with them, from infancy to high school, and who support an additional 20 living with relatives.
Do you come across many children in the sex industry?
Thousands of teen girls are in the industry, both in areas serving foreigners but even more so in those serving Thais. The youngest we have met was 13, which is rare, but 16 year-olds are not uncommon. We once surveyed some massage establishments and were told by management that the youngest girls were 14, although we did not ask to meet them. We do not encounter children younger than teenagers in the areas we work, but it does exist.
Are the women you work with trafficked?
Yes and no. Very few of the women we meet and who join are program have ever been enslaved or trafficked by an agent. Most were coerced by other means. We do know this: no girl grows up dreaming to be a prostitute. Often a series of factors lead women in that direction.
How is The Well supported?
About half of our program support comes from donations, 95% of which are from the USA. The other half of support comes from revenue from our Narimon division.
How much of the sale price of a Narimon product goes to help women in Thailand?
This is a common question, and the answer varies with the product. Narimon runs as a social enterprise business, and like any business it has real costs:
Production: materials and overhead (rent, utilities, accounting, legal etc.).
Export-Import: shipping and customs (import duty and processing fees).
Distribution: We have one part-time employee, Cathy Dean, who oversees all aspects of recruiting advocates and hosts, scheduling events, shipping and receiving, and managing overhead. Cathy generously donates part of her own home for warehousing and office. Then of course we have to pay for shipping to event hosts, and other costs like accounting, insurance, internet hosting etc..
As much as possible we have been trying to move our product mix to items that have a high value of craftsmanship related to the cost of materials. However because of the relative instability of some of our newer women, many who arrive with addictions and other effects from complex past traumas, we must always have a number of products that are fairly easy to make.
How can I host a Narimon sale event?
Visit http://narimon.org/pages/host for complete information.
Do I have to pay anything to host an event?
No, we provide the invitations, product, videos and other materials you will need to do your party. We even pay shipping costs to and from your home.
Do I receive any gifts or compensation for hosting a sale event?
All of our advocates and event hosts are completely volunteer. We find that people overwhelmingly prefer this model.
Do I have to take orders at my sale event?
No, the items shipped to you in a party box are to be sold cash and carry at your event.
What do you believe? Can I see your doctrinal statement?
Sure. Click here.
How can I help?
- Pray. You can sign up for our mailing lists for updates.
- Donate. Support a worker, a program, and you can directly sponsor a woman or child at risk. Click here to donate.
- Purchase Narimon products, or help with sales and distribution.
- Share your expertise, either through a visit to Thailand or correspondence with our workers.