After a life-changing journey to Southeast Asia, sisters Danielle and Kristen Libby are grateful for everything they have, and are even more eager to help those in need.
“I have a strong heart to help others, and to give back, because we are given so much in Canada,” said Kristen.
Danielle and Kristen spent eight days with a group of youth (mostly female) who have found refuge in a safe house in Southeast Asia. To keep these girls off the streets, and out of prostitution, two women opened up the house, and now survive mainly on donations.
“They do as much as they can within their means,” said Danielle. “But they have no income, women don’t work there.”
Not only do these two women have to find a way to house and feed the roughly 15 people living in the house, they also have to pay the families so that they don’t come and pick up their daughters, only to put them back into prostitution.
“Prostitution is a major problem there. The women will start when they’re nine years old,” said Danielle, adding that parents are often the ones to push them into it in the first place.
The safe house is not part of any foundation or organization, therefore they have trouble finding steady funding. The Libby sisters heard about the situation through some locals, and decided to go there and help.
“We tried to teach the girls some new skills. I taught them dance, I used to be a dance teacher in Golden,” said Kristen. They also taught them how to clean, as well as some recipes like rice pudding.
“They were so grateful to learn a new skill, one as simple as cleaning the walls.”
The Libbys were so touched by their experience, that they decided to bring some jewelry the girls made back to Canada to raise some money for them.
“We brought jewelry back to Canada to sell for them, because we can sell it significantly more here, then they could there,” said Kristen.
It is made of Thai jade, and was hand crafted by the girls at the safe house. They are not part of any organization, so 100 per cent of the money raised here in Canada will go directly to the house.
“It was so amazing to spend that time with them. They’re a family, they all help each other and support each other,” said Danielle.
“When we left they told us we left a lasting impression on all of them. It was so nice to hear,” said Kristen.
Anyone interested in purchasing the jewelry can contact Danielle at firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost will be by donation, and all the money will be sent back to the safe house.