What is RAGAS in Thailand?

By Jerry Nelson

This is a brief overview of what The Rotary Action Group Against Slavery (RAGAS) is attempting to do here in Thailand, and who we are. There are some 25 Rotary Action Groups around the world. You can learn more at https://my.rotary.org/en/take-action/empower-leaders/rotary-action-groups The Rotary Action Group Against Slavery (RAGAS) is composed of Rotarians from all over the globe. We are loosely united with one common goal; stop human trafficking and modern slavery. One way to look at the fight against slavery is to use categories to classify effort; one common approach is:

  • Prosecution – The work done by government agencies and supporting organizations to catch and punish perpetrators.

  • Protection – The work done to protect rescued victims, help them recover and re-integrate into society.

  • Prevention – The work done to prevent people from being caught up in modern slavery or human trafficking.

Here in Thailand the RAGAS team has chosen to focus on prevention, especially with children. Other organizations and government entities are working hard in the areas of prosecution and protection. So, what are we doing, and how can you help? 

  1. We are raising awareness by making presentations to Rotary Clubs and at Rotary events. Since the campaign began several weeks ago, we have had the privilege of speaking at several clubs, all in District 3360. We are now scheduled to speak at clubs in other parts of Thailand and also in the United States (Zoom is a wonderful thing).

  2. We are making prevention presentations at schools. Most recently at Tammarat School, Wat Phrasing, Chiang Mai, at a session led by CP Pongsawart, (pictured above). Our goal is to expand our reach through the Buddhist Community as well as Christian and other communities and of course the government schools.

  3. We are preparing presentations and projects designed to teach children, their teachers, and their parents about human trafficking and what they can do to protect themselves.

  4. We are planning an awareness/fundraising events in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Details and exact dates are currently being considered. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is a factor.

Specific Help Wanted (Contact me if you are interested):

  • Rotarians and Rotary Clubs will be given an opportunity to participate in all of the events we are creating. Without your help, we cannot help endangered children.

  • We are meeting with Rotary Clubs in preparation for choosing partners for larger projects, including Global Grants.

  • We would appreciate introductions to other organizations that are involved in the fight against human trafficking or may want to be.

There is a wonderful sign in Bella Goose Coffee shop in Chiang Mai. Allow me to share it with you.

Editor's note:  Jerry Nelson is the RAGAS (Rotary Action Group Against Slavery) Coordinator for Thailand, Charter Member of The Rotary Club Ending Trafficking, an Honorary Member of Chiang Mai International Rotary Club, and a Mae Tao Clinic Volunteer.  Contact him at +66 (0) 89 556-4293 or jnelson.ragas@gmail.com

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