“Photographic Nurturing” by Ralph Gardner Jr.
Ralph Gardner Jr. is a senior special writer and columnist for Greater New York, the section of The Wall Street Journal. He was also a frequent contributor at New York Magazine from 1998 to 2006. He has also written for The New York Times, the Daily Beast, the Huffington Post, Spy, Penthouse Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and The New Yorker.
Click below to read the article:
I AM: Thailand
In Thai, it is known as Krung Thep, which roughly translates to ‘City of Angels’. Bangkok, the city who’s pulse may be among the most difficult to find, is the name by which most of the world identifies Thailand’s capital today. In earnest though, Bangkok (translated as the ‘village of wild plums’) is the old name of the city that stuck even after King Rama I founded his capital as Krung Thep in 1782. To make matters more intriguing Krung Thep is merely an abbreviation for the true ceremonial full name of the city:
Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit
The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (of Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn.
Regardless of its name, this sprawling, multi-layered city heaves with ancient crevices, electric facades, red light neighborhoods, and a thousand peeling years. Citizens smile through traffic jams, bow politely at movie theaters and fast food restaurants, and answer even impossible questions with a ‘yes’ and a vigorous nod.
I worked closely with eighteen children at the Center for the Protection of Child Rights Foundation in an outlying region of the city. All girls, with the exception of two young boys were being cared for at this facility. Most of the teenage girls, victims of human trafficking and abuse, lived together under the close supervision of experienced social workers, pediatricians, and therapists. They showed the markings of adolescent girls – logo t-shirts, habitual giggling, unyielding curiosity, and a knack for operating my iPhone. The younger children, motivated to communicate with me through drawing, waited eagerly each day to see what I had planned for them.
Their portraits are beautiful and honest, though not devoid of insecurity and fragments of earlier times. Their faces speak of resilience but also of their precarious being, with only a thin line separating a tumultuous past from a hopeful future.
For the security and protection of the children, their photographs cannot be published.
CENTER FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILD RIGHTS (CPCR)
CPCR began its crusade to protect children’s rights over twenty years ago in 1981. Although CPCR initially focused on assisting children who had been neglected, abandoned, physically abused or exploited through child labor, its area of involvement expanded in 1985. The Center became involved in combating the commercial sexual exploitation of children and started assisting young people who had been sexually abused or forced into prostitution. Today CPCR continues to work in all areas of child abuse, neglect and exploitation.
CPCR assists abused, orphaned, neglected or trafficked children and combats commercial sexual exploitation of children by legal and public relations means. CPCR runs three rehabilitation homes for children and young people rescued from trafficking. CPCR also provides scholarships, vocational training and prevention programs for young people at risk of entering the sex trade or at risk of being exploited for child labor.
The Center for the Protection of Child Rights (CPCR), an ILO−IPEC partner in Thailand, developed a comprehensive and needs-based approach to rehabilitation where medical, social, legal and other relevant experts from different institutions work together in a well-orchestrated approach to ensure effective rehabilitation of children rescued from trafficking and other abuses. (courtesy of www.humantrafficking.org)