The article we wrote and the pictures Dave took were published in The Monthly magazine. After the article was published, a reader contacted me saying that she believed that in this sad old world, personal acts of generosity were the only reliable way of helping our fellow human beings. In particular, the West Australian writer Alice Nelson began sponsoring one of the children we wrote about, seven-year-old Francine. When we won awards, sitting in glitzy industry events, they were the first to message their congratulations.Other Australians also offered to help, and before we knew it we had set up a system through which money from generous Australians found its way to some of the children. In September this year, we returned to catch up with some of the families we have come to care about. A sponsor contributing a month has made all the difference in the world to his life. Francine, who was a shy seven-year-old when we first met her.
When we first met, she told us she wanted to be a teacher.
There is some chance that she will fulfil that ambition.
While the big problems that lead to such awful conditions remain in place, a few children have been saved. Her father is an Australian who abandoned her after paying just $600 to her mother.
Thanks to regular monthly payments made by Alice Nelson, Francine now goes to a private school, and is doing well.
The country’s international image as a sex destination was largely a result of the US military presence here during and after World War II when “go go” or “girlie” bars flourished around the bases at Clark and Subic Bay.