Port Clyde resident Emily Prey has made the long trek from Midcoast Maine to northern Thailand so that she can help vulnerable girls younger than herself find a better, safer life for themselves, according to a press release from Friends of Thai Daughters, a nonprofit based in Trevett.

For the past year, Prey has been working with several organizations that provide safe, stable homes and an education for Thai girls in danger of trafficking and other exploitation. Based at the Center for Girls in the northern part of the country, Prey runs outreach and research projects with the Child Rights Protection Center.

She also volunteers with Friends of Thai Daughters, which was founded by Boothbay residents Jane McBride and Patricia Zinkowski, so the Midcoast Maine connection has come full circle. The family-scale program has helped dozens of girls and young women through its two Sunflower Houses, one in Chiang Rai and a second in Chiang Khong, located on the Laotian border.

Prey spends much of her time at the Chiang Khong house, where she is adored by the girls, the release says. She leads workshops, helps the girls learn English and is both a mentor and a friend. She has also run several fundraising campaigns that have raised thousands of dollars for everything from musical instruments and cameras to warm blankets and mosquito nets.

“It is crucial that our projects empower community members and equip them with the necessary skills to become independent leaders and problem solvers,” Prey said in the release. “Every day I learn something new, and I am so fortunate to be working with such incredible, strong women.

Prey's mother, Barbara Ernst Prey, is an artist who has been painting in Maine for more than 40 years. “I have spent every summer in Port Clyde since before I can remember and it truly is my second home,” Emily Prey said in the release.

On Friday, Aug. 4, a Sunflower Celebration will be held at Darrows Barn in Damariscotta to raise funds for Friends of Thai Daughters’ growing program. Food and beverages will be available, and attendees will also have a one in 300 chance to win $3,000 in a reverse raffle. Event tickets and additional raffle tickets are available on FTD’s website.

For more information about the event, sponsorships, or FTD, visit riendsofthaidaughters.org or email Julie@friendsofthaidaughters.org.