Improving health and providing education for vulnerable street children in Thailand
|Title||Improving health and providing education for vulnerable street children in Thailand|
|Description||A permanent child protection centre will provide over 100 vulnerable girls and boys with access to basic education, healthcare and mentoring.|
|Dates||Start: 2014; End: 2017|
|Location||Mae Sot, Thailand|
Mae Sot is close to the Burmese border, where over 140,000 migrants are now living in refugee camps as a result of 60 years of civil war in Burma. Hundreds of children are forced by their families to beg on the streets, becoming the sole breadwinners for their households, and exposing themselves to violent abuse, crime and the risk of abduction.
A temporary centre in Mae Sot is currently attended by at least 70 children, aged up to 15 years old, but this can only open for one day a week and is unable to provide education or healthcare services. The centre also faces difficulties in the rental situation, being forced to move locations several times due to the nature of the work with street children and the reaction of landlords. In order to make investment in the project more effective and sustainable a permanent location is required. We need an easily-accessible, consistent base where children can always come to find support.
1. Supporting Children
A fully equipped and accessible child protection centre, staffed by trained youth mentors, will enable us to provide a safe place of rest and refuge from the daily tension of poverty and stress on the streets. We will provide food, showers, healthcare, basic education and play therapy. This will help children to achieve their full potential, through improved physical and emotional health, opportunities to enter the state education system or vocational training, and teaching on appropriate boundaries and the dangers of risky behaviour.
2. Equipping families
We will provide training, mentoring and support to enable parents, guardians and families to become better carers for their children.
3. Supporting communities
We believe that communities have an important role in protecting their own children and reducing the incidences of child abuse and neglect. To encourage this, the centre will also be used to train local community leaders and parents in child rights and community child protection, and teach families on how to act if a child is at risk. We will also present seminars on strengthening families and the importance of education, and raise awareness about the dangers of trafficking and how to practically avoid exploitation.
Over 100 vulnerable street children in Mae Sot will have a safe place in times of stress or crisis and will be empowered to pursue education and acquire life skills. Children and their families will become more productive members of society through learning about social skills and appropriate boundaries.
Local communities will be safer places for children. Staff will be viewed as trusted allies for the other hundreds of street children and will win the confidence of many local communities.
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