Jun 4, 2018

Training the trainers, moviemaking and more

Teaching Days for Girls in the village
Teaching Days for Girls in the village

The past quarter has been full of exciting things in our Trafficking Prevention and Foster Care initiative. Here are the highlights:

1) Training the trainers: Since our team consists of only three members, we decided it would be way more efficient and beneficial to children in Thailand if we trained adults who work with children in how to run the Child Empowerment Program, rather than try to teach it ourselves. In April and May, we taught 44 staff members from 22 different children's homes (private orphanages) how to use this program with the children in their homes. At the end of the training program, each home received a flash drive with all the power point presentations on it as well as all the supplemental materials needed to make the program a success for their children. The staff were all engaged with the material, enjoyed participating in the different games and were able to give valuable input on how each workshop could be improved even more. We will be providing this training to an additional 40 children's home staff over the next six months.

Since we are the official Northern Thailand partners of Days for Girls, we have committed to distributing 100 sanitary kits to girls and women in remote areas of Northern Thailand. In April, we went to a village that has no electricity, internet or cell phone service. Part of the Days for Girls curriculum is teaching about reproductive health as well. When we completed the workshop for 35 women and girls in this village, one of the women, who is a village leader, said "Thank you so much for your team coming and sharing with us. This is new information for all of us. I've been married since I was 14 and I didn't even know how [our reproductive systems work]. Now that you have shared this with us, we can teach our children and women in other villages near us. Thank you so much!"

Our team also traveled to a remote area in Nan province in May and we are planning to go to a third village in October, during the students' fall break. We have translated this curriculum into Thai, but since most remote villages speak a tribal dialect, we have a plan to do a train the trainer session with a representative from the major tribal groups so that the training can be provided in the native languages of the people who need this information the most. We are hopeful this will happen in the next quarter.

2) Foster care system development: Thanks to your support, we were able to provide the Social Welfare Departement of Chiang Mai with the funds they needed to run a promotional campaign explaining to the public the need for families to become foster parents and get one step closer to having every child in a family instead of in an orphanage.

Another aspect of getting the word out is our plan to make a series of short films letting foster parents and children tell how being a foster family has changed their lives for the better. We completed filming our first one, the Story of Dream, and it's now being edited so it will be ready for viewing in the next few months.

Finally, because the goal is to have a national foster care system, collaboration with areas outside of Chiang Mai is of the utmost importance. We are having a meeting with teams from Pattaya and Phuket in August to discuss how to create family based foster care programs in their areas that match the program currently running in Chiang Mai. If we all start at the same baseline, when the government is ready to have foster care go national and close all orphanages, it will be easier to merge all the systems if they all operate in the same way.

We hope you are encouraged by the way your donation is being used. If you would like to read more about any of these stories, please visit our blog on our website! Thank you so much for your donation so that we can continue doing this important work!

Filming "The Story of Dream"
Filming "The Story of Dream"
Train the trainer session for caregivers
Train the trainer session for caregivers
The Jojo's team with Cedric from Global Giving
The Jojo's team with Cedric from Global Giving
Mar 12, 2018

Collaboration is Key

Rural families learning positive parenting
Rural families learning positive parenting

As part of this project, we are collaborating with a variety of organizations, both government and non-government. We have many trainings planned over the Thai school holidays in April and May.

In April, we are excited to be working with Prosperous Youth Foundation to provide training to caregivers at the children's homes they work with, as well as training their day care staff in Positive Discipline Techniques.

We have also partnered with Days for Girls and pledged to distribute 100 Sanitary Kits to girls in rural villages in Northern Thailand. Also in April, we will be making a trip to a remote village on the Burma-Thailand village to distribute kits and also teach our Healthy Relationships curriculum.

Our partnership with the Thailand Department of Social Welfare is still going strong and we will be sponsoring training for both foster parents and foster children in April and May. In addition, we will be creating promotional video materials for them to use in their campaign to place every child currently in a government orphanage into a safe family home.

We have also gotten requests from other NGOs within our foundation to provide the Child Empowerment Program to the children in their projects.

Thanks to your generous donations, we anticipate being able to double our impact as compared with 2017!

In April and May, our project director, Heather, will be in the US speaking about Jojo's Sanctuary and the work we do. She will  be in Minnesota, Austin, Los Angeles and Seattle. If you are interested in attending fundraisers in these locations or would like to meet Heather to hear more about Jojo's Sanctuary, please contact us at jojos@thaiconnections.org.

Jan 22, 2018

January 2018 update

Our new flash drives!
Our new flash drives!

Hello, faithful supporters. We hope you had a wonderful holiday break and are ready for 2018! We just completed our yearly plan for all the activities we will do in 2018 and we are excited to already have so many plans in place.

For our trafficking prevention program aka Child and Family Empowerment, we purchased personalized flash drives that we will be loading up with power points in Thai and activities and stories to provide a complete training package for caregivers. Our first training will be in February in the village of Mae Jam to caregivers of students who come from villages with no high schools to be educated in the nearest town. We hope to partner with all 40 dorms to provide this knowledge to as many children and youth as possible. Many of the students in this area are at high risk of trafficking or other forms of exploitation so it is important to equip them with as much information as possible to help lower their risk of becoming victims.

We will be meeting with the Chiang Mai foster care department in early February to finalize plans for providing this training to foster children and to discuss when the government will provide educational trainings for foster parents in how to parent children who have been through trauma. We are excited about this partnership and have high hopes that it will lead to happier and healthier foster families.

If you would like to stay up to date on our latest happenings, please check out our Facebook page or sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter by emailing us at jojos@thaiconnections.org

Thanks for your support!


Heather, Butsaba and Jay

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