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"
Train the trainer session for caregivers
The Jojo's team with Cedric from Global Giving