We work to educate, protect and empower vulnerable children, families and communities in Thailand. Children who are at higher risk of trafficking include orphans and rural children. This project will work to prevent trafficking in a variety of ways, such as: 1) by educating rural children and caregivers about things such as internet safety and human rights and 2) partnering with the Thai government to educate the public about the benefits of family based care for at risk children vs. orphanages.
In our staff's previous work with trafficking victims, we have seen many children leave orphanages or move from the rural areas to the city in search of jobs. Rural families may not have the funds to send their children to secondary school or don't know about the dangers of sending young teens to the city alone. Children in institutions often run away due to lack of individual attention, among other issues. Both groups of children are at high risk of trafficking or exploitation in the city.
Our Child Empowerment Program teaches how children and parents can protect themselves from abuse, trafficking or other forms of exploitation. We also provide scholarships for higher education to families in need. Foster Care Outreach teaches communities in the Chiang Mai area about the need for families to provide individual care for children in crisis. This effort is in partnership with the Thai government as they transition from large institutions to family-based care for vulnerable children
Long-term effects will be fewer rural children leaving home at a young age to seek out work in the city, families are about to better protect their children from abuse and exploitation, and children are able to complete their high school education, giving them better economic opportunities. In Chiang Mai, families will be educated about the benefits of foster care and encouraged to become foster parents. Our hope is that one day the large government emergency shelter will no longer be needed.