This project (Half Day School) provides free primary education and vocational skills training to 70 Burmese, Thai and hill tribe children ages 4-19. These children do not have full Thai citizenship and do not have the right to attend government school. They are, as a result, at significant risk of being sold into forced commercial sex work or slave labor.
The Half Day School serves children at high risk of being trafficked into the commercial sex industry or other exploitative forms of labor. Poverty, racial discrimination, and lack of citizenship documentation prevent them from going to school. At home they often face poor living conditions and sanitation, broken families, and adults addicted to drugs, alcohol, and gambling, as well as pressure to work to supplement the family income or feed these adult addictions.
The Half Day School firmly believes the risk to these children is dramatically reduced if they are able to receive a comprehensive academic and vocational education, as well as being taught awareness and prevention skills to keep them safe. As a result, students learn Thai, English, Chinese, Math, Science, and Social Studies, and vocational skills such as weaving, sewing, cooking, and microbusiness. They also attend workshops in dance, art, health, personal development, and child rights/safety.
The Half Day School provides free holistic education in a safe environment for 200 Burmese, Thai, and hill tribe children in the local area of Mae Sai, northern Thailand. This allows them to study, learn a trade, and develop confidence and life skills, reducing their risk of being trafficked due to economic need, deception, or coercion. We believe this project will impact more than just our target group as we encourage all students to share their knowledge with friends, families and communities.
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