Family and Community Empowerment
"Every child has the right to grow up in a nurturing home within an empowered and engaged community, that protects their rights and promotes their future"
Poverty, lack of access to education and the breakdown of family relationships, due to stress and illness, are the key causes for family separation in Thailand.
Recent estimates indicate that over 250,000 children in Thailand live in government, private licensed or unlicensed orphanages and residential care homes. Over 80% of children in orphanages actually have family; but sadly, poverty and desperation often force these families to separate.
Children with disabilities and learning difficulties are particularly vulnerable to institutionalisation, especially those born in rural areas. Having a child with a disability may force a parent to become a full-time carer – damaging family income. With little health and welfare support for people with disabilities, families are often unable to cope.
Families with low income, who live in remote or rural areas, who rely on agriculture and manual labour industries may particularly struggle to support their children. For farmers, a poor harvest can have catastrophic effect on income and the struggle to survive can lead parents to make unthinkable choices.
To best protect children we must help to strengthen their networks and support systems - their families, communities and the larger society to which they belong.
- Projects that provide families the support they need to cope under difficult circumstances
- Projects that provide community-based care and rehabilitation to children with disabilities who are at risk of institutionalisation
- Projects that provide vocational training, income-generation and micro-loan schemes to communities in Thailand
- Projects that advocate alternative care solutions and campaign for better social care, family tracing, and foster care
- Projects that deliver relevant community-based group training and awareness raising workshops
Community-based rehabilitation for children with disabilities, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi and Chai Nat Province
There is nothing more heart-breaking for a family than not being able to meet their child’s needs. For families in Thailand, having a child with a disability can be a confusing, daunting and challenging experience. With little in the way of social services, support systems or state-provided welfare, families are often left to face a difficult life alone.
Safe Child Thailand supports a community-based rehabilitation project which provides a lifeline for families struggling to cope with the pressures of raising a child with complex needs. The aim is to keep families together and prevent children being placed into orphanages by providing home-based rehabilitation services.
The team of social workers are committed to helping families in any way they can. They provide mobile physiotherapy sessions, bring donations of food and hygiene products, offer micro-loan schemes for families to start home-based businesses, offer advice and guidance on disability rights, help with school enrolment and provide alterations to the home and local environment to help children gain more mobility, access and independence.
The team also run a day-care centre, so parents can bring their children and meet others in similar situations. For those unable to travel with their child, frequent home visits can give parents a sense of community in their own homes.
In 2016, 142 families were helped directly by support staff in three provinces in Thailand. With extra funding the programme hopes to expand to reach more families in more areas over the coming years.
Can your local community help raise funds to support a community in Thailand?
You could organise a coffee morning, a Thai dinner party or a fundraising event to help support a struggling family. Visit our Fundraising Page for more ideas and inspiration.