Prospects for Street Kids and Orphans
Pattaya – Thailand
Each year, the Southeast coast of Thailand, with its booming tourism industry and thereby increasing prosperity, attracts millions of migrant workers from the extremely poor Northern regions of the country to the larger cities such as Pattaya. Due to these massive societal changes, it is often children who are left behind homeless and end up on the streets.
The children’s aid organisation, Human Help Network, is a long-time project partner of HelpAlliance and fights against child trafficking, exploitation and poverty with its Child Protection and Development Program. Protecting street kids and giving them access to education are key elements that give these children prospects for the future.
The Child Protection and Development Center (CPDC) is the core of their operational activities in Thailand. Here, street kids are given a permanent home and a sound environment in which to grow. Proper nutrition, medical care, and above all, love and affection give these children something they have lost during their time on the streets: the possibility to learn, to laugh and to feel appreciation towards themselves and others.
More than 60 children have found a new home at CPDC and there are more to come. The goal of the project is to integrate these children into Thai society and its education system as well as to raise intelligent and responsible individuals.
Within the CPDC core project, a special programme concerned with “street education” was established for the greater Pattaya area. This includes prevention work in the 17 slums around Pattaya. With the help of videos and games, children and their families are informed about the dangers of abuse and human trafficking.
Another part of the project is an outreach programme. Specially trained street workers establish initial contact with the street kids and collect data and information. In addition, they also try to raise awareness and explain to the children the risks associated with life on the streets, drugs, violence and sexual abuse.
For many children the Drop-In Center in central Pattaya is their first step towards reintegration. Here, the children are provided with free food, clothing, medical care, temporary accommodation and for the first time, emotional care for often traumatised children.
In addition to the core CPDC project, HelpAlliance continues to support the work of the Pattaya Orphanage. Here, all children whose family can no longer care for them, for whatever reason, find a home. About 150 children of all ages live permanently at the orphanage, from infants to school-aged children. The orphanage enables the children to receive an education and supports the children during different stages of life until they can find a steady job and provide for themselves.