Sponsor a child in Thailand
Despite low unemployment and improving living standards, Thai children remain vulnerable to exploitation. Millions work every day just to survive, and many are abused by their employers. Others lose their childhood to the sex industry, both at home and abroad. Since 1971, SOS Children has worked hard in Thailand to help children overcome this injustice.
You can help orphaned and abandoned children in Thailand by sponsoring a child online with SOS Children:
A changing society
The Thai economy has thrived since the government began diversification in the early 1980s. Since then, jobs have been created in service and industry as well as tourism and unemployment is currently very low. Despite this, millions live in poverty and in rural areas hardship can be extreme.
A vulnerable childhood
- Thailand is a youthful society, with around a quarter of the population aged under 18.
- HIV/AIDS has orphaned many, and without a family to rely on, these children are in danger of homelessness. Nearly 450,000 suffer from HIV/AIDS in Thailand, causing problems for children across the country.
- Thousands of children have no option but to work for a living, preparation only for a life of hardship.
- On the streets, they are vulnerable to sickness or abuse, and many are preyed upon by traffickers who exploit them for commercial gain, often in the sex trade.
In 2011, Thailand suffered the worst flooding in decades. 815 people were killed as a direct result of the floods and over 13 million affected. Many families were forced from their homes and our SOS Children's Village in Bangpoo, near the Thai capital of Bangkok, was on high alert for a time. At the time, the Village was home to 120 children who had nowhere else to go.
Our Work in Thailand
SOS Children began its work in the country in 1972. SOS Children provide orphaned and abandoned children in Thailand with a new mother, a family and a home where they can stay until they are ready for independent life. Watch this beautiful short film of an SOS mother in Thailand, produced by our Thai colleagues.
We currently care for more than 450 children at our five purpose-built SOS Children's Villages in the country. A further 55 youths are supported in three SOS Youth Homes, where young adults live while they prepare for independence. SOS Children also run nursery schools in Thailand which together serve 330 children from the Villages as well as the local community.
In 1972, our first SOS Children's Village in Thailand opened in Bangpoo in Bangkok. The Village has a nursery for young children and older children attend the local primary and secondary schools near the Village.
Young adults can live semi-independently in our SOS Youth Home a few miles from the Village. Our SOS Vocational Training Centre helps mothers and staff improve their skills.
The large commercial centre of Hatyai is home to another SOS Children's Village. Here, young people begin training for work or start higher education at our SOS Youth Home.
Nongkhai, located in an agricultural area bordering Laos, is home to a third Children's Village. We provide daycare in our nursery so that mothers can go to work. The Village site hosts a Youth Home for young women, while two Youth Homes for young men can be found just outside in downtown Nongkhai.
The poor province of Chiang Rai hosts another SOS Children's Village. As well as providing a loving family for children who have lost their parents, a nursery school enables young children from both within the Village and the wider community to benefit from early education and play.
For young adults, we run special programmes designed to give them the vocational training they need for work, or provide higher education to those who wish to take their academic learning a step further.
On the morning of 26 December 2004, a huge tsunami struck coastal areas around the Indian Ocean. More than 280,000 people died. From day one, SOS Children ran emergency relief programmes to help survivors cope with the terrible aftermath. First of all, we got medical care, food and shelter to the victims. Then, we tried to find relatives who could take care of children orphaned by the wave.
So many children were left alone, however, that we decided the only way to make sure they were safe was to build a new Village where these children could live. In 2008, we opened our new Children's Vilage in Phuket.
In Phuket, we provide a protective environment where children can grow up safe and secure. The tsunami has left many children frightened and anxious, and we do our best to help them recover from the trauma of losing their homes and their families. We also offer medical support to people in the community, and a nursery school for children from the Village and the neighbourhood too.
Life in SOS Children's Village Thailand: Amena Smiles Again
Amena lived happily with her husband and three children till the killer waves of the Tsunami destroyed her house completely. The Tsunami changed Amena's life - the once happy family was left with nothing. However, with Amena's own efforts and the support given by SOS Children's Villages Thailand, today Amena is resettled.
Amena lives with her husband and three children in Ban Kluay Nok, Ranong province, in Thailand. The Muslim village is on the bank of a small canal with a mangrove forest near the mouth of the Andaman Sea. The giant Tsunami waves completely destroyed Amena's house, but fortunately her family survived.
Since the village lies deep in the forest, it was very difficult for the rescue units and emergency relief units to enter the community. Amena and her family were struck in the mangrove forest and lived without food and shelter for a week. Finally, emergency relief units came to the area and the family were relocated in a temporary shelter.
"After losing everything - my house, boats and fishing nets, I felt like giving up my life. But every time I looked in my children's eyes I got encouragement to move ahead in life," Amena says. The family needed support to survive and rebuild their lives. SOS Children's Villages Thailand donated boats and fishing tools to help them to begin their livelihood.
Amena also began to work as a casual labourer. She saved some money and opened a small grocery shop opposite her new permanent house donated by SOS Children.
Finally, there is a smile on Amena's face. Every evening her children stand outside their new house and wait for their father to return home. They know that they will see their father with his new fishing tools coming back home to have dinner.
SOS Children's Villages of Thailand
18 Moo 3,
Tel: +662-756-4683, +662 3804682
Fax: +662/756 20 29