Latest update

On 3 September, Thailand reported its first locally transmitted COVID-19 case since late May. After testing nearly 600 potentially exposed people, no more new infections were found. The re-emergence of the virus may cause a delay in previously announced plans to reopen beaches and cultural sites to international visitors in October. The government had lifted most restrictions on businesses and services but that could change. Since March, Thailand has reported 3490 cases and 58 fatalities.

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COVID-19 in Thailand

How is Compassion currently operating in Thailand?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Some centres in Thailand have been able to reopen, while abiding by local guidelines for group sizes and social distancing. Recently 179 Compassion centres in Thailand were able to reopen with a limited number of children attending and COVID-19 prevention protocols in place. Several more centres have been approved by the Compassion Thailand national office to reopen at the end of September.

    In areas where centres have not been able to open yet, workers are keeping in contact with children by phone and occasionally by in-person visits, while maintaining social distancing.

    Additionally, staff members have developed online resources, including devotionals, for children and families. _They have been able to distribute 107,599 food packs and 68,689 hygiene kits to registered children and their families. _

  • Are children receiving letters?

    Letters are currently being delivered in Thailand, although delivery to and from your sponsored child may take a bit longer than normal. We encourage you to continue writing, as all children need words of hope and encouragement now more than ever before. Thank you for writing!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in Thailand. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to caregivers, where appropriate. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in Thailand who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • That God would provide Murekler and Natthakit with the doctors they need to find a diagnosis and a treatment for healing from their illnesses.
  • That God would provide for 13-year-old Anuchai and his family as his mother works hard to provide for their family.
  • That God would remind 14-year-old Kantheera of how much He loves her and that He will provide for her and her family.
  • That God would keep the children and staff of TH0337 safe as they begin to make plans to re-open the centre again. Until then, pray that God would keep the kids safe and healthy.
  • That God’s blessing would be upon the families in the community of TH0811 as they seek to provide for their families by growing rice, which has been difficult due to the lack of rain.
  • For the staff of TH0906 as they implement a new strategy to help keep the youth engaged and make a greater impact in their lives.
  • That through the love of TH0918 for children in their community, God allows it to provide an opportunity for the parents to know and experience God’s love.
  • For the protection, provision, and health of the children in TH0919.
  • For National Office staff as they continue to support, encourage and empower local churches to provide support and supplies to the people in their communities.
  • For the staff to continue to work in unity and grace as they adjust to a more virtual environment.
  • That God would protect and keep the staff and their families healthy as they continue to work and serve the children in their communities.
Providing for their needs in Thailand

Providing for their needs in Thailand

The lockdown restrictions in Thailand to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have left many without a source of income. This has been the reality for Manah, the mother of a Compassion assisted child from a community on the outskirts of Mae Sot.   Read more open_in_new

Crisis Reports from Thailand

  • update icon

    Flooding Along Thai-Myanmar Border, Thailand (Final Crisis Update) 09 Sep, 2020

    The situation

    During 21–23 August, a heavy rainstorm caused the water level in the Salween River to rise and overflow. The next day, flooding damaged or destroyed many homes along the river banks.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 0 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 16

    New information

    Affected families have returned to their homes. They were supported with Disaster Relief funds and home repairs should be completed soon.

    Prayer

    Thank you for your prayers for the affected children and their families.

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, most child development centres in Thailand are temporarily closed. Our local church partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based care.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Thailand

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 12 visit the Compassion centre for six to eight hours a week on Saturdays or Sundays.
  • Students aged 12 and older attend for four hours on Saturdays or Sundays.
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Compassion Program Activities in Thailand

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Compassion assisted children in Thailand typically attend program activities at their local child development centre on Saturdays and Sundays. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Thailand.

8:00am - A time of prayer and devotion.

9:00am - Spiritual lessons, when children sing songs and learn Bible stories.

10:30am - Break time, when children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships. A nutritious snack is provided.

11:00am - Social-emotional lessons, covering topics from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem and a godly character. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

12:00pm - Lunch time, usually a meal of rice, vegetables and meat. Milk is provided for young children. Children who are malnourished receive additional food to take home each month, such as rice, eggs, canned fish and milk.

1:00pm - Health lessons, where children learn practical health and hygiene tips. An example topic is how to prevent malaria and HIV/AIDS transmission.

2:00pm - Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests, and set goals for their future.

Children in Thailand also participate in extracurricular activities such as games and music, community sports days, as well as community service opportunities such as anti-drug campaigns. These activities are generally held during school holidays.

Every year, parents are offered parenting classes and meetings to inform them about what their children are learning at the child development centre. There are also special events such as Family Camp, Mother's Day and Father's Day. Many programs also offer income-generation training for parents.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Thailand

11%

of children experience growth stunting as a result of malnutrition

7%

of people live below the poverty line

77

years is the average life expectancy

Thailand was an absolute monarchy until 1932, when it became a constitutional monarchy. It’s the only country in southeast Asia that has never been colonised, but that doesn’t mean it has been free from political struggle. Indeed, Thailand has a long history of military coups; Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha himself seized power in a military coup that ousted Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014.

In March 2019, the country's first election in five years resulted in no party winning a clear majority. Prime Minister Prayut remained in power despite the opposition winning the most seats in the lower house of Parliament, after the government-appointed upper house voted for him.

Despite deep political divisions, Thailand has experienced rapid social and economic development in recent years, changing from an agricultural-based to an industrial-based economy. However, inequalities in socio-economic welfare still remain, caused by disparities in the distribution of wealth, environmental degradation and the effects of urbanisation. The people groups living in the nation’s northern- and western-most regions are particularly affected, due to a combination of a lack of infrastructure and services and their status as ethnic minorities.

Up to half of these ethnic minority hill tribe members don’t have citizenship papers, meaning they cannot own land or travel freely between districts and have no access to social welfare services. This makes them vulnerable to a range of issues: poor healthcare and education, unemployment and economic poverty, even trafficking and threats of displacement. Yet, sans citizenship, they lack representation and face a long road to economic and social equality.

The local church continues to be critically important in caring for the people of these forgotten communities, especially the children.

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Meet the Midwives Saving the Most Vulnerable Babies in the World

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