Latest update

Thailand was the first country outside China to record a COVID-19 case in January 2020. Since this time, COVID-19 cases spread rapidly throughout the country. Hospitals were inundated with patients requiring care and struggled to cope with the dramatic increase in cases. Stay-at-home orders were in place for most Thai provinces at varying points throughout the pandemic.

Our local church partners in Thailand have worked tirelessly to continue supporting children in poverty during the pandemic. Most child development centres are now able to meet in small groups. Some have resumed their usual activities while others continue to keep in touch with children and families via phone.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, local workers have delivered over 394,600 food packs and 154,700 hygiene kits to vulnerable families. Letters between sponsored children and supporters have been delayed because of the local staff’s limited access to offices for printing, translating and processing letters.

Watch the latest video update below from our neighbours in Thailand to learn more.

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Country update

How is Compassion currently operating in Thailand?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Most child development centres have resumed their normal activities. A few rural centres continue to meet in smaller groups.

  • 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. Local workers will meet with the child and family to determine the best use of the gift and ensure it meets their greatest need.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for staff, children and families in Thailand.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray that God would provide Anucha, Anuwat and their family with a stable home.
  • Pray for provision and comfort for Yongyot and his older sisters as they grieve their parents' abandonment and work to support each other.
  • Pray for provision and blessing over an initiative from one church partner to start a coffee shop that provides opportunities for youth to use new skills.
  • Pray that God would bless the local church partners as they continue to care for children and families in their communities.
  • Pray for wisdom and strength for local workers as they support children and their families who are at risk of abuse and domestic violence.
  • Pray for unity and effective collaboration for the National Leadership Team as they make decisions for the future.
  • Pray for wisdom and discernment for Thailand’s leaders as they seek economic stability and ways to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.
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

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, some child development centres in Thailand are operating differently to slow the spread of COVID-19 and abide by local guidelines.

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

8%

of children under the age of 4 are underweight.

6.8%

of people live below the poverty line

15%

of households lack basic hygiene facilities

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 over the past four decades, 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 and COVID-19. 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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Stories from Compassion around the world

04 Mar, 2015

8 Powerful Photos of Children's Rooms in the Developing World

These photos are a fascinating, and at times confronting, insight into the lives of children around the world in Compassion’s program... Read more

14 Mar, 2018

Why Do My Sponsored Child's Letters Sound the Same?

It can be disappointing if your sponsored child hasn’t responded to your questions or even mentioned the letter you sent them. Here’s why this could be happening, plus handy tips to prevent it. .. Read more

06 Aug, 2015

3 Children Share Why They Love Receiving Letters

Supakan’s home has only one piece of furniture: a cupboard made from cardboard and glass. It’s where her family keeps their favourite, most precious belongings—like Supakan’s letters from her sponsor. Why are letters so valuable to sponsored children? We asked three children from around the world to share why their sponsor’s letters mean so much... Read more