Latest update

Thailand has reported remarkably few instances of COVID-19 infection. The total on 9 December was 4151, with only 211 active cases and 60 related deaths. The country has reopened for tourism, which normally contributes a large amount to Thailand’s economy.

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COVID-19 in Thailand

How is Compassion currently operating in Thailand?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Most Compassion child development centres have reopened and are conducting normal program activities while maintaining safety measures.

    Staff members have been able to distribute over 119,000 food packs and 71,600 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:

  • Healing and God’s comfort for Nattapong, age 13, as he prepares to receive radiation and chemotherapy. Pray that the treatment would be successful, and he would be completely healed.
  • Peace, comfort and strength for Thanapond, age 11, as recovers from a motorcycle accident and grieves her cousin, who passed away in the accident.
  • Doctors would be able to find a treatment plan for Komchan’s health concerns.
  • God would provide and comfort Chalakan's parents as they work with the medical team to find a treatment plan for Chalakan and provide for their family as well.
  • God’s peace and comfort would be with the children and families who live near TH070 as the rainy season has caused flooding and damage to some of the children’s homes.
  • TH0706 centre staff, family and friends as they grieve the loss of a child and friend.
  • God would continue to keep the children, families, volunteers, pastors and staff healthy.
  • God would heal and allow the children, families, and staff who have COVID-19 to make a complete recovery.
  • TH0919 staff and volunteers as they plan to safely organise the different lessons and activities for their children’s camp.
  • Wisdom, strength and health of the Compassion Thailand’s leadership team.
  • Thailand’s leaders as they prepare and develop strategies for recovering and bringing back economic stability after COVID-19.
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, 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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