Empowering At-Risk Thai girls To Develop Their Community
Organized by: Emily Prey
A weekend of learning, training, and giving!
December 12, 2016
With the help of the Child Rights Protection Center (CRPC), I am raising funds to implement a Family Aid and Development Project (FADP) in Songpinong village in northern Thailand. Our goal is to inspire and facilitate long lasting, sustainable, and impactful change within Songpinong by working closely with girls from CRPC’s shelter and empowering members of their communities.
* donations of $100 or more will receive a personal handwritten Thank You Note from one of the girls living at the shelter :)
(Please bear with me and read through the whole thing! We're trying to do really important work here, but it can only be done with YOUR help :)
CRPC operates a full-time shelter for twelve girls who are at-risk for human trafficking. Before coming to live at the shelter, these girls likely would have been forced to drop out of school and would have been vulnerable to exploitation. Often, their families and the people in their villages live without basic necessities like bathrooms and mosquito nets. CRPC aims to take a holistic approach to family development by not only giving the girls a safe and loving home, but also by addressing the root causes of the problems affecting their families and communities. It was for this reason that Songpinong was chosen as the pilot village of FADP - it is home to half of the girls living at the shelter. With this project, our aim is to empower and equip the girls with the tools and skills to effect change in their own villages. In doing so we aim to prevent the kinds of circumstances that put vulnerable girls at risk in the first place. It is this hope that inspired the Family Aid and Development Project (FADP).
Living and working in this region, and making frequent visits to the girls’ family homes, it is easy to see the extreme and pervasive poverty within the communities, as well as the urgent need for basic necessities for families living in such desperate conditions. As winter is approaching, it is also worrying to see families without proper protection from the elements, enough food, warm clothing, and more. However, we also recognize that nobody, no NGO, government, or individual, can know what these community members need the most as well as they themselves know. While these people urgently need items such as blankets, kitchenware, and soap, they also need to play a participatory role in their own lives and development in order for any lasting, sustainable impact to be made.
The Family Aid and Development Project was therefore designed starting from the ‘Aid’ perspective - by asking the girls at the shelter to provide a list of of families in need and how we could best serve them this winter, and also from the ‘Development’ perspective - by empowering the girls to design and implement a research and development project. Beginning with the girls from the CRPC shelter, FADP will connect with people living in the girls' home village of Songpinong. The project will give the villagers a sense of agency and purpose, and allow us, the Project Team, to learn from their insight on how best to implement a participatory project which will effect lasting, positive change in the community.
Without baseline data it is difficult to measure how much of an impact a project has had. FADP will employ participatory rural appraisal, thereby empowering the girls from CRPC and other local people to collect data themselves, and take charge of change in their own community. Once we have this baseline data available, we will be able to use it not only for the project in Songpinong, but potentially scale up to expand to the villages of the other girls at CRPCs shelter - and hopefully create a data-set to make available for future projects from external organizations, too.
A team of local experts will train the girls from CRPC’s shelter in data collection, information gathering, and research design for one month before supporting the girls to go to the village to collect baseline data over the course of two months. The baseline data collected will reflect the actual needs of the people, which could turn out to be anything from a need for literacy classes to education on health and sanitation to stronger infrastructure (only time will tell!).
Once the girls have gathered the necessary baseline data, they will work together with members of their village to design potential research questions. The Project Team will act as facilitators and provide training and research tools to enable community members to design and conduct participatory research. This research will be more deeply focused on responding to the outputs identified by the girls’ research.
After all research has been fully conducted and the villagers have identified the changes they most urgently and desperately need in their community, they will develop a final research question. The Project Team will draft the plan and strategy for FADP based on all of the information gathered and the final research question created. Finally, the people of Songpinong alongside the Project Team will undertake whatever program they have deemed to be most pressing.
How You Can Help!
I hope to raise $6,000 (approximately 210,500 THB) for this project. The money will be put towards buying essential items which are desperately needed for the ‘Aid’ element of the project*, and research, food, transport, etc. for the ‘Development’ element of the project. For people in Songpinong, a day without work means a day without money to buy food or other necessary items for their children and families. It is therefore critical to the success of FADP that everyone is fairly compensated for their participation. Because we want FADP to be as inclusive and successful as possible, food and transport costs for the villagers are crucial to ensure that no one is being excluded because he or she has to go to work or go hungry in order to attend a training/meeting/workshop.
Thank you so much for your support! Our work here is made possible because of people like you and your generation donations!
*The majority of the $6,000 will be put towards buying items for families including, but not limited to:
- Mosquito nets
- Shorts/T Shirts/Pants/Sweaters
- Hygiene Items
The budget is too large to put on this site, but if you would like a more detailed budget of the Project, please email me at email@example.com and I will send it to you :)
~all photos have been approved by CRPC and the girls~