Help build a youth centre in northern Thailand

Funding required: $91,700

This project will help: 280 children

Estimated completion date: February 2023

Country: Thailand

Executive summary

In rural Thailand, youth struggle with school, cell phones and friend groups, just like most young people around the world. And yet, they also have the added challenge of living in poverty—meaning they struggle with food insecurity, finishing their education, finding gainful employment and overcoming unstable home situations. Currently, 80 per cent of beneficiaries from Ban Mae Hoe Church in Thailand use their mobile devices for school at home without parental supervision. Lacking motivation or guidance, 90 per cent of these students received an F grade. Many live with single parents who are left alone or with grandparents while their parents work, so there is no one to help them with their schoolwork when they are falling behind. As one youth put it: “I do not understand, and I am not interested in learning.” Sadly, these students lack basic literacy and life skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. In 2021 alone, 30 youth dropped out of school because they didn’t have the basic education skills to keep up with their studies and fell into risky behaviour like drugs, smoking and motorcycle gangs and racing. These young men and women are heading down a dangerous path by making poor choices in friends, working low-paying daily labour jobs and becoming a financial burden on their families. Unless somebody reaches out to help, they will become further secluded and vulnerable, entrenched in the cycle of poverty. All young people deserve to be known, loved and protected—especially when facing the harsh realities of poverty as they are coming of age. Compassion is wholly dedicated to providing impoverished boys and girls with the love and protection they need. One big way to address these needs is to offer a safe space for youth to belong—to gain a healthy self-identity, become disciples of Christ, be motivated to pursue economic independence and make a difference in their families and community. With your generous investment, Compassion’s local church partner of 17 years, Ban Mae Hoe Church, hopes to build a sports and learning centre to welcome more children and youth into an environment where they can develop healthy relationships and habits that will serve them well as they become the radiant young men and women God designed them to be. By engaging their minds, bodies and time in worthy endeavours—like sports, music, relationships and school—we can release youth from the devastating effects of poverty and give them a place to find their identity in Christ.

Did you know?

While 96 per cent of children in Thailand attend elementary school, many lack enriching resources outside of the classroom. Only about one third have children’s books at home, and about one fifth have no toys to play with.

Summary

Background

Ban Mae Hoe Church has been faithfully partnering with Compassion Thailand since 2005. It is a small but mighty church of about 40 adults and children in Ban Mea Hor Sub District that serves 297 children and youth at the main centre and 81 children at the satellite location. Beneficiaries in Compassion’s child development program are gaining life skills as they engage in group activities and volunteer community service. Eleven young people have even decided to participate in a Bible course. The church mentors the youth through care groups and engages in community evangelism to share the gospel. Parents and local community organizations alike have come to trust the church, recognizing its ability and commitment to build into their young people. With your help, this church partner can build a sport and learning centre to give these precious kids a place where they can find their identity and security among caring Christian adults who have their best interests and their future success at heart. Constructing a new facility will create space for more at-risk beneficiaries to find a meaningful place of purpose as they grow up.

The need

All children and youth seek belonging. But when identity, love and security aren’t readily available, they can go searching for them in unhealthy and even risky ways. Compassion’s church partner wants to offer at-risk youth in rural Thailand an environment that encourages learning, promotes holistic development and strengthens mental health. The new facility will include two open rooms to play sports, two classrooms, a takraw court (a cross between volleyball and soccer, played with a rattan ball) and a volleyball court. Here, young people will enjoy safety, belonging and fun instead of isolation at home or danger on the streets. The sports and learning centre will provide a creative environment where kids can play sports, learn music and gain useful life skills through vocational training.

What your gift will do

Your investment will fund the construction of a sports and learning facility for 280 youth in rural Thailand, including:
  • Acquiring and preparing the site
  • Purchase and transportation of construction materials
  • Construction and labour for two open gym spaces, takraw court, volleyball court and two classrooms
  • Sports equipment
  • Follow-up evaluation

Logistics

  • Local contribution: Because of the limited size of our church partner, no local contribution is required.
  • Handling of funds: Compassion Thailand will work with Ban Mae Hoe Church staff and leadership to oversee the intervention budget.
  • Monitoring and follow-up: Compassion staff will conduct site visits and report on progress during the construction. Staff will perform a six-month evaluation to ensure the facility is serving the beneficiaries.
80%

No less than 80 per cent of your donation will be used for program activities and a maximum of 20 per cent for fundraising and administration. If we exceed our funding goal for the initiative shown, the remaining funds will be used to fund other programs where the need is greatest.