Helping Thai Children Express Themselves
Not only does poverty threaten the health and
well-being of children all over the world, it also often robs them of the chance
to engage in simple play, artistic activities and other means of expression that
are crucial to a happy childhood. In countries like Thailand, the realities of
everyday life for those who live in poverty can make it difficult for children
to experience the joy of expression or play with their friends. ChildFund has operated in
Thailand since 1959, and we work to ensure children have the opportunity to
play, express themselves and socialize with their peers through our Happy
Play and creative
expression are crucial to children's development. Although structured classroom
learning is very important, it is vital that children have the opportunity to
improve their cognitive abilities through play and other social activities.
Unfortunately, this is simply not possible for many Thai
Approximately 10 percent of Thailand's population of 67 million
people live in poverty. Many Thai children are raised by their grandparents, as
extreme poverty and a lack of employment opportunities often force parents to
relocate to find work. Some Thai children become wards of the state, as
separatist violence in the southern part of the country has resulted in the
deaths of many parents.
Brightening Children's Days
As a child development
agency, ChildFund recognizes how important it is for children to express
themselves and enjoy simple play. For this reason, we established the Happy Saturday
program to give children space to forget their worries and have
During these sessions, children meet at early childhood development
centers and schools. Here, they can use playground equipment that is often
lacking from their schools, sing songs, watch or perform in skits and paint
pictures. This provides children with the vital creative outlet they need to
In addition, many of the children who participate in the Happy
Saturdays program take this opportunity to write to their sponsors, letting them
know what they have been doing. Some children also send their sponsors pictures
they have drawn that day, providing another way for sponsors to connect with the
children who benefit from their support. Children from many different villages
gather to participate in Happy Saturdays, allowing them to meet children from
other communities and make new friends.
benefit of the Happy Saturday program is teaching children the importance of
basic health issues such as proper sanitation. This is accomplished through
plays, which the children act out themselves. This makes it easier for children
to understand and identify with topics that could be complicated or confusing if
merely spoken about.
ChildFund works with the CCF
Foundation, our international partner in Thailand, to support almost 1,800
children across several communities. Without the generosity of our sponsors and
monthly giving donors, we could not help as many children.
children in Thailand, consider making a donation to our Children's
Greatest Needs fund. Your generosity will help us provide children in need
with the opportunity to to express themselves, play and enjoy a ray of sunshine
in their lives.