is open to all children who find themselves in prolonged
problematic situations. Within the minority ethnic
groups around the Thai / Myanmar border, broken families,
parental violence and sexual abuse are common. Many
women are separated, divorced or abandoned by their
husbands. Children suffer from these situations and
can become vulnerable or homeless orphans.
provides them a safe place to stay, where they can
receive food, medical attention, education, and positive
guidance. For emergency situations, parents can also
meet Childlife’s team for visits or counseling
/ family planning.
at the First House.
the project, the children can be categorised into several
Street Children: The children in this group live
and sleep on Maesai’s streets, mostly near the Border
Bridge. They stay around from 7am to 11pm to beg tourists
in the border stop. Some children collect and sell recyclable
The Dumpster Group: These children live at the dumpster
and collect plastic and other recyclable materials to sell
at low prices. Some of these children work only the weekends,
others every day. Some of them sleep at the dumpster as well.
Victims of Child Labour: The children belonging to
this group are forced to perform hard physical work on plantations
and farms in Maesai or the Chiang Rai province. They suffer
from very harsh living conditions and are exploited by Thai
Children in Difficult Family Situations: This group
includes children who face violence and sexual abuse in their
families. In most cases, the parents are drug addicted.
Orphans: Children without parents or support from
other family members. Some lose their parents to HIV or AIDS.
of these children are at risk of being trafficked or sold for
exploitative labours or prostitution. The street provides a
dangerous environment run by gangs and criminal organisations that profit from the very lucrative and locally widespread
trade of human beings.