Last Updated: 03/23/2021 

Thailand has had a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic: 26,703 in total and 84 deaths as of March 3. Active cases amounted to 589 on March 3. The country began a vaccination campaign on March 1 with the goal of immunising 45% of the population this year. The national economy is faltering due to decreased tourism, and half of the hotels in Thailand are closed indefinitely, leaving many people without income. 

About three quarters of the Compassion centers have reopened and are conducting normal program activities while maintaining safety measures. The remainder meet in small groups, and a few conduct home visits where children and their families are visited by staff and tutors at their homes. Staff members have been able to distribute almost 139,000 food packs and over 76,000 hygiene kits to registered children and their families. Additionally, almost 4,800 people have been provided with medical support during this season.

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Thailand?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Thailand, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Most centers in Thailand have been able to reopen while abiding by local guidelines for group sizes and social distancing. Staff members continue to check on families and ensure that their needs are being met. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute over 139,000 food packs and 76,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

Letters are currently being delivered in Thailand, although delivery to and from your child may take a bit longer than normal. We encourage you to continue writing your child, as all children need words of hope and encouragement now more than ever before. Thank you for your ministry!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in Thailand. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. 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 be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

Ten-year-old Mamaway resettled with her family in Thailand five years ago after fleeing from violence. As migrants, their ability to travel is limited, as is their access to government welfare benefits, including education and health care.

These limitations were hard enough in normal times, but when the pandemic struck, they became insurmountable. Not only could Mamaway’s family not travel to find work; they were also ineligible to receive crisis relief from the government.

Compassion's church partners in the region knew migrant families would be among the hardest hit by the pandemic. “We want to make sure that there are no children and families left behind, especially migrant children and their families. They don’t have any other resources,” says Patramai, director of the center Mamaway and her siblings attend. Staff implemented a relief strategy to support the vulnerable families, distributing food, health and hygiene supplies and COVID-19 education.

“With the COVID-19 crisis having a massive effect on our family, they visit us regularly and help us with rice and dried food and utilities that our household needs. I want to thank the project for giving importance to our family and caring for us,” says Nawkey, Mamaway’s mother.

The support is life-changing for a family who has endured so much. “Without the project, I wouldn't have the opportunity to go to school. I wouldn’t have support for nutrition and the encouragement that keeps me joyful,” says Mamaway. “And I want to pray and encourage sponsors and their children that we all will get through this crisis together.”

How can I pray for Thailand?

Pray for Thailand’s leaders as they develop strategies for economic recovery; pray that children’s parents or caregivers will find stable employment.

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