Last Updated: 24/09/2020

On Sept. 3, Thailand reported its first locally transmitted COVID-19 case since late May. After testing nearly 600 potentially exposed people, no more new infections were found. The re-emergence of the virus may cause a delay in previously announced plans to reopen beaches and cultural sites to international visitors in October. The government had lifted most restrictions on businesses and services but that could change. Since March, Thailand has reported 3,490 cases and 58 fatalities.

Recently 179 Compassion centers in Thailand were able to reopen with a limited number of children attending and with COVID-19 prevention protocols in place. Several more centers have been approved by the national office to reopen at the end of September. In areas where centers have not been able to open yet, workers are keeping in contact with beneficiaries by phone and occasionally by in-person visits, while maintaining social distancing. Additionally, staff members have developed online resources, including devotionals, for children and families. They have been able to distribute 107,599 food packs and 68,689 hygiene kits to registered children and their families.

A Message From Compassion Thailand’s National Director

Hear from Harry Wathittayakul, National Director of Compassion Thailand, as he shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in Thailand.

Updated: 20/08/2020

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 even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Some centers in Thailand have been able to reopen, while abiding by local guidelines for group sizes and social distancing. Staff members continue to work to virtual programming activity, including videos and livestreams, for the centers that remain closed. They continue to call and check in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 107,599 food packs and 68,689 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, although they are currently delayed. In some communities, staff members have needed to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver. 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?

Join us in praying for those who have been driven deeper into poverty as a result of COVID-19. Pray especially for migrant families, who have no access to any of the relief programs the government has created to assist the citizens of Thailand.

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