SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Thailand).

Nongkhai is a city in the northeast of Thailand, next to the border with Laos. Around 50,000 people live in this city, which attracts many tourists for its relaxed lifestyle and idyllic scenery next to the Mekong River. Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is only 20 kilometers away. This proximity boosts Nongkhai’s economy, while also enabling the trafficking of drugs and humans.Adults and children in particular are targeted by the criminal industry. They are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour. In addition, many girls in the region are still victims of child marriage. .

Since 1994, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Nongkhai.

Of girls were married as children

Child marriage

Thailand records a high number of child marriages. In Nongkhai, 23% of women aged 20-24 were married before the age of 18. Child marriage is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The emotional and physical damage a child suffers from a forced marriage is profound. There is also an increased risk of child pregnancy and domestic violence. Child marriages are widespread due to gender inequality and the belief that women and girls are inferior to men and boys. The national goal to end child marriage by 2030 requires a strong push from the government.

Cases of people being trafficked into Thailand

Children are victims of trafficking

Nongkhai is only 20 kilometres from the border with Laos and its capital Vientiane. This favours economic prosperity, but also drug and human trafficking. The main purposes of human trafficking in Thailand are prostitution, forced labour and forced begging. About 100 cases are reported each year, although the actual number is estimated to be higher. Taxi drivers in Nongkhai have been asked to assist in the anti-trafficking mission by reporting suspicious behaviour and conducting passport controls. Children from Laos are also victims of trafficking: they are brought to Thailand to be commercially sexually exploited, to sell and beg on the streets of big cities or to work as domestic servants.

Your support makes a difference for children in Nongkhai

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children in our care helping each other learn. Siblings grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Thailand).

How your support helps in Nongkhai

Strengthening vulnerable families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.