Thailand, the only Asian country not to have been occupied by a European power, has suffered from ongoing internal tensions associated with a political movement led by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD). Its economy, which boomed in the '80s and '90s then crumbled amidst a recession that hit the entire region, making many otherwise untrained staff unemployed.
Ethnic fighting near its southern border has claimed thousands of lives, unemployment is high, and foreign investment is low. Thailand has a big problem with sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, which is exacerbated by its massive sex industry. Over 800,000 people – including around 200,000 children – are currently employed in the sex trade.
The people of Thailand are in great need of the life-changing hope that child sponsorship can bring to their families and communities. You can sponsor a child in Thailand through ActionAid, one of the world's leading relief and development agencies. They have developed a child sponsorship scheme which links people in more affluent countries with individual children in developing countries around the world.
In conjunction with partner organisations, ActionAid has worked with communities in Thailand since 1990 to improve access to basic sanitation, health and education facilities. It supports micro-finance companies that make small loans and credit available to business start-ups, and helps to liberate farmers from dependence upon expensive foreign technologies and chemicals.
It works to mobilise public support for sustainable development, and in conjunction partner organisations, lobbies government on behalf of Thailand's poorest. A core component of their agenda is to prompt a reform of food rights. Also, at times of natural disaster, such as the tsunami of Christmas 2004, ActionAid has been on hand to provide emergency relief.
In the 37 years since its inception, ActionAid has reached many millions people in Africa, Asia and the Americas, and it has developed a wealth of expertise in fighting poverty. The charity partners with local organisations and recognises the need to work with communities on their own terms, and not impose solutions. By getting to know the culture intimately ActionAid workers have the best possible opportunity to affect a lasting end to poverty.
Sponsoring a child in Thailand today will cost you only 50 pence per day. Your money will also go towards development efforts in the town in which the child you sponsor lives. This will ensure the most efficient and effective use of your money.
As a child sponsor you will be able arrange a personal visit with your child and to communicate with them. You can also look forward to receiving special letters and drawings, including a new photograph every two years. Additionally, you get to see where and how your money is being spent by keeping in touch with your child's local ActionAid office, and through regular editions of Common Cause, ActionAid's newsletter.
You may also like to consider sponsoring a child through the following trusted agencies:
Sponsor a child with World Vision