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25 Years of Shaping Young Lives

Background

            Foundation for Child Development (FCD.) established in 1982 from the child working group namely The Project for the Little Hungry (established in December 1979), The Mass Communication for Children Promotion Project (established on 3 February, 1980) and Child Labour Center

(established on 20 November, 1979) to operate the child development for the most benefit of especially the underprivileged children and the children in the crisis situation. The objective through 25 years operation focuses on 4 target children groups namely the children in the rural area (The Project for the Little Hungry), the child affected by from media (The Mass Communication for Children Promotion Project), the child labour (The Child Labour Project) and the children in the big city (The Family and Community Development Project).

 

Working Route     

            Foundation for Child Development (FCD.) is a Thai non-governmental organization that aims to assist the underprivileged children both emergency assistance and focus on the deep operation through the development process for the children, family and community as well as promote the child development concept to the society for the wide result.

            ? The development process comprises training, capacity building, knowledge providing namely child development, mother and children hygiene, child rights, core child and youth, reproductive health, play for life, etc.

            ? The participation mobilization from every part namely the child target group, fathers and mothers, parents, villages, local and relevant agencies, donors, funding agencies, government, education institute and media.

            ? The child problem promotion to raise social awareness and push the government policy for the child protection and development.

            ? The academic operation receives the participation from the academic persons in the educational institute to study and research the problem, working experience summary for the model or manual, child development document production and the study center for the students and child worker national and international level

The Village Children Development Work by the Project for the Little Hungry

 

The project first aimed to help solve the problems regarding hunger and malnutrition in children as the idea of the right to nutrition has long been a history of concern especially amongst children. The project then took a further step by selecting regions with high malnutrition rate then promoting each village to increase food production for children through Farmland Projects within schools and the village itself, providing knowledge on sanitation and hygiene for mother and child, opportunities for suitable job for children to earn and develop their social skills, support educational funds, as well as setting up the ?Community Mechanism for Child Protection? for volunteer groups within the area. In the present time, these people continue to work for the village children ? hoping to achieve a better standard for the children who would soon be the future of the society. In addition, the foundation still keeps a close watch over situations concerning village children as well as expands the network in order to help children in the crisis situation such as the tsunami affected children in the north-eastern part and violence affected in the 3 far most southern provinces of Thailand.

In the year 2006, 8,131 children from 8 different states (Sri Saket, Bureerum, Srakeaw, Cha Cheongsoa, Mahasarakham, Pattanee, Yala and Narathiwas) received help from the project.

The Media Development Work by the Mass Media for Children Promotion Project

From starting off with Mass Media for Children Promotion Group in year 1980, which later developed into Mass Media for Children Promotion Project in year 1982. The project has kept a close watch over the situations concerning problems caused by the media and has presented the issue towards the society and organizations in charged in order to improve the media to a befitting level, promoting a get together amongst the child and parents to screen out what is not suitable but encourage ?Mass Media For Educational Purpose? instead for the whole family so they could choose what is appropriate or inappropriate from the media, to work and co-operate with the Mass Media Network for Children to encourage the government?s policy of ?Eliminating Bad and Harmful Media while Spreading Good and Educational Media? by checking the audience rating towards the program and by  supporting funds for children?s media, etc.

At the present, there are several works that have been socially accepted and is currently financially supported by The Thai Health Promotion Foundation to operate the Mass Media for Children.

The Child Labour Development Work by the Child Labour Project

 

Past experiences from working with issues concerning child labour since year 1981 has developed The Foundation for Child Development into an organization which has been accepted nationally and internationally. Every year, the foundation still receives notification and would provide help for children suffering from harsh, cruel work which they might have been forced into by rehabilitating them and repatriating them to their hometown. Group of child workers that could be reached by The Foundation for Child Development team-workers, they would be able to develop their skills ? by providing them with a home-school where knowledge, skill training and creating more volunteer group to work with the children labourers to do case studies on problems regarding child labour in order to publicize and push for laws to protect child labourers, providing them with the basic needs and enforcing laws to protect foreign child labourers.

In the year 2006, a number of 409 child laborers were violated but were successfully helped by the Child Labour Project; 17 of which were Thai children while the other 393 were foreign child labourers. In addition, 428 both Thai and foreign child labourers received the opportunity to develop their potentials where 300 were Thai children, 128 foreign children and 210 children who are at risk.

 

The Children and Community Development Work by the Family and Community Development Project

 

Starting from a Get-To-Know Camp Project in year 1986; its aim was to create activities that would develop the children physically and mentally. From then on, they started working in order to develop the children from the foundation and several other Detention Centers and slum children. They set up activities such as the Get-To-Know Camp Project for slum children, as well as trying to enforce activities that would develop them and where they can choose and learn according to their own interest until the foundation became well known for children?s development center which expanded into several other organizations for children. Another important element towards the developing aspect is to promote volunteer work amongst children and community people in order to fully develop these children, by having the support from the local networks to build up a strong and self reliant community. The work area has also expanded from Duang Kae Temple community, Hua Lum Phong into several other communities within Bangkok and Samutprakarn areas, summing up of 7 communities at the recent time.

In the year 2006, a number of 5,000 children from Bangkok and Sumutprakarn areas received help from the foundation, having 140 numbers of young volunteers, children and people within the community.

 

Lessons Learnt From the 25 Years of Journey

 

The experience from working with children?s development projects for 25 consecutive years, The Foundation for Child Development has learnt and established several other related projects which aim to provide help and protect young underprivileged children. The foundation and with the help of other related organizations who tries to offer help by digging deep into the roots and seeing the real cause of the problem; they use strategies such as encouraging skill training amongst children, families and communities, and by enforcing laws. Studies on such issue of using related knowledge learnt earlier to use within the work will lead to success in work area related to the following:


Mechanism to Protect Community Children

 

Work in different communities in both rural and urban areas by The Foundation for Child Development has promoted ?Mechanism to Protect Community Children? by encouraging     co-operation amongst the community to help keep track and offer help towards developing community children. Systems of children and community volunteer network and local network are set up; arranging activities such as seminar, camp, case studies and getting involved in stage shows which will help develop volunteer potentials. 


Ways to help the children reach the government?s services or any other child development?s help is through the volunteer group who works within the rural areas in 4 groups. There are 2 groups in Bangkok area uses teacher?s mechanism while 7 other volunteer groups work in rural areas ? currently with 200 members who work and offer help to children with problems such as malnutrition, handicapped, neglected from their family members, abused and other social problems. Some volunteer group who are strong and determined enough would provide further while having staffs from The Foundation for Child Development to consult and give advice.


Child Labour Club

Child Labour Club was set up to be a center point of child labour who moved into the city to connect the relationship amongst each child labourers and amongst staffs. It is the learning and information center which could be beneficial towards child labourers. Activities are also set up to encourage child?s development towards learning life skills, hygiene, laws and the rights that they should receive ? they also provide health check-ups, visit members at their training center for certainty, give advices and solutions towards child labor. In addition, entertaining activities, libraries are used to help relax while savings group set-ups ? financial support are educational purpose are given to children with good and outstanding behaviors. Newsletters and radio program which is on air every Sunday from 9:00am-10:00am at FM 92.5 MHz and AM 819 MHz are also used to run this program. Volunteer groups for child labour project are in charged of taking care and being a staff for this program which is still running to provide help until today with about 350 members, where 300 are Thai child laborers and the other 50 are foreign child labourers.

Children & Youth Power

Children and youth power group is considered to be one of mechanism to work and provide help towards children within schools and communities. They promote activities that would be beneficial towards their development, encouraging them to be kind-hearted, helping the unfortunates, friends, and the society which will lead to a caring community network ? the cooperation and work commitment between children from schools and outside; such activities include friends helping friends in school, radio service amongst community, growing bio-vegetables and making local sweets together.

Child?s Rights

Reinforce them to be aware of the fundamental rights that each child should receive from adults to create awareness and understanding towards the problems regarding child labor who are often violated in order to provide help and protect the child?s rights where the child would be able to gain their rights, to express their ideas and to be able to really take part in activities set up (Thailand has signed the convention on Child?s Rights which has been enforced and used in Thailand since 26 April 1992) Between the years 2001-2005, The Foundation for Child Development set up a seminar on ?Volunteer Group to Protect Child?s Rights? cooperating with the UNICEF and Office of Welfare, Protection and Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups in the northeastern part of Thailand which are the provinces of Burirum and Srisaket ? provided with help from those who have been trained, truly concerned about child?s rights and want to help gain the rights every child should get; these group of people consist of community leaders, teachers, village heads and several other volunteer members. 

Play for Life and Activities For Child?s Development

From doing several activities for children, which has led to a creation of an activity called ?play for life project? ? this kind of activity creates an atmosphere for learning, promote development without needing an expensive toy but to adapt from the things you currently have. Even though Duang Kae Center?s playground is partially designed by children, it was able to receive an outstanding award for playground?s design from International Association for the Child?s Right to Play in the year 1981.

From all the experiences shared, a book ?Handbook of Play for Life? has been published to spread the idea of creativity in arranging play areas for children, along with being lecturing on ?Play Workers? to Child Care-Takers and those who are interested. At the present time, The Foundation for Child Development has 2 Play Centers at Duang Kae Center, Bangkok and Sunti Kam Center; Samutprakarn opened for children to learn and is also a creative sample play area of children for the public and those interested. 




By: Miss Uthaiwan Thongyen

Volunteer, the Campaign & Information Dissemination Department

Foundation for Child Development (FCD.)

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