September 6, 2012
With the combined generous efforts of the Vancouver Circus School in Canada (providing 4 professional trainers, one coordinator and donating over $2,000 US of equipment), Circus Action International, Child Protection and Development Center and Viva Circus, a pilot Acrobatic and Hip Hop program for the at risk and vulnerable children opening in October with the goal to continue afterwards creating a permanent center for arts, acrobatics, sports, dance, circus and street arts.
CIRCUS ACTION INTERNATIONAL coordinates with VIVA CIRCUS and is currently a network of teachers, programs and companies using performing arts, Hip Hop and acrobatics as an educational tool or simply a way to build confidence and resolve feelings of isolation and abandonment in youth cornered by complex problems such as human trafficking, war, AIDS/HIV, poverty and political corruption. Since initiating this first project in Thailand in September 2008, the current network now spans from Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam while seeking teachers, equipment and resources from Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and USA.
Child Protection and Development Center (CPDC): The Problem
Despite extensive national and international efforts to combat child trafficking, Thailand remains a destination for child migrants, many of whom enter the sex tourism industry. Reliable statistics are rare but figures state that there are approximate 20,000 to 25,000 homeless children wandering the streets of Thailand, many of them being victims of child trafficking within South East Asia. Children search for work, migrating from Thailand’s poor northeast provinces or Cambodia, Burma, Laos and Vietnam to the metropolitan areas around Bangkok. Many of them find themselves on a path ultimately leading to prostitution or crime.
The CPDC provides a safe residence for children who choose this option, with prior screening at the Drop-in Center. Street children and victims of sexual abuse, as well as children at risk of sexual abuse are offered safe shelter. They are also offered counseling, the opportunity to regain their childhood and, eventually, be reintegrated into school, their families and communities.
The journey from the streets to the CPDC always happens on a voluntarily basis and takes place when the child has decided to leave the street and live in a structured and safe environment. The role of CPDC’s social workers is to accompany each street child in the process of self-rehabilitation.
The CPDC is located on the outskirts of the town of Pattaya, this helps to insulate the children from the dangers that they are exposed to on the street. The seven acre site is in a semi-rural area allowing the children more room to breathe and be at ease.The project currently consists of six residential houses separated by gender, each housing eight children and a supervisor; a site office; a nursery; and some farm land, including a newly built mushroom farm and aquaculture facilities. Just completed are the Shower Block, the Dining Sala, the Education Center (including classrooms and a library) and a basketball court.
Filed under: Fun Stuff