Over 200 Rohingya children have suffered untold traumatic experiences as they fled persecution with their families from Myanmar, hoping to get to a better place.
Jessica Kay, International Programmes Manager, visited the Surat Thani Refugee Camp, one of four refugee camps supported by our donors. This is what she saw.
After being trafficked across the sea and through the jungle, some have been separated from their families. They now live in four refugee shelters. Their future is uncertain as the Thai authorities coordinate with other countries to sift through each child's individual situation, and that's why your support is vital to protect them from further exploitation.
"The director of this shelter has really pushed for ensuring normality for the children where possible. She has recently gained acceptance for them to attend the local school for a few hours each day so they can begin to integrate.
"She was so proud to see them smiling and laughing with other Thai children and getting the chance to learn. I was blown away by how these children are learning to speak not only Thai (to
help them interact with the other children) but also English (to help prepare them for resettlement in America).
"The pride they had in wearing their new school uniforms was so cute to see, they were all so clean and tidy. Most of the children were still learning how to tie their shoe laces, since closed shoes
were something completely new to them.
"I was told that it was a very emotional experience for the mothers to see their children learning, given that most of them are illiterate.
"Our supporters are working to keep trafficked children safe by enabling us to fund training in child protection, from teachers and counsellors to drivers and shelter directors. That means
teaching them how to recognise threats to the children, report incidents correctly, and how to interact with them in a calm and positive way."