This month the Education & Identity program, in collaboration with other Rights for All (RFA) programs, held a 2-day youth camp for migrant students in Mae Sot. Youth camps are held once a year in both Chiang Mai and Mae Sot to bring together migrant students on MAP scholarships and share knowledge with the community. Thirty-five students joined this month’s Mae Sot Youth Camp, with youth ranging from 13 to 18 years of age. The students participated in sessions on sexual health, fire safety and identification documents in Thailand. MAP staff provided lunch and snacks for the students, in addition to plenty of community building games to keep the workshops lively and fun!
The topics covered in these workshops empower youth in the community with knowledge on their rights at a young age. Migrant youth in Thailand, exposed to Thai society as children, can serve as cultural and linguistic translators for their parents and communities—a powerful and immense responsibility. The sexual health and fire safety sessions aim to ensure that these students know how they can protect themselves and others from HIV/AIDS and/or STIs, as well as how they can prevent and respond to fire emergencies in their homes, schools and communities. The session on identification documents in Thailand specifically addresses how to register newborn babies born at home in Thai hospitals—important for ensuring a child’s access to social services, schools and other forms of documentation in the future. Many of the Youth Camp participants belong to young families, for whom this information could be useful. The hope is that this knowledge, presented in the form of a safe and engaging youth camp, will benefit these students and be shared with the larger community.
In addition to organizing Youth Camps, the Education & Identity program provides scholarship support to 475 migrant youths in Thailand, and hosts migrant youth exchanges on migrant identification cards in Chiang Mai. The program also collaborates with MAP radio to provide weekly broadcasting on how to apply for appropriate identification cards in Thailand—which a migrant student must possess in order to continue their education past grade 9. MAP’s Education & Identity programming works to foster the energy, curiosity and potential reticent in all youth it collaborates with. Events such as the Mae Sot Youth Camp are a reflection of the program’s strong belief that equipping migrant youth with the tools they need to navigate life in Thailand sends ripples out to the community at large.
MAP staff and Mae Sot Youth Camp participants.
MAP staff and youth learning about the elements of fire and how to extinguish fire.
Youth participating in bonding activities at the Mae Sot Youth Camp.