COMMUNITY MODEL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

COMMUNITY MODEL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

PROJECT BACKGROUND

In areas along Thailand’s borders, children are growing up in environments that are not conducive to their personal development and are facing issues of social inequality. This was the inception of the “Community Development for the Well-being of Children and Youth in Vulnerable Families in the Northeastern Border Areas” Project or the “Community Model Development” Project. The project started out as research initiated by the Mahidol University Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR) and The Health and Share Foundation (HSF) and is funded by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth).

The initiative aims to pioneer community-level mechanisms to enhance the well-being of children and youth in vulnerable families . It operates under the concept that “children are the community’s responsibility, and should be collectively cared for by all,” or more familiarly, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

PROJECT BACKGROUND

In areas along Thailand’s borders, children are growing up in environments that are not conducive to their personal development and are facing issues of social inequality. This was the inception of the “Community Development for the Well-being of Children and Youth in Vulnerable Families in the Northeastern Border Areas” Project or the “Community Model Development” Project. The project started out as research initiated by the Mahidol University Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR) and The Health and Share Foundation (HSF) and is funded by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth).

The initiative aims to pioneer community-level mechanisms to enhance the well-being of children and youth in vulnerable families . It operates under the concept that “children are the community’s responsibility, and should be collectively cared for by all,” or more familiarly, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

PROJECT SITE

Ubonratchathani Province, Thailand

 

  • Song Khon Subdistrict, Pho Sai District
  • Dom Pradit Subdistrict, Nam Yuen District

TARGET GROUPS

Children & Youths

Vulnerable
Households

Children & Youths

Vulnerable Households

SHAREHOLDERS

Community
Leaders

Schools and
Childcare Centers

Local
Government

Hospitals and
Local Health
Centers

Civil Society and
Family Shelters

Community Leaders

Schools and Childcare Centers

Local Government

Hospitals and Local Health Centers

Civil Society and Family Shelters

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

To develop a model organizational and community-led mechanism for fostering the well-being of children, youth, and families with the potential for scalability.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

Children and youth in vulnerable families in
the two pilot subdistricts engage in
well-being promotion activities.

At least one model organization in each
border subdistrict promoting the
well-being of children and youth in
vulnerable families.

Children and youth in vulnerable families
receive appropriate support, which
empowers them to resolve various issues
effectively and sustainably.

Model organizations operate continuously
and innovatively, generating knowledge
and collaborating efficiently, with the
ability to scale their model to other areas.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES

1. Data Collection

HSF and community leaders surveyed households in the project site, identified all children residing in these villages using mapping tools, and had them complete life capital and happiness assessment forms. The collected data was analyzed and divided into three categories: red (urgent), yellow (at-risk), and green (normal). Community leaders were involved in activity planning.

2. Community-Based Participatory Research (CO-PAR)

The participatory research approach involves community leaders from the outset and fosters a shared sense of responsibility in addressing issues related to children and youths from vulnerable families. Operating under the aforementioned concept, the project is expected to enhance community leaders’ skills in recognizing issues and instill a sense of urgency in addressing them. HSF also encourages community leaders to organize activities and then extract and summarize lessons learned.

3. Community-driven Mechanism in Promoting Child Welfare

The community-driven mechanism consists of local governing bodies, regional state agencies, community leaders, youth leaders, and volunteers, who collaborate to promote, protect, and support children, youth, and families in the community. This includes vocational training, positive family communication training, sex education, task force meetings, case-by-case assistance, home visits, coordination, and referrals, among others.

ACHIEVEMENTS

A working committee for children, youth, and families has been established with a well-defined structure, roles, and primary responsibilities. This committee has collaboratively designed key tasks grounded in ethical principles for child welfare. The committee has also spearheaded initiatives to promote the well-being of children and youth in border areas.

Two subdistrict administrative organizations have set up coordination centers to assist, refer, and support children and youth facing various issues. These centers facilitate access to state welfare or other forms of assistance, such as medical treatment, employment, and education, through a network of collaborators at the subdistrict, district, and provincial levels.

Model organizations have been created to promote the well-being of children and youth in vulnerable families within border areas. Examples include (1) the “Tambon Pokpong Kumkrong Dek” or the “Subdistricts that Protect and Nurture Children” initiative, spearheaded by the two subdistrict administrative organizations; (2) a school program that promotes well-being through initiatives like nutrition education, vegetable gardening, fish farming, mushroom cultivation, life skills, reproductive health, and the establishment of sanitary pad funds; and (3) the establishment of model communities that contribute to creating a friendly, creative, and safe learning environment for children and youth. This includes positive communication training between adults and children, social enterprises to keep youth occupied in positive activities, skills training, profit reinvestment in the community, and healthcare activities for the elderly, monitored closely by community caregivers.

The activities of this project have fostered community participation and engagement from related local agencies. This has resulted in an ecosystem that ensures vulnerable children, youth, and families are protected, cared for, and have their well-being and quality of life promoted.

A working committee for children, youth, and families has been established with a well-defined structure, roles, and primary responsibilities. This committee has collaboratively designed key tasks grounded in ethical principles for child welfare. The committee has also spearheaded initiatives to promote the well-being of children and youth in border areas.

Two subdistrict administrative organizations have set up coordination centers to assist, refer, and support children and youth facing various issues. These centers facilitate access to state welfare or other forms of assistance, such as medical treatment, employment, and education, through a network of collaborators at the subdistrict, district, and provincial levels.

Model organizations have been created to promote the well-being of children and youth in vulnerable families within border areas. Examples include (1) the “Tambon Pokpong Kumkrong Dek” or the “Subdistricts that Protect and Nurture Children” initiative, spearheaded by the two subdistrict administrative organizations; (2) a school program that promotes well-being through initiatives like nutrition education, vegetable gardening, fish farming, mushroom cultivation, life skills, reproductive health, and the establishment of sanitary pad funds; and (3) the establishment of model communities that contribute to creating a friendly, creative, and safe learning environment for children and youth. This includes positive communication training between adults and children, social enterprises to keep youth occupied in positive activities, skills training, profit reinvestment in the community, and healthcare activities for the elderly, monitored closely by community caregivers.

The activities of this project have fostered community participation and engagement from related local agencies. This has resulted in an ecosystem that ensures vulnerable children, youth, and families are protected, cared for, and have their well-being and quality of life promoted.

Community Child Protection Mechanism: The
subdistrict child and youth coordination center
serves as the main mechanism for coordinating
agencies and fostering seamless
community-based child care and support.

Well-being School Model: Ban Don Chad
School in Song Khon Subdistrict and Ban Nong
Khon School of Dom Pradit Subdistrict
organized activities for parents and their
children to strengthen family bonds, promote
good health and well-being, and support
families to grow home gardens for food security
and improved child nutrition.

“Positive Family Communication Model”:
Local communities encourage positive
communication between parents and their
children through group discussions
involving parents and their children.

Model Community the “Excellent Song
Kon”:
This effort promotes the welfare of
young children through cross-sectoral
collaboration, organizing learning areas
that focus on the development of children
through “Hug, Eat, Play, Tell” activities.

Buddy Home Care for Elderly Health: This
is a collaborative effort between the
community and schools to prepare the
community for an aging society. Teachers
and community caregivers provide training
on senior care to students. Closely guided
by caregivers, these children pair up to visit
and take care of the elderly at home.