Chiang Rai

SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Thailand).

Chiang Rai is a city in the upper northwest of Thailand. Around 200,000 people live in this city, which is developing mainly thanks to agricultural production and the increasing number of tourists visiting the city.

Since 2006, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Chiang Rai.

Of people in the province live in poverty

Children live in poverty

The poverty rate in Thailand has fallen dramatically over the last thirty years. However, in Chiang Rai province, an estimated 5% of the population still lives in poverty, making it one of the poorest provinces in Thailand. This is due to economic and environmental reasons. Northern Thailand has had numerous forest fires in recent years, and about 10% of these fires were in the Chiang Rai region. Forest fires cause health problems and loss of life and devastate communities. They also have a serious economic impact and lead to poverty as properties and businesses, as well as tourism and recreation are destroyed. Children growing up in the region are particularly affected by the consequences of forest fires.

60.000 ha
Of land used for opium cultivation

Illegal cultivation

Chiang Rai is located in the Golden Triangle. This area, where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet, is the second largest opium producer in the world. Around 60,000 hectares of land here are used for opium cultivation, although growing the plant is illegal in Thailand. Nevertheless, it is still cultivated, especially by the poorest, because there is a lack of alternative sources of income. The Thai government and external organisations have set up several programmes to control cultivation and alleviate addiction by helping farmers grow coffee instead. Nevertheless, opium addiction remains a challenge and children are particularly affected.

Your support makes a difference for children in Chiang Rai

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children in our care having fun together. Siblings grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Thailand).

How your support helps in Chiang Rai

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.