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

Hatyai is a city in the very south of Thailand. Around 150,000 people live in this city, which is known for its Buddha statues, shopping, markets and parks. Chinese, Thais and Malays live in the area, which makes it an ethically diverse region - but also leads to conflicts.For several decades, there has been a separatist insurgency in the southern provinces that has claimed thousands of lives and injured many more. Children are particularly affected by the consequences of this conflict and the tradition of child marriage prevalent in the region.

Since 1988, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Hatyai.

Of girls were married as children

Girls are victim of child marriage

Thailand records a high number of child marriages. In fact, 23% of women aged 20-24 were married for the first time before the age of 18. Child marriage is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The emotional and physical harm a child suffers from a forced marriage is profound. Specifically in Songhkla, where Hatyai is located, 18% of women were married off as children. Child marriages are widespread due to gender inequality and the belief that girls are inferior to boys. The national goal to end child marriage by 2030 requires a strong push from the government.

People have lost their lives due to conflict

Violence in the southern provinces

Southern Thailand, where Hatyai is located, has been plagued by violence since the beginning of the millennium. The conflict is an ethnic and religious separatist insurgency between Malays and Thais, involving drug cartels and oil smuggling networks. It stems from the complex historical relationship between a Buddhist nation and its predominantly Muslim southern provinces. Since the conflict began, some 6,000 people have died and 11,000 more have been injured, with 90% of the victims being civilians. There have been many attempts at reconciliation, but so far they have failed. The conflict, which is one of the most intense in South Asia, is particularly devastating for children, who are even more vulnerable in these volatile living conditions.

Your support makes a difference for children in Hatyai

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
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 gardening 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 Hatyai

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.