I am visiting a project situated a four-hour drive from the provincial town of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. The area is known as the Golden Triangle and the major sources of income in the region are drug trade and trafficking. We drive along the winding, vertiginous mountain roads to the border area of Burma. Here, Childhood supports a small but very committed organization. The organization works near the huge orange plantation where illegal migrants work. The place seems quite inaccessible and it is hard to understand how the children who live there get to school or to the hospital. Actually, they rarely do. The children rarely speak Thai and they are afraid of being deported if they get in contact with authorities.
This is my first visit to Thailand and I cannot help but marvel at both the project and the organization. The projects we support actually reach out to the poorest and most vulnerable children in the most inaccessible areas. I marvel at the fact that a small organization as APCYF (Association for Protection of Children Youth and Families) works so professionally and with such a well-thought-out strategy to allow the plantation workers and the children themselves define what is important to them and how to find strategies to improve their lives in a way that lasts longer than the time Childhood is supporting the project.