Thailand

ACTED has been present in Thailand since 2013, with a coordination office in Bangkok. In the field, the teams respond to the needs of refugee populations and work to improve their living conditions. ACTED's activities focus, in particular, on learning and vocational training activities as well as on strengthening cross-border cooperation in order to find sustainable solutions for the most vulnerable populations in the country.

Mission context

Despite a notable economic growth in Thailand over the recent years, wealth inequalities are widening and basic services do not always reach rural or remote communities. Thailand is also facing an ongoing conflict between the State and armed groups in the deep-South of the country. Even with a relative stabilization of hostilities in Myanmar’s neighbouring provinces, the country still hosts nearly 100,000 people living in 9 refugee camps along the border. In addition, 90,000 refugees have been resettled to 13 different countries since 2015. Refugees, coming from Myanmar, are mainly Karen (83%), Karenni (10%), and Burmese (4%).

ACTED in Thailand

Since 2013, ACTED has been providing vocational training opportunities for refugees in Ban Mae Nai Soi and Ban Mae Surin to help them rebuild their lives outside the camps. These vocational training courses are complemented by practical learnings, including communication and decision-making skills, as well as counselling and information on the current situation in Myanmar. Refugees also have the opportunity of further improve their skills, gain experience through field internships and to receive support for starting their own businesses inside the camps.

ACTED
Vocational Training students of the Advanced Sewing Course, ACTED’s training center in the Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, Thailand, October 2017

Through an integrated approach, ACTED supports refugees to develop the necessary skills that will allow them to break the aid-dependency patterns, caused by protracted displacement, and to gradually become more independent and autonomous. Many refugees, particularly the youth, have spent most of their lives in the camps, and need to be prepared to face new realities in the prospect for return. In this framework, ACTED also supports cross-border cooperation between Thai and Myanmar authorities, and aims at extending its model of vocational training towards local people from remote and underserved communities.

Current projects

Vocational training to prepare refugees for return

ACTED
Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, 2017
ACTED
ACTED staff and students at ACTED's vocational training centre in Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, Thailand, October 2017
ACTED
Students at ACTED's training centre in Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, Thailand, October 2017
ACTED
Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, 2017
ACTED
Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, 2017
ACTED
ACTED vocational training centre in Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, Thailand, October 2017
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