Thailand is an Asia’s popular vacation spot as well as popular sex tour spot, adhering to liberalism as well as to absolute monarchy, and not being a member of UN refugee convention with tons of refugees. These vulnerable conditions made project members keep thinking and realizing about Asia women’s right.
|Participants learned about sexual exploitation in Thailand, |
while visiting Rahab, a NGO helps women trapped in prostitution in the heart of Patpong Street
They traveled Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Mae-Hong-Son in Thai for 10 days. They visited National YWCA of Thailand, Rahab-helping prostitute women’s rehabilitation-, WEAVE-Women’s Education for Advancement and Empowerment-, UNHCR-UN High Commission for Refugees- and OHCHR-Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights-. They also had discussion session with Tammasat university’s students and Chiang mai YMCA Uni-Y members. The last activity was to visit refugee camp close to Thai-Burma boundary. The activity included traditions interchange, discussion, and cook together with one of the Burmese minority tribe Kayan, so-called Long Neck. In the daytime, they experienced refugee’s life and human right threatening environment in person. And having a reflection time at night, they shared each opinion and feeling they experienced.
|Experienced Culture of Kayan, One of the Ethnic Minorities in Burma|
Participants’ will about doing something for women’s right was getting bigger day by day. Last year participants hosted the bazaar and sold fair trade coffee to make fund for refugees, the result of fund raising was donating laptops to refugee women’s education organization this year. That was not a big step, but quite a fruitful result. We anticipate that this year’s participants will make what kind of step forward.
|With After-School Students at Lamphun YMCA|
As project is running on, not only participants’ thoughts are growing, but also friendship with related organization, workers and volunteers is growing. NGO workers, women in refugee camp, Kayan women - we welcome sincerely each other, share memoirs together regardless of race, color, sex and language. Lastly, we cannot thank you enough to Thai YWCA, Chiang mai YMCA bonding with Y community, all organizations and women we visited and our grand sponsor Sung Joo Foundation, which mainly supported this project over the last 2 years.