On Monday, 11th of May, DEPDC’s three current volunteers at Mae Sai went on a trip to visit DEPDC’s Mekong Regional Indigenous Child Rights Home (MRICRH) in Mae Chan. This site consists of two different safe shelters in the vicinity of Mae Chan, the Swimming Home and Ban Klang Na Shelter. The Swimming Home is DEPDC’s shelter for younger children who are at very-high-risk, and Ban Klang Na Shelter serves as a safe place to live for rescued victims of human trafficking and exploitation while their reintegration and in some cases repatriation is organized.
The Swimming Home at the moment accommodates 13 children, between 4 years and 12 years of age. Until 18th May these children have school holidays and DEPDC is very happy that about ⅔ of them could spend some time with their parents or relatives over the holidays, as it was deemed safe enough. Only four were not so lucky and had to stay at the shelter for the school holidays. The volunteers from Mae Sai spent an afternoon with the kids and MRICRH’s staff playing and having a lot of fun.
As well as the services provided to the children staying at the shelter, the Swimming Home also provides non-residential services to three more children from the village around the shelter. These children live with their own families and will only receive the necessary support that enables them to attend school.
Ban Klang Na Shelter now accommodates only two young women after DEPDC finally managed to make a return back home possible from one young woman from Myanmar’s Shan State. The story of this woman is a good example for the ordeals victims of human trafficking face, even after they have been rescued.
The woman was brought to Thailand when she was 13 years old and was rescued two years later. From that day, it was another five years until she finally could return back to the Shan State. She stayed one year at a Thai government’s shelter before she had to leave the shelter and was taken in by DEPDC. She lived at the Swimming Home for two years and at the Ban Klang Na Shelter for another 2 two years until DEPDC could finally come to an agreement with the authorities at the Shan State and bring her back home. We are delighted to say that she could finally return and we wish her all the best for her future.