At the beginning of 2022 the Hub was still suffering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During March and April staff observed a drop off in children using the service as many homeless youths were infected with Covid. The Hub provided access to free ATK tests for those children suspected of having an infection. Between January and June, 39 regular service users recorded positive tests. One reason for this is a low vaccination rate- the Hub’s research showed that only 30% of children they gave assistance to had been vaccinated. The main reason being that youths were unable to access register for the vaccine due to technology and paperwork problems.
Children in street situations often have no way to isolate themselves, or don’t have enough money for effective prevention or treatments, resulting in outbreaks amongst the homeless population. The Hub helped to mitigate this situation by distributing an average of 45 Covid-19 Survival Bags per month and additional consumables, ATK tests, masks, medicines and health and financial assistance.
In the first half of 2022, children mostly used three services at the Hub: Daily meals, education and registration for classes/exams, and participating in life skills development activities. The Hub also provides career support for children who have committed to a full-time job by giving small grants between 1500-4000 baht per month to improve their living situation.
The Hub staff have observed that sexual exploitation has shifted online, often in exchange for drugs and accommodation. The Hub and related agencies are constantly trying to help resolve this serious issue and encourage youths to take a different path. This isn’t easy as the gangs exploiting the children offer lucrative promises.
The Hub relies on donations to continue its work providing harm reduction for homeless children. We have recently launched a GlobalGiving campaign to give direct support to 200 youths who use our services. Please help to keep the Hub running and donate here https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/support-for-200-homeless-youths-in-bangkok/