Connecting our students with mentors has played a large role in the success of our scholarship programs. Every child, no matter where they live, has a dream. They have unique talents, and they face obstacles—some are bigger than others. Connecting our students with mentors means they have a positive role model, a person to check in with to discuss goals, problems, and receive encouragement.
With a diverse group of students (migrant, Thai, and hill tribe), obstacles can vary. Mentoring, at its core, lets them know that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter.
In addition to mentorship, students in our program also receive tutoring and homework help; we connect youth to opportunities, like internships and supplemental scholarships; we meet with teachers to make sure our students do well in school and give college advice to our youth.
Care is not a one size fits all thing. With individualized care, we provide our students with the resources needed to overcome whatever obstacles lay ahead. This is what makes our scholarship program unique.
Throughout Bangkok and Northern Thailand, our students are enrolled in international schools, government schools, or village schools. Students receive access to extracurricular activities, tutoring, and homework help; youth are connected to internships, supplemental-scholarships, and receive college advice.
There are an estimated 8,000 refugees living in Bangkok, which represent countries such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Uganda, Somalia, etc. Refugees come to Thailand because tourist visas are affordable, and there is a United Nations (UNHCR) office. Unfortunately, regardless of services available to refugees who come for assistance, Thailand does not recognize their status: this means families are either living quietly on overstayed visas or detained until they are either returned to their home country or resettled.
In collaboration with other organizations, our team regularly visits detained refugees in detention. In addition to making weekly visits, our team regularly delivers donations to families in need -such as food, clothing, toys, and diapers, etc.
Currently, CLF is committed to supporting 43 under-resourced families (140 members) with weekly encounters, monthly food donations, and educational materials for children and youth. In 2021, we made 186 food deliveries, 625 encounters, and provided 52 children and youth with educational materials to help prevent learning deficits while not enrolled in school.