On June 26, we visited two of our scholars’ families in Pai to follow up on their living conditions and discuss with their parents the plans on sending their kids to boarding school for the next academic year.
Khamsai’s family has four members, she lives together with her parents and one younger sister in a small house where their generous employer lets them reside and use that small piece of land for free. Nevertheless, her parents still find it hard to make an efficient income to support the family, especially after the outbreak of COVID-19. On numerous occasions, the stress and tension caused by low income and debt lead to serious arguments between parents. Such circumstance not only affects the relationship of family members but also causes mental health problems and lead to poor performance of the kids in school.
After we had a chance to openly talk to her parents, we eventually discovered the main causes of their low income. Her parents are uneducated, unskilled, and living in Thailand under the status of stateless persons which means they have limited rights to occupation, healthcare, welfare, and so on under Thai laws. Even if they are willing to accept any kind of work many employers refuse to hire them because of several limitations mentioned earlier. Hence, their main source of income relies on seasonal work in the agriculture sector only.
Khamsai is currently studying in grade 8 in a government school. She holds a stateless ID card with the chance of acquiring Thai citizenship through naturalization once she completes her higher education. Fortunately, her parents have agreed to let her attend boarding school in other provinces and to continue in higher education as long as there is financial support from our organization or if her parents can afford the expenses themselves in the future. Otherwise, her parents might need to stop her from going to high school and ask her to find a job to help the family generate more income instead.
The second family, Au’s family has almost the same living conditions and difficulties but with fewer arguments between parents. Au is living with her parents and one younger brother. She is currently studying in grade 7 the same school as Khamsai. She was classified as a Code G student which is a large group of students in Thailand that have no civil documentation. We have already provided her parents with the solution to solving this problem. As we believe better education can improve her life and with the consent of her parents, we have planned to send her together with Khamsai to one of the best boarding schools in Chiang Mai province in the next academic year.