Community Learning Centres
Bridging the opportunity gap in tsunami-affected communities
The opportunity gap
While Thailand’s economy continues to surge, the education and training required for people to take advantage of new economic opportunities often lags behind in rural communities.
Imagine Thailand’s focus in the south has been to bridge this “opportunity gap” so that children and youth in rural communities have access to pursue their future dreams in the same manner as their counterparts in Thailand’s cities.
The 2004 tsunami killed more than 8,000 people in Thailand and injured and displaced thousands more. Imagine Thailand, on behalf of ERDO, played a key role in building homes, income-generating projects, nutritional support and educational support. After the recovery effort was complete and most non-governmental organizations had left, we saw ongoing issues, including depression, gambling and youth involved in risky behavior.
Overall, the hardest-hit communities had lost hope. Parents seemed to lack the ability or motivation to help their children excel at school, and children seemed destined to enter into a descending cycle of diminishing opportunities, poor choices, and poverty. Because of these issues, the community asked for assistance in providing after school support for children. In 2008, the first learning and ministry centre was born in the community of Phru Tiew (Takua Pa).
The Takua Pa learning centre offers tutoring support for students, after-school help, English training and access to the internet--but our work doesn’t end there. The centre provides emotional and spiritual care to children, their families and the community. Staff from the centre also visit the homes of students. This centre continues to be a significant resource for the community.
How to get involved
Imagine Thailand needs donors to help offset the operating costs of the learning centers, fund new centers and sponsor staff to minister to the surrounding communities. To make a donation, visit www.imaginethailand.org/donate/. Send us an email to let us know you’d like to direct your donation to Community Learning Centers. To find out more, or discuss opportunities to raise funds and awareness in your school, church or workplace, contact us.