CHIANGMAI, 7 JUNE 2019 – Guests in black suits, uniformed police officials, government officials, and cars lining the road. A first glance suggests a traditional ceremony with prominent and important guests. However this was anything but traditional or conventional.
Situated in Hangdong district and spanning an area of 6,200sqm, this modern-looking complex is RADION International’s newly built Child Development Centre, a recovery centre for child victims and children from high-risk backgrounds.
The first phase of the development features a 2-story housing cluster together with a multi-purpose hall, costing 12.5 million baht (S$543,478) to complete. The centre is the first of its kind – helping to strengthen social safety nets in vulnerable communities, while providing dedicated treatment and care to critically needy child survivors.
CHILDREN MOST VULNERABLE
“Children are often the most vulnerable in any form of crisis as they are heavily dependent on adults for care and protection. For many of the children on our programme, the world has thrown the worst at them – and have endured what no child should ever have to go through. This can be changed, by better equipping families to protect themselves and care for their children.” said Ms Kanokrat Suebsakwong, Head of Special Projects and Social Worker, RADION International
One in six women have experienced domestic and sexual violence, according to a recent research in Thailand, where over 24,000 women were surveyed. The actual figure however, is believed to be higher than reported. Children from these families are also significantly more at risk, with many cases going unreported due to trauma and a lack of support structures.
“Child abuse, neglect and violence is a real challenge. What makes it harder is that the most vulnerable are children, living in under-served areas, falling through the gaps of society. We are grateful to organisations like Radion that play a critical role in not just closing these gaps, but also ensuring that the ones most at risk are being reached.” said Ms Wimonrat Lordkhem, Senior Permanent Secretary Hang Dong District.
A RARE GUEST OF HONOUR
In a refreshing change from the usual protocol, the invited Guest of Honour for the opening ceremony was Ms Panisara, a 14 year old beneficiary who has been on the StreetKIDS program for the last 4 years. Miss Panisara presented the gifts of appreciation to the senior guests and took center stage in officially opening the Child Development Center.
In her interview, Ms Panisara commented “I’m still overwhelmed by this moment and to be given this privilege of representing my peers. It means a lot to me, to know there are so many people supporting us.”
“Opening ceremonies across the world have always revolved around a Guest of Honour – often the most important person in the event. Central to our heartbeat, we believe that the most important people to any charity, ought to be the ones we serve. Thus we opted to take a different approach, and support one of our child beneficiaries to take the most prominent role as the Guest of Honour. Reflecting the true intent and purpose of what RADION is truly about – that even the smallest life matters.” said Mr Eugene Wee, Founder and Executive Director of RADION International.
About RADION International
RADION International Foundation is a Christian relief & development organisation that is dedicated to serving vulnerable and needy communities.
It is an award winning organisation in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC), serving more than 7,000 people annually across 3 countries.
About StreetKIDS Programme
RADION’s StreetKIDS programme is a rescue and recovery programme for child survivors of violence and children from high risk families. This programme was started in 2009 and has since served hundreds of children in Thailand.