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Extreme Drought Relief

Extreme Drought Relief



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In search of work, young people travel across the border to Thailand where they run the risk of being exploited by unscrupulous employers or trafficked into slavery, sex work or the drug trade. The health and safety consequences for their home communities when they return home can be considerable. For example, the rates of HIV infection have trebled during the last decade in Champassak province.

TEAR’s partner World Concern is working in seven villages in Dhongtong District in the Champassak province of Laos to reduce the need for young people to travel across the Laos-Thai border in search of work. By creating better opportunities to earn a living at home, by providing more education and opportunities for work the development partnership with World Concern is beginning to bear fruit. More children are attending and completing school, young people are able to stay at home and find work, and there is evidence that HIV rates are slowing.

About Laos

Laos is a small, land-locked country in South-East Asia and is bordered by China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Burma (Myanmar). The total land area is roughly the same size of the state of Victoria.

The population of Laos is approximately 6.7 million people. The official language is Lao - a language similar to Thai. Among younger Lao, English is also being spoken more often.

Most of the population is poor with 33% of the population living on less than $1.25 per day, and 64% living on less than $2 per day.

Life in Dhongtong District, Champassak, Laos

Champassak province is in the south western point of Laos bordering Thailand and Cambodia. In the Dhongtong District of Champassak, it is not uncommon for one or more members of the family to be working away from home – sending money back to support their family.

Whilst it is often adults that cross the border to Thailand in search of work, ambitious and hard working young people are increasingly considering leaving their village to pursue life in Thailand – to support their families and for social reasons. Thai TV shows portray a life of glamour and excitement which they want to experience for themselves.

TEAR’s partner World Concern is helping reduce the ‘push’ factors that contribute to young people leaving their village, and reducing the health and safety risks when they return home.


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