Our goal was to set up a Children’s Village which could accommodate up to 100 orphaned and children in need. Our aim was to provide an atmosphere for the children which would be as close as possible to a normal family life. One of our priorities was to give the children a good education that would enable them a better future as they grew into adulthood.
Our project was to build a Children’s Village based on the concept of the SOS Kinderdorf (Children’s Village), first introduced by the Austrian Hermann Gmeiner in the small Tyrolean town of Imst in 1949. A Children’s Village revolves around the desire to give children, who are either orphaned or who are no longer able to live with their natural parents, a stable environment.
The Village focuses on family-based, long-term care of children. The children will experience reliable relationships and love once again, meaning that they can recover from what they have experienced, which has often been traumatic. They grow up in a stable family environment, and are supported individually until they become independent young adults or until the family situation improves drastically.
We assist our children to achieve a better future through developing their social skills, knowledge about Thai society and culture, teaching them about family values and responsibilities. An upbringing in a loving family-like environment with a nutritious diet and good health care are the most important aspects to ensure a better future for these children. The concept is based on four main aspects:
- Every child needs the care of a parent who establishes a close relationship with each child.
- The children grow up in a family with girls and boys of different ages as their siblings.
- The family is part of a community that functions as a support system.
- Biological siblings are not separated if possible and if this is in the children’s best interests.
We sometimes are mistakenly referred to as an “Orphanage”.
However we would like to correct that assumption. We are actually a “Foster Home For Children In Need” as most of our children still have some family. The children are with us because their own family are currently unable to take care of them properly.
For those children who have no safe options to live with relatives the Phuket Sunshine Village Foundation provides short-term and long-term family-based foster care guided by the principals of the Child protection laws of Thailand. All the children in our care are living in a family environment within the Phuket Sunshine Village.
Many families who are living in poverty entrust their children into the care of various institutions, believing it will lead to a path out of poverty. However, institutionalization can have long-term and sometimes irreversible negative effects on a child’s development.
Our staff at the Phuket Sunshine Village are regularly checking on the Children’s families and we are highly committed to help bring the Children back to their remaining Family and enable the Children to experience a normal Family life in a safe and caring environment.
As long this is not the case, the (remaining) family of the children in our care can regularly visit the children at the village and if appropriate we do allow the child to stay with the family over the weekend.