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A Beautiful Partnership IDES & Rapha House serve together in thailand

The story begins in the conflict-worn country of Myanmar.

Better known as Burma, the country shares borders with China, India, Laos, Bangladesh, and Thailand. The population is estimated at over 55.1 million people. The majority of people are Buddhist (88%), with very small minorities of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Animists.

Dating as far back as 1824, when it was still part of British India, Myanmar has suffered from internal conflict including both political and violent clashes. After three separate wars over the course of 62 years, Myanmar gained its independence from Great Britain in 1947.

Ever since then, violence has been nearly constant between national government armies, state-based militias, and minority factions. Unfortunately, families just like yours are caught in the crossfire, and in some ethno-religious conflicts, directly targeted such as the Rohingya Muslim minority that has been brutally persecuted by the Myanmar government for several years now.

The violence and brutality have forced thousands of families to flee their homes in search of refuge. Many have settled just over the borders of Bangladesh and Thailand in make-shift villages.

Some estimate that nearly 3 million Burmese refugees have settled on the border of Thailand. All of them are desperately poor, with little assistance from the Thai government.

Over the past 3 years, a group of over 600 people have settled in a trash dump near the city of Mae Sot, Thailand.

The deplorable conditions these families are forced to live in are shocking to say the least. "Homes" are built from mud-clay, thatching, and literally trash.

Most of the families, children included, attempt to earn a meager amount of income by finding and collecting recyclable items which can be turned in at a nearby processing center.

In this dire situation, children are the most vulnerable to exploitation, malnutrition, sickness, and harm.

IDES has had the opportunity to partner with local ministers and mission workers in the area for the past few years, providing emergency food, water, clothing, blankets, medical care, and other basic necessities.

In the winter of 2015, IDES' Executive Director, Rick Jett, and his wife, Nancy, had the opportunity to visit these families and witness their condition first-hand. Upon their return, they knew IDES must do something more.

IDES' staff and board soon hosted a meeting between several partner organizations with ministries in the Mae Sot area, including Rapha House, in order to discuss long-term development possibilities.

The mission of Rapha House is to end the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children through aftercare for survivors, prevention for the vulnerable, and awareness for all.

Over the course of several weeks of prayer and discussion, it was determined that IDES and Rapha House would partner together to develop and establish a new community center for the families living in the trash dump, with a special emphasis on caring for, educating, and protecting the at-risk children.

IDES was responsible for purchasing land and building the new facilities, while emergency relief work continued. The total investment would be over $300,000. IDES' donors stepped up and gave generously to make this portion of the project possible.

Rapha House was responsible for training local leaders, establishing resources, and raising funds for hosting a new Kids Club Program in the community center.

An appropriately sized plot of land near the Mae Sot trash dump was successfully purchased in late 2016, thanks to the generosity of IDES' supporters.

Construction of the new community center began in early 2017 and progressed quickly.

The facilities were finished during the summer months of 2017, including the main meeting shelter, kitchen, clean water well, offices, staff quarters, bathrooms, showers, and entry road.

For these refugee families, who have been mistreated as less-than-human and living in fear for years, the new facilities were a bold proclamation that "we," and God above, love them, care for them, and deeply wish to restore and protect their dignity.

While construction continued and finished, Rapha House staff and board worked hard to prepare for the beginning of the Kids Club programming.

To celebrate the grand opening of the community center, Rick and Nancy Jett were invited to return to Mae Sot, Thailand in late summer of 2017.

Hundreds of people showed up for the celebration, including local school children and local church members.

The celebration included teaching, singing, play-time, a food distribution, and a joyous feast.

Hope was in the eyes of all who were present.

It is abundantly clear that each and every one of these men, women, and children is a beloved child of God.

IDES has been tremendously blessed by the local brothers and sisters in Christ who are working day-in and day-out to serve these refugee communities.

As IDES' portion of the project in Mae Sot, Thailand winds down, Rapha House's portion of the project is ramping up. In other words...

Rapha House needs you.

As previously mentioned, caring for, educating, and protecting the children in the community was of primary concern for both IDES and Rapha House.

Long-term care and programming for at-risk children is one of the areas that Rapha House specializes in.

Rapha House's new Kids Club Program which has been established in the community center is the third of its kind. Two others have already been established in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Battambang, Cambodia. More than 750 at-risk children are already being sponsored as a part of the program.

"We love children, teach them about Jesus, and prevent them from becoming victims of human trafficking. Through education, we help them have a better future." - [RH]

"Our Kids Club programs reach out to impoverished communities where children are likely to be victimized. By sponsoring a Kids Club child, you make it possible for an at-risk boy or girl to go to school and receive health services. We want to do everything we can for these children to prevent them from being trafficked. Child sponsorship is simple. Prevention makes sense." - [RH]

"Kids Club links one impoverished, at-risk child with one sponsor. Sponsorship provides monthly support for school fees, uniforms and supplies, basic medical coverage, access to a local drop in center, nutritional help for families, and a social worker to advocate for the nutritional help for families, and a social worker to advocate for the child and make sure that they are safe in their home and community."

"Through Kids Club, we are able to intercede for children before they are trafficked and reach the entire family with education, not only for the children, but for the adults as well. Our social workers are tireless in their efforts to help communities understand the destructive outcomes of abuse, exploitation, and trafficking of children." - [RH]

You can make hope possible for a precious child in this community in Mae Sot, Thailand by sponsoring them through Rapha House for just $40 per month.

Just click the button below to get started.

Created By
E. Chase Cotten
Appreciate

Credits:

International Disaster Emergency Service - www.ides.org and Rapha House - www.raphahouse.org

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