BAMBI Supports Tchin Tcho Nursery, Baan Dek Foundation

Published on: December 08, 2020

By Supriya Kasaju, Partnerships Officer, Baan Dek Foundation and Yoshiko Swinney, BAMBI Charities Coordinator

In July  2019, BAMBI began a partnership with Baan Dek Foundation (BDF). BDF is a registered Thai Foundation that provides access to essential education, health, and safety services for vulnerable children living in urban slums and construction site camps in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand. Since 2002, BDF has provided support to marginalized children from disadvantaged communities, supporting over 1,800 vulnerable children every year. BDF collaborates with the private and public sectors in Thailand (schools, medical centers, and the Ministries of Health and Education) to successfully support the most vulnerable children. 

BDF has many projects that support and bolster child development, including the Tchin Tcho Critical Care Nursery. BAMBI was able to offer ฿300,000 to help the Tchin Tcho Nursery from July 2019 to July 2020. It is a nursery for young children between the ages of 18 months to four-years-old who grow-up in especially difficult circumstances. These children are at risk of neglect or abuse or are living in otherwise unsafe environments. Tchin Tcho Nursery provides children with a safe environment and quality Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), while BDF Social Advisors work closely with their parents to address their critical circumstances. 

At the Tchin Tcho Nursery, BDF nursery staff welcome young children identified as at-risk. As these children come from particularly disadvantaged communities, BDF covers all costs associated with attending the nursery. This means parents who are struggling to make ends meet do not need to pay enrolment fees, transportation costs, or the cost of meals. Every child receives free lunch and healthy snacks to ensure that their nutritional needs are met as their parents are often unable to afford foods such as meat.

As part of their daily routine, children express their creativity through various art media activities that fuel their imagination, such as story-time with their teachers. During free play, these children can improve their social, emotional, and linguistic skills through collaborative play with new friends. They also develop their motor skills and cognitive abilities by playing with a variety of educational materials and toys. For many of the children, this may be their only opportunity to access books, art materials, musical instruments, and educational toys.

From July 2019 to July 2020, the Tchin Tcho Nursery supported 24 young children in achieving their developmental milestones. Of these 24 children, five come from single-parent families, and six were under the care of a child caretaker (often older siblings who then cannot attend school themselves). BDF supported these young ones by providing tailored counseling for both parents and children to ensure safety and support through holistic care and engaging activities. By the one-year mark, all enrolled children had benefited from case management provided by BDF Social Advisors, and 100% of these children met their overall developmental milestones! A drastic change from when they first joined the nursery and were off-track.

However, in March this year, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted the nursery’s day-to-day operations. Following government regulations, BDF had to close the Tchin Tcho Nursery from 17 March 2020 to 17 July 2020. During these four months, BDF Social Advisors maintained close remote contact with parents on a biweekly basis, checking on the wellbeing of parents and their children, and delivering essentials. BDF Social Advisors delivered food and hygiene sets, including milk, non-perishable food, and diapers. In addition, nursery teachers also followed-up with parents, providing remote consultations on several topics, such as protecting oneself from COVID-19, stimulating educational activities for home, and parenting advice on keeping children happy and mentally engaged for extended periods. 

Upon careful consideration and based on the updated government regulations, the nursery reopened by mid-July while implementing strong safety protocols aligned with national recommendations. During this period, BAMBI’s members actively supported the nursery through a toy drive. BAMBI asked members to donate toys, coloring pencils, notebooks, puzzles, and other games to help stimulate children’s cognitive development, particularly during this difficult time. Children at the nursery absolutely enjoyed their new gifts!

In partnership with BDF, BAMBI  is pleased to continue supporting some of the most in-need young children growing up in marginalized communities. The children reached through the Tchin Tcho Nursery are those who were initially trapped in a cycle of poverty as victims of abuse or neglect, facing dire circumstances who now have the opportunity to realize their full potential and gain a head start in life.

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Photos courtesy of Baan Dek Foundation

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