Opened in 2009, Baan Yuu Suk is home to 27 girls who have been or are at risk of being sexually abused, exploited or trafficked. As our first major project, it is also our ‘spiritual home’ and it remains integral to our community engagement projects and other work.
Literally meaning ‘Peaceful Home’, Baan Yuu Suk provides 27 girls with a safe haven to complete their schooling, receive vocational training, improve their English skills, and grow as healthy and confident young women. Using their skills and education, they can pursue a career of their choice and support their families.
Indeed, Baan Yuu Suk is an ongoing testament to our mission statement: education creates opportunities.
As well as providing accommodation and meals for our girls and volunteers, there’s computers for homework, a kitchen and eating area, a modern laundry and a playground.
The girls at the Baan Yuu Suk shelter come from a variety of backgrounds and were all classified as at-risk. We ensure that we have their consent to live us, as well as the consent of their family and the head of their village.
Aged between 7 and 19 years, all of the girls here are supported throughout their schooling, and in some cases also through university.
Staying in school.
All of the girls in our care attend one of three local schools, including a vocational school in the city of Chiang Mai. Uniforms, school supplies and money for school lunches are all provided through our Child Sponsorship Program, as well as school fees that are due after age 14.
If any girl wants to go on to university, we help her apply. In June 2013, two of our girls began classes at Chiang Mai Rajabhat University. We are so incredibly proud of their efforts as the first girls in our history to attend university and are thrilled to see where this takes them in the future.
The volunteer team.
Whether they are helping with English, facilitating weekend activities, or simply reading a bedtime story, volunteers are a crucial part of day-to-day life at Baan Yuu Suk.
On weekends, volunteers lead structured English classes and workshops, developing the girls’ knowledge in both written and spoken English. Arts therapy, social work activities and self-esteem building workshops also help foster confidence and develop each child’s own personality.
If you are interested in volunteering with COSA, please click here.
Health and healing.
The girls living with us experience varying degrees of mental trauma. Some come from extreme neglect, forced sex work or physical abuse, while others were identified as at-risk and brought to our shelter to prevent their exploitation.
COSA provides various forms of trauma rehabilitation including art therapy, feeling expression activities and workshops focusing on building trusting relationships. Most importantly, the Baan Yuu Suk shelter provides the girls with a safe, supportive environment so they can process their past in their own time.
We do not apply Western principles of talk therapy with the girls. Rather, we work within the boundaries of Thai culture and respect the ways in which the girls will develop and heal in their own ways.
Our commitment to our community.
Weekly English classes at the Baan Yuu Suk shelter are open to the wider community. English is becoming ever more important for jobs and higher education in Thailand, so this is an excellent way for us to integrate with the local community and improve the future prospects of a broader range of people.