* To provide basic needs for Burmese children who have been abandoned or whose parents are unable to care for them while they are detained or deported
* If the home situation of the child is deemed safe, SAW makes pro-active efforts to reunite children with parents, as well as maintaining contact with relatives throughout the child’s stay
* To assist the children who have been raped or sexually abused
* To provide emotional support and supervision
* To foster a child’s education during their stay
* To teach responsibility and community awareness by assigning children daily chores suitable for their age and ability
* To protect children from the dangers of trafficking and child labor including sweatshop labor, the drug trade, and other forms of exploitation and abuse.
* Capacity for 70 children at a single time; survivors of physical and sexual violence (ages 5 – 18)
In 2001, SAW established a safe house for orphaned and abandoned Burmese children and youth whose parents are unable to care for them either because they are detained or deported, or because they do not have the resources or capacity to care for them. SAW provides shelter, education, and basic needs services for these children, while protecting them from becoming prey to sweat-shop labor, sex trafficking, and the drug trade.
In February 2005, this safe house was renamed Children’s Crisis Center (CCC) and its mission and focus were updated. Recognizing the particular needs of children who have experienced and survived sexual and physical abuse, the CCC was re-focused to respond to these needs. A special focus is placed on addressing physical, mental and emotional needs of the children at CCC. All the children residing in this shelter are aged between 5 and 18 years old. This shelter model, like all SAW’s others, tries to replicate the family unit as much as possible to create a conducive growth environment for the children, as well as stronger sense of safety.
In its current format, the CCC has been running for seven years and has a capacity for 70 children, which is the number it currently holds. SAW provides the children with food, shelter, education, trauma counseling, and healthcare. SAW also offers training in musical instruments, computers, knitting, art, and offers health education training for older children. When possible and if the family situation is supportive, SAW tries to reunify the children with families. While at the CCC, children are taken on outings and engage in sport activities. The staff and the children have meetings twice a month for informal discussions. Children at the CCC attend the SAW school.
Education is fostered during a child’s stay in the centre. All of the children receive the opportunity to attend SAW school. Some of the children who joined the program in their early teens are now finished high school. They have received the opportunity to work as interns with SAW, with the eventual opportunity to progress to staff positions within the different programs. Other students have been linked with training programs such as ‘Youth Connect’, which has allowed them to gain skills for employment. Young people from the CCC gain many opportunities to attend activities run by other SAW programs. These have included training workshops in Mae Tao clinic, reproductive health workshops and the health message project supported by the International Rescue Committee.
CCC also has the “Kitchen Garden Program”. This program rents land in a remote area of Mae Sot where SAW is running a vegetable farming plot, with contributions from the entire SAW community, including the children from CCC. The vegetables from this farm form part of the food supply of all SAW shelters.