Educating Women: Asylum Seekers

It might surprise you to learn Bangkok is home to many asylum seekers from Somalia, Pakistan and the Middle East. It won’t surprise you to learn their stories are heart-wrenching - some faced life-threatening religious persecution, others were ensnared in deep political turmoil and subjected to the unimaginable horrors of modern-day terrorism. Many barely escaped death, and others left behind family members who didn't survive. There is a devastating number of widows with small children and an uncertain future. Their needs are great but the funds are few.

Thailand is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention which means: it is illegal to be an asylum seeker in Thailand; the government has no obligation to provide healthcare, education or access to livelihood; asylum seekers, including children, are at constant risk of being arrested and detained indefinitely; official charities, NGOs and even the UNHCR are limited in their capacity to help. There is no mistake, the situation is dire for these women and children.

We want to help and we hope you will too. We're a small group of volunteers who teach English as part of a pilot program to provide language and hairdressing/dressmaking training. The women are incredibly grateful and enthusiastic for the opportunity to learn skills to empower themselves to support their families once resettled. Importantly, this program also offers a relatively safe place to go every day, a sense of community, a sense of purpose and a wonderful, tangible sense of hope.

The problem, and the reason for this campaign, is the funding for the bus fare to and from the centre each day is running out. Without the money for transportation, the women and their children simply won't be able to attend classes. Fundraising for refugees is problematic in Thailand, and the identities of the women need to be protected, so we are reaching out through our social networks to ask for donations to help with the bus fares. This is a private campaign, not discoverable on the internet, but we ask and encourage (and beg!) you to share it with your own social networks.

We urgently need your help. It costs roughly Baht 820 / AU$30  / US$24  per month for the transportation for each student and her children.

For Baht 4,920 / AU$190 / US$145, you can sponsor a refugee for 6 months - about the timeframe each student will attend class.

One-hundred percent of the proceeds from this campaign will go directly to the students' transportation account which will be administered by the charity providing the program. Any extra money raised will go towards providing milk and lunches for the women's children in the daycare centre.

Please give according to whatever you are able to provide. Any and all contributions to this campaign will have a direct impact in bringing light, hope, stability and a future to each of these incredible women and their amazing children. Thank you for your kindness!

Natalie, Andy, Masooma, Khadija, Shireen, Donna and several other passionate but private volunteers.

(We purposely haven’t provided details of the program, charities involved or the name of the school to protect the women. Please contact us directly if you’d like further details before donating)
  • Elvie Richard 
    • $100 
    • 68 mos
  • Kacey Moulton 
    • $100 
    • 73 mos
  • Romina Newman 
    • $80 
    • 73 mos
  • Carolyn Reynolds 
    • $100 
    • 73 mos
  • Kate Chapman 
    • $50 
    • 73 mos
See all


Andy Page