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ART FOR GOOD

StarKids donations are supporting art initiatives that give vulnerable Thai children a voice to speak out against violence.

In Thailand’s Tak province, located in the country’s north-west, Year 11 student Ponkrit says all human beings should be considered equal. “There are good and bad people in our world,” he explains. “But no-one has the right to commit violence against others.”

Ponkrit is among many Thai children taking part in World Vision’s “It takes a world to end violence against children” campaign. It is estimated that over one billion children worldwide experience some type of violence every year, ranging from physical, sexual and mental abuse, to exploitation such as child labour, trafficking or neglect. Many children, like Ponkrit, who live in poverty-stricken communities, witness or experience violence as part of everyday life, often in the form of discipline from family members (a recent survey of 55,000 Thai families revealed that 75 per cent use violence as a form of child discipline).

With support from StarKids, World Vision is working hard to raise awareness among Thai children, families and the wider community about the long-term and devastating impacts of violence. The campaign is being implemented through a range of activities, including parenting skills workshops and youth clubs where children learn about their rights and express their ideas about the issue through creative means.

In November 2018, Ponkrit and other vulnerable children like him from across Thailand created artwork for an exhibition titled “It takes you and me to end violence against children – beyond the boundary”, held at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. The children’s illustrations depicted their hopes and dreams for a world without violence. The exhibition also featured an artwork titled Plentiful, produced by four primary school students. It had a simple but powerful message to share: “Without violence, every kid will have the opportunity to grow up properly to become good adults, develop our country and change our world to become plentiful.”