About Child’s Dream
Child’s Dream was established in 2003, by Marc Thomas Jenni and Daniel Marco Siegfried as a charity organisation dedicated to unconditional help for underprivileged children in the ‘Mekong Sub-Region’. This region is at the core of many humanitarian crises and children are suffering the most.
Offices in Thailand and Cambodia serve as a base for humanitarian projects providing relief to children exposed to extreme poverty. Child’s Dream’s work is focused on educational infrastructure (nurseries, schools, vocational training centres and colleges), but also includes health care programmes such as the Children Medical Fund. We also provide stationery to over 55,000 children all over the region.
The Mekong Sub-region is composed of the countries of Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam and is glued together by the lower parts of the mighty Mekong River.
Thailand – A hotspot for child prostitution, child labour, child trafficking and drug smuggling. Home to 150,000 Burmese refugees living along the border. Child’s Dream have completed 4 schools and 4 nurseries in Northern Thailand.
Burma – Highest number of malaria deaths in SE Asia, with history of human rights violations, ongoing civil conflicts, genocide and forced displacement due to military regime. Child’s Dream have completed 6 schools, introduced the Children’s Medical Fund and the Stationery Bank on the Thai-Burmese Border region.
Laos – 31% of population cannot read or write, access to schools and basic education is very limited. 27% live below the poverty line. Child’s Dream have completed 12 schools and further 12 are under construction in Laos.
Cambodia - 45% of children are involved in some kind of child labour. For every 1000 children born alive, 82 will die before their 5th birthday. Child’s Dream have completed 1 primary school, 1 education facility and 3 more schools are under construction.
Children’s Medical Fund
Ever since we started our work, we have been confronted with countless requests to support children, who urgently need treatment in order to save their lives. In most cases, a life-saving operation is required, which the child’s family cannot afford. Given these experiences, we decided to set up a ‘Children Medical Fund’ to financially support children with special medical needs. The fund offers them access to the necessary treatment.
During 2008, we have supported the provision of specialised (often life saving) care to over 210 children from Burma. Over 70 % of the children we have treated in Chiang Mai have had debilitating and or life threatening birth defects.
The annual budget for this project is USD 50,000 and we estimate that we can support up to 20 patients. Child’s Dream are hoping to expand this project to other areas of the Mekong Sub-Region at a later stage.
We visited many migrant schools along the Thai/Burmese border and it was very obvious that school supplies were often non-existent or that many children had to share the same old book. Pens, pencils and writing pads were rare and yet are essential tools for learning.
Given the similar experience we found in many schools, we decided to set up a ‘Stationery Bank’. It is our goal to supply school materials to migrant schools, allowing the children to make full use of their education. Imagine being a child in such a school and having just one thin writing pad for a whole year?!
We have therefore decided to buy stationery, English books (copies) and other necessary equipment, which are then distributed to migrant schools in need. This is an ongoing project.