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Visiting HANDS in Thailand

November 1, 2023

Joe, Sam and Zion had the privilege of spending time with our partners HANDS in Thailand. Despite Links having a long history of working together with HANDS, it has been many years since our last visit. Links helped HANDS with a satsuma and lychee farm originally and then a fish farm and irrigation system later on. Alongside this, over the years, funds were raised for their children’s home and educational projects.

HANDS work predominantly in a region called Fang with two people groups, the Shan and the Acha. Both groups are nomadic and straddle the borders of Thailand and Myanmar and, as such, are exploited by both countries. In Thailand this can mean slave labour, falling into the sex trade or children being trafficked.

HANDS have both rescued families and they carry out sensitisation into villages to prevent trafficking. They support many families; they have a children’s home which doubles up as a community centre, built on land that they also use for agricultural projects and to rear pigs and chickens.

‘We were able to visit a number of families, with members who have additional needs, that HANDS support in the local communities around Fang. These will generally be either individuals who have suffered strokes, or children born with cerebral palsy. It just happened that we were able to find the perfect wheelchair for a 12-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, which we were able to give whilst we were in Fang. Having Sam there as a trained physiotherapist was invaluable as he was able to show the family exactly how to use the new chair to best support and develop the child’s muscles as he continues to grow. It was so beautiful seeing the joy that this brought!
It was really great to be in Thailand again after many years and the team did an amazing job of looking after us and updating us on the various projects and developments that the work has gone through over the last ten years. There were some really great opportunities and a huge amount of potential moving forward.’ (Joe Gisbey)

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