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On the Other Side of a Call

May 10th, 2022

Parunyu Kaitlatsame or Tai, is a recent graduate in Bangkok, Thailand. Graduating with a psychology degree, he decided to put it into good use and volunteer at the Childline Thailand Foundation Call Centre, a partner organisation of Terre des Hommes Netherlands.

“When I come to work, I feel good because I like to give advice, talk, and help children. Over time, I gained skills and knowledge about the common problems that children experience.”

As a part-timer, the 26-year-old volunteer had been supporting the ChildLine Call Centre for almost two years. Tai has dedicated his time in listening and providing advice to children in need of support. He added, “We can only listen, give basic advice and allow children to manage their feelings and problems on their own. Encouraging children to have a positive outlook gives me motivation to continue doing this volunteer work”. 

Children from different provinces of Thailand seek support from the call centre. These children are often victims of abuse and sexual exploitation, often by their guardians such as their parents and family. “The most difficult calls that I received is related to sexual abuse. Despite thinking that these cases happen rarely and far away, I actually received them at least twice a week”, said Tai. With social workers, staff, and volunteers such as Tai, these children have the opportunity to get advice and express their feelings openly. 

Through the Down to Zero Alliance, Terre des Hommes Netherlands with ChildLine had been implementing the Building Back Better programme over the past year. Ending in May 2022, the programme concludes the focus on supporting children during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. For Thailand, the focus was to prevent sexual exploitation of children from happening through awareness campaigns. 

“We deal with cases through prevention methods and coping mechanisms. We want to manage prevention so that not only children are aware, but also adults”, said the volunteer.

Despite the programme ending, Tai will continue his volunteer work. “The important thing is to listen intently and deeply. Ask how you feel about what happened? Has there been a repeat of the incident? Did you tell anyone yet? When the child calms down, we also request additional information to be forwarded to various agencies. Through this volunteer work, I feel encouraged by other staff and volunteers. I was to continue in this type of work. The important thing is to see the picture of society and that many families have many problems. I would like to continue my career in supporting them”, Tai ended.

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