Social Action for Women provides a wide range of humanitarian programs along the Thai-Burma Border including safe houses, boarding houses and schools. From 2000 through 2008, BBP provided substantial funding to allow SAW to maintain the operations of its schools and with the help of a grant from the Worcester (MA) Rotary Club, to construct and commence operations of its first high school.
SAW Child Crisis Center
In 2012-2013 BBP, with funding from Children on the Edge (COTE), worked with SAW to strengthen the skills of the Child Crisis Center (CCC) staff to meet the psychosocial needs of the children in their care and provide specifically designed psychosocial activity programs for the children and youth at CCC.
SAW runs the CCC, which provides for the basic needs of Burmese children who have been abandoned or whose parents are unable to care for them. When it is safe and possible, SAW works to reunite children with their guardians, but the center often cares for children long term and is able to house up to 70 children at one time. The center works to protect children from the dangers of human trafficking while providing children with a safe, supervised environment to learn and play and assisting those who have been sexually abused and exploited.
Through a training program, BBP was able to build knowledge of child abuse, trauma, and challenging behaviors and help staff develop the skills necessary to work with vulnerable children and youth. These skills include the ability to interview children and manage disclosure of trauma or abuse, create a safe and trusting environment, caring for special children, providing positive discipline, and conducting age-appropriate psychosocial activities for different age groups. BBP also provided technical assistance to help CCC staff deal with ongoing challenges regarding the care of specific children. Over the course of six months, BBP saw a marked growth in staff knowledge, awareness, and confidence in providing psychosocial care to children at CCC.
Weekly psychosocial play sessions for children were broken up into three different age groups, which included physical, social, and learning activities, as well as peer support and life skill activities. Over a six month period, the CCC children and youth who participated in the play sessions grew in their abilities to work together, trust others, manage stress and anger, and cope with trauma.