It begins with relationship.
Community engagement is at the front line of Compasio’s work. It leads and links all that we do to serve women and children at risk. Our team of Burmese national staff have become a regular part of community life in Mae Sot’s slums where they engage children, families and community leaders in an intentional, consistent way. Relationships result in trust and give us the credibility to educate people about the risks and vulnerabilities surrounding them. We also gain a clear understanding of the issues that they face every day. Our on-the-ground, integrated approach to development provides better flexibility, understanding and appropriate response to the issues within complex and dynamic migrant communities.
Our Community Engagement team serve as advocates, resource finders, mentors and social workers coming alongside people where they are. They seek to first connect people with available resources rather than replacing these and creating unhealthy dependancy. Rather than reinforcing a mentality of helplessness among those we serve, we strive to empower others to help themselves. This is essential in seeing dignity restored.
Compasio’s team builds relationships with families who are identified as at-risk within the communities we engage. They are the front line component of our Keeping Children in Families program. Regular visits and education within the home provide accountability as well as prevention of abuse and exploitation of children. In collaboration with community leaders, our team advocates for a child’s best interest.
Compasio is a part of a network of organizations who are directly involved in child protection. As crisis occurs, these groups work together to determine the best solution for emergency cases involving children. Through this network, our team regularly responds to emergencies involving missing or abused children and cases where children are at risk of being, or have been, trafficked.
We take a holistic approach to protecting children from trafficking and abuse. Because we are fully engaged and in relationship with vulnerable communities, parents usually call us first when a child goes missing or abuse is happening in a neighbour’s home. In a community that fears local authorities, our team is seen as a trusted friend when crisis occurs. Our mobile drop-in centre for street children and at-risk youth keeps us connected to vulnerable families and helps us respond quickly to emergency cases.
Our community mentors educate parents on the dangers of sending their children out to beg, and on the importance of education. We sponsor street children to be enrolled in school, getting them off the streets and into a classroom, which in turn provides them with added protection from trafficking and exploitation.