As Thailand rapidly changes from an traditional agricultural culture to an industrial one, the way of family life is also unavoidably changing.
The traditional rural family
is a tight unit bonded together by a need to work closely together, so that the wisdom and knowledge of the older generation is combined with the energy of the younger generation to produce food and income for the whole
This way of life is rapidly deteriorating as many of the younger generation now seek to join the industrial labour market, learning about new skills and ideas imported from overseas, whilst
leaving parents and grandparents back home to work the farms by themselves.
As a result the new generation are forsaking the traditional values which uphold respect and the wisdom of the older
generation - breaking the family in two between the old and the new generation of Thai people.
As the newer generation moves to the cities and begin family units of their own, they must face the
pressure of the industrial age and modern economics - striving for better education, a well paid career, and the increased desire for material possessions. These pressures often cause arguments , separation , or
divorce, resulting in the family unit breaking up even further until there is no solid family unit left.
Chiang Mai is one province of many in Thailand which currently faces this situation -
out of which arises many other wider social problems.
One of these social problems which needs addressing urgently is the increase in the number of children and youths whom are without proper
Many of these young people in Chiang Mai will join up with others in similar situations, often entering into prostitution, drug gangs, or finding work in other illegal activities in
order to survive, whilst also seeking to gain acceptance among their peers.
These illegal activities impact on our society, and as a result everybody in our society should join together to solve
this problem; however many blame the children themselves as the sole perpetrators, instead of looking at the causes of the problems at hand.
The Volunteers Group for Child Development is a
non-government development organization which organizes programmes and activities to assist these young people in need.