The Volunteers for Children Development Foundation was established in Chiang Mai and Mae Sai in 1997 to help street children. Chiang Maiís street children number just under 1000. Many of Chiang Maiís street kids come from the Thai-Burmese border in Mae Sai. Once in Chiang Mai, they are usually found begging for change or selling flowers in tourist areas. The majority of the children have no education, no nationality and are often exploited. They are at a high risk of using drugs, becoming prostitutes and contracting HIV.
The Volunteers for Children Development Foundation provides vocational skill training in how to create and produce saleable art work that is sold through their outlet Dor Dek. All money raised from the sale of art work goes towards benefiting the children Ė 30% goes towards education of the children, 30% goes directly to the child artist and the remaining 40% pays for the art supplies. The organization targets children between the ages of 10 and 18 and youth aged 19 or 20 are trained to be youth leaders to help train and assist the younger children.
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