BANGKOK, 14 February 2013 – UNICEF began this week delivering footballs and other play and recreation supplies to eight Ministry of Social Development and Human Security shelters caring for Rohingya children in southern Thailand.
Some 270 Rohingya children, many who were separated from their parents or who came to Thailand unaccompanied by adults, are being cared for at nine shelters in eight provinces across the South.
About 70 Rohingya women are also being assisted at the shelters, while more than 1,400 Rohingya men are in government immigration detention facilities.
UNICEF supplies include footballs, volleyballs, badminton sets and other sports equipment, drawing and art supplies, and toys and other play items for young children. UNICEF staff delivered the first bags of supplies on Monday to the shelter in Songklha housing about 80 Rohningya children.
“The materials will be used to help provide improved play and recreation opportunities for Rohingya children and other children staying at these shelters,” said UNICEF Thailand Representative Bijaya Rajbhandari. “Some of the children have been traumatized by events in Myanmar, the long sea journey to Thailand or being separated from family members, and giving them opportunities to play will help relieve some of their stress and fear.”
UNICEF is also supporting the provision of hygiene and sanitation services at shelters, and is assisting MSDHS with strengthening the registration and tracking system for Rohingya children and women to help reunite them with family members.
Other shelters caring for Rohingya children and women and being provided with play and recreation materials are in Pattani, Narathiwat, Trang, Surat Thani, Phangnga, Satun and Phrachuab Khiri Khan provinces.