Location: Phitsanulok Province, Thailand
Beneficiaries: 50 families with children aged 8 and younger
Background: Because schools in this region have been forced to close due to the Covid-19 pandemic, young children in the Pearl S. Buck Foundation Thailand program have had their mental health and learning capabilities affected by having their education interrupted and being stuck at home—4 out of 10 mothers and 7 out of 10 fathers are unable to make time to join in activities with their children that promote learning, and only 3 out of 10 children have more than 3 books in their house. The circumstances are worse for poor families who have very few resources to help their children’s minds stay in engaged while schools are closed. Children and their families suffer from Covid-related stress and anxiety. PSBFT has closely collaborated with the educational sector, health care service center, as well as community leaders to ensure that the most disadvantaged children and families, those with limited access to learning materials and social services, receive the critical supplies and support they need. Prolonged school closure has affected children’s ability to learn and poses long-term consequences for children’s mental well-being, especially for young children from the most excluded and vulnerable groups.