Field Visit to the Asean Women Center, Bangkok Thailand

On the 16th of August, 2017, some participants of the Down To Zero Outcome harvesting (Philippines, Indonesia, and India) joined the field visit in one of the communities assisted by the AAT (Alliance Anti Trafic) in Bangkok. We arrived at the area almost 10:00 o’clock in the morning. The name of the establishment we visited is called Asean Women Center. (As I remember during our interaction with the AAT team, we could not disclose the location nor take a photo from the outside of the area for the security purposes of the survivors residing in the center). Upon arriving in the Asean Women Center, staff of the AAT together with their Project Director, Mr. Jurgen Thomas, warmly welcomed us all.  There were young women also greeted us (in Thai). The center enables foreign and Thai girls to prepare them before joining vocational trainings and build their leadership- and empowerment. It can provide temporary accommodation when needed.

Upon entering their main door, there were displays of IEC materials and native products: such as coffee, shawls, T-shirts, and etc… (Made and crafted by the women and girls from the center). One of the staff of AAT showed to us their facilities inside the center. After which, we were all gathered in their function/meeting room for an orientation and open discussion on how their center works.

According to the AAT staff, the center has 5 objectives:

1. Situated as coordination center that provides skill development and work alternative for women and girls;

2. Facilitated as an accommodation and training center prior to entering the job market;

3. Function as meeting place for migrant workers in the ASEAN Region such as Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and etc.;

4. Served as a learning hub for languages, unique cultures and national dishes of ASEAN countries; and

5. Provided career internships for women who were interested in travelling and tourism (under Pheaun AAT Tours-Social Enterprise Project).

While the discussion was still going on, there were women who served us hot and ice delicious coffee. (According to the AAT staff, the drinks they served, called Mekong Coffee, were products from the skills training they provided to the women in the center).

After the discussion, we went shopping with the products the center offered to us. Hand woven shawls, T-shirts, fans, key chains, coffee, and delicacies were some of the products they sell for a very reasonable prices. Then the AAT staff together with Mr. Jurgen Thomas invited us for lunch. We went to a big Thai restaurant just outside of the village where Asean Women Center is located. The food was really great especially for those who are spicy lovers.

After our lunch, we were brought to a coffee shop just 10 minutes away by car from the center. The name of the coffee shop is called Lotte’s Café. We were told Lotte’s café is helping the Asean Women Center towards their advocacy. They accept women and girls from the center for “on the job training” and patronize the Mekong Coffee in their products as well.

After our visit to the Lotte’s Café, we went back to the center and bid goodbye to the staff of AAT and other participants. Thank you for sharing your experience and work with us!


By: Janice Sofia Talip



     Bohol Province


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Publish Date: October 26, 2017
Category: Blog fieldvisit / Visita de campo



Youth Voices for Change is an initiative of the Down To Zero Alliance that seeks to prevent the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents by amplifying the voices of young leaders for change in Latin America and Asia.