Skip to main content

Education for tribals children

Through Plan International's project, more than 203 Moken (seafarer tribals) children have been able to access basic education services.

The Moken community

Moken is an indigenous community that traditionally lived a nomadic lifestyle in coastal areas of southwest Thailand and Myanmar. Today, approximately 10,000 Moken are living in Thailand, and the majority is living in Baan Nam Khem, a small Thai fishing village 25km north of Khao Lak in Southern Thailand. They are not actually registered as Thai citizens.

Moken children and youth are considered to be some of Thailand’s most “at-risk populations”. Without an ID card in Thailand, individuals cannot legally go to school, receive health benefits and government services or secure legal employment. Moreover many of the Moken children – particularly those living in sea-based communities – do not speak or read Thai and have been raised within a community-based, informal education practice.


‘Indigenous and Isolated Children’ program

Plan International’s program helps to claim and protect the basic rights of the Moken children and to prevent them from being trafficked, abused and discriminated. Working with the Moken means supporting children and their families to access basic rights such as education, health, birth registration and national identity.

To respond to the learning needs of Moken children who have no access to basic education, Plan International acts in a number of different ways, including:

Support for volunteers teachers

Volunteer teachers play a key role in assisting with local language translations, teaching students where appropriate, and cooking lunch for students.

My life’s turning point was that I could continue to study when I thought I no longer had a chance to.


10 students received scholarship to complete the advance vocational college. Now, some of them are working in decent jobs (hotel, travel agent, convenient store etc.).


We provide a boat for primary students to go to school safely and timely. The students don’t miss the class and they are able to continue the education and finish the primary level.


The primary students are provided a nutritious lunch by the project. The school is located in the rural area, so it’s difficult to provide the student with good food.


The story of Somruthai

Somruthai, age 19 received educational assistance from the project. She is currently studying Hotel and Tourism Management course at Thaimuang Vocational College.


"My life’s turning point was that I could continue to study when I thought I no longer had a chance to. I had no financial fund to continue my study after I completed M.3 (Grade 9). I have been invited to join the project during some activities; and eventually this project gave me a scholarship to continue my study. If I hadn’t had the opportunity to continue my study – I would probably end up working as a labourer in rubber-tree plantation or collecting shellfish and shoreline fishing.This scholarship opens up many opportunities in my life, with schools, better employment opportunities and helping my parents out and lessen my family’s burden. My dream is to help my community and other people as much as I could. I just want to help.”