Education and vocational training are key factors
in mitigating the re-trafficking of children.
Some children are unable to leave ZOE for schooling in a traditional school setting, this is because their lives are in grave danger and they are under a witness protection program. For others, they have not regularly – or ever – attended school. We are committed to preparing children to enter adulthood with the skills necessary to provide a decent and honourable living.
The objective of the ZOE Vocational Program is to equip former child trafficking survivors and extremely vulnerable children with marketable educational and vocational skills in order to reduce their vulnerability to trafficking and re-trafficking.
During our research we did significant study on Thailand’s job market to assess top job opportunity areas in Thailand.
As a result of our findings, the ZOE Vocational School initially offered three vocational tracks:
- Construction/Automotive Mechanics
- Office Skills
- Hospitality Services
ZOE continues to expand the program from these initial tracks by adding more tailored and unique courses that are specifically designed to interest, engage and inspire students.
Other courses now include:
- Fashion design and sewing
- Thai foods and desserts
- Marketplace foods
- Front of house
- Media and photography
- Art and computer-aided design
- Mechanical repairs
We have also been able to partner with outside organisations and training centres to offer some unique training opportunities and internships in salon, hotel and hospitality.
"There was increasing cooperation between public sector and NGOs in 2021. For example, the MSDHS, ATPD, RTP, OAG, HUG Project Foundation, O.U.R. and ZOE International cooperated to provide assistance to victims under witness protection programme, including funding for vocational training (in salon, bakery, and English language courses). Moreover, there were consultations for witnesses on life plans and follow-up monitoring after their return to families to prevent revictimization."
Royal Thai Government’s Country Report on Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts, 2021
While many children are able to attend schools outside of ZOE, a number of children must remain on the ZOE campus because of security reasons or because they are not ready to integrate into a classroom setting of peers. Therefore, ZOE provides an education for both groups of children: those who attend “regular” school and those in the ZOE Vocational Program who, in addition to their vocational training, are schooled in traditional subjects by full-time, on-campus, professionally accredited, university-trained ZOE teachers.
The children who attend ZOE’s Vocational Program are taught all of the core subjects. In addition, in all subject areas we have inserted a “life skills” component in order to ensure that these children understand where and how to apply the knowledge they are learning.
In May 2017, ZOE became an official (government- approved) Learning Centre. The main advantage of being designated as an official Learning Centre is that ZOE is now authorised to award an official educational diploma to students who are enrolled at ZOE. This will greatly enhance their ability for employment post graduation.