BANGKOK, 5 June 2012 – A play focusing on the rights of vulnerable children and based on a story by S.E.A Write Award Winner Ngarmpun Vejjajiva was staged by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Arts last week.
The three-act play, entitled Tee Pen Lae Hen U (What Is Happening And What Is Seen), was performed by the Makhampom theatre group on 30 May 2012. The play tells the stories of three children: a child living with HIV/AIDS, a child whose birth is not registered and a child not going to school, and it movingly portrays the stigma and discrimination these children face as well as their hopes and dreams for the future.
To view the online version of the play, visit www.unicefplays.com
Ngarmpun, who received the S.E.A. Write Award in 2006 for her first novel, The Happiness of Kati, said: “I was very excited about undertaking this project and helping UNICEF create better public understanding about vulnerable children and the challenges they face.”
Andrew Morris, UNICEF Thailand Deputy Representative, said: “Although the situation of children in Thailand has improved in recent years, there are still far too many children who are deprived of their rights and who lack the opportunities they need to reach their full potential.”
Morris noted that more than half a million children in Thailand still enroll in primary school late, while one out of every five children does not complete the legally required compulsory education.
“In some districts, more than 20 per cent of children are not registered at birth,” Morris said. “This puts them at a disadvantage from the very first day of life.”
Morris said UNICEF hopes the play will help create better public understanding on the many challenges facing those children who are being left behind in Thailand’s impressive development and in turn, spur the necessary action to fulfill their rights – as we are morally and legally obligated to do.