HOST International is currently piloting a program in Thailand to support up to 30 families of refugees and asylum seekers to exit detention. We have been working with the Thai government and building partnerships with local NGOs to find alternatives to detention for families and as a result, we’ve formed a small but efficient team in Bangkok.

Let’s meet our HOST team in Thailand: Jason, Muay, Napat, and Ploy.

Jason SpieringsI’m Jason and I’m the country manager for HOST in Thailand. My role is to oversee our new services in Thailand. We have just started a case management program for refugees and asylum seeker families that are being released from immigration detention. We are also exploring other ways that we can have a positive impact for urban refugees in Thailand, particularly around vocational training and livelihoods.

 

Right now I’m developing the necessary organisational arrangements to ensure that HOST is able to operate effectively in Thailand. I’m always engaging with other stakeholders to build HOST’s profile and develop good working relationships and scoping other possible ways that HOST could provide support to the urban refugee community in Thailand.

I love that I have such an amazing team. Each of them are truly unique and they have made me feel so welcome here in Bangkok.

While working in a new context is a highlight for me, gaining a good in-depth understanding of the refugee situation can be difficult and takes time. I deal with this by speaking with as many people as possible, gaining as much information, insights, and perspectives as possible.

My name is Muay and I’m a program manager. I provide support to case managers and review case files, as well as develop plans for our ongoing work with the families and communities. I go on field visits with the team and work with stakeholders, as well as build relationships with partner organisations and collaborate with local government on case management processes. Finally, I also help the team translate documents and reports from Thai to English.

Prior to working at HOST, I was the child protection program manager at Plan International. I also have direct experience with training on child protection case management system and dealing with child protection cases for the Burmese migrant community.

 

The HOST team in Thailand is small. It is a very friendly environment and it’s easy to communicate and listen to each other.

Hi, I am Ploy. I work as a case manager and my work involves supporting family and children whom are being released from the immigration detention centre. My day-to-day job includes visiting clients in the community to make sure their basic needs are met and to help them access health care and treatment services. We regularly engage with stakeholders on partner services and we work closely with the government.

Prior to working at HOST, I’ve worked with urban refugees as a case manager. I’ve had a lot of experience in helping provide support and connecting refugees with service providers in Thailand. My role at HOST has given me the opportunity to continue to do this and to learn more about this field.

While it’s a positive work environment at HOST, it’s difficult to help clients because they often don’t have enough money to support their families. We’re currently trying to come up with ways to help them earn a bit of money.

Hi, My name is Napat and I’m also a case manager. My role is to implement the process of case management for women and children who have recently been released from shelter under the MOU. After they’ve spent some time in the community, we work together to develop a case plan and we do a follow up.

I’ve had experience working with both Thai and migrant children who have been abused, living without legal status, as well as other social problems such as drug addictions and homelessness.

I’m interested in working in any capacity that has the best interest of children, first and foremost.

The main area of difficulties that I’m finding with my work is in translation, whether it’s Thai to Vietnamese or Thai to English. It’s the most difficult if I have to work with English to Vietnamese! My English isn’t the strongest but I’m open to improving my English and will do what it takes to improve whatever is necessary for my role.

Thailand team photo

If you have any queries regarding our projects in South East Asia, please reach out to us at hostthailandstaff@www.hostinternational.org.au. Please keep an eye on our blog for what’s going on with HOST International.