Courageous Kitchen

Inspiring marginalized youth in Bangkok through the power of food.

Location: Thailand

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  Urban refugees in Thailand at Courageous Kitchen. Thailand hosts more than 90,000 people of Myanmar nationality in nine camps along the Thai-Myanmar border. Refugees are subject to immigration law like other foreigners and in this context, could face arrest, detention and deportation.   © Courageous Kitchen

Urban refugees in Thailand at Courageous Kitchen. Thailand hosts more than 90,000 people of Myanmar nationality in nine camps along the Thai-Myanmar border. Refugees are subject to immigration law like other foreigners and in this context, could face arrest, detention and deportation.

© Courageous Kitchen

Bangkok, Thailand, is host to almost 8000 urban refugees who are viewed as illegal migrants because Thailand has not ratified the United Nations Refugee Convention.  Whilst Thailand has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, it has placed a clause on Article 22, which extends these rights to refugee children. This can make accessing basic services for refugees very challenging.

Thailand has, however, ratified the UN Education for All policy, thus agreeing to provide all children with access to public education, up to the age of 12 years, regardless of their ethnicity, religious and political affiliations, and citizenship status. Whilst steps are being made towards meeting this agreement, many refugee and migrant children are still excluded or unable to access education due to a significant policy implementation gap.

Courageous Kitchen provides financial support, education and recreational activities for refugee communities, through fundraising internationally and locally, and through social enterprise activities. It runs a cooking school and walking tours for tourists visiting Bangkok, and the money raised through these activities helps to fund rental costs, food costs, cooking classes and English classes for refugee communities. It also brings together volunteers from different backgrounds in Bangkok, who want to share their time and skills with children and young people. Some of these young people have been trained to deliver cooking classes to tourists and have had the opportunity to learn alongside prominent chefs from Bangkok and abroad.

For more information, please contact: Rebecca Warren, r.c.warren@durham.ac.uk