Thailand, Asia

THA07 - Personal support of Chuenjit Mangkaew: Partnership Reports

Other Reports Available:


Report Date: July 24, 2018

Report from BHW Thailand Partnership Facilitator Following Visit in June


Key person: Chuenjit Mangkaew

On this visit I was only able to meet with Chuenjit for a few hours to talk through what has been happening in her work. We met at the Maung Thong Church in Pak Kret with Prasert and had a meal together afterward. We have discussed arranging the next visit to coincide with a trip to the Pathum Thani and/or Ayutthaya centres. 


Recent Events

Pathum Thani Remand Centre

very receptiveThere has been a new director appointed at the centre who didn’t know Chuenjit well and the program set for the boys has changed. Before she left, the previous director had explained to her successor how successful Chuenjit’s program has been and Chuenjit has been allowed to continue, although she is now only able to visit the centre once a week due to other program commitments.

There are currently 90 boys and eight girls living in the home and about a third of those attend Chuenjit’s class on a regular basis. The girls can come less frequently because their program responsibilities differ from those of the boys.

Another church group associated with Chuenjit is also allowed to go separately once a week.

Two helpers from a local church are coming along to assist Chuenjit with the class and are using stories to help to teach the young people.

With less time spent at the Remand Centre she now has more time to follow up with young people who have left the centre, as well as to visit others with new opportunities.


very receptiveThe previous director from Pathum Thani has moved to a new centre in Ayutthaya, about an hour north of Bangkok. This centre is more of a residential training facility where, at the direction of the Court, the boys often have to spend up to two years following their release from the Remand Centre.

Chuenjit’s reputation and excellent relationship with the director led to an invitation to begin working there and has opened the way for her to begin visiting this centre once a week.

She reports that the home is very receptive to the message that she brings, with even the staff joining in on some sessions.

She has a local helper who assists and about 50% of the 25 boys who attend have made a commitment to Christ.


Chuenjit has been working with a Thai organisation, Siam Care, who come every month and deliver HIV and self-care education. They also provide support to HIV positive students to study.

Joshua, one of the boys who became a Christian through Chuenjit’s work, is now working full-time with Siam Care delivering their program in the same Centre where he was once remanded.

great groupJoshua has also become a leader in a university-based outreach program called Following Jesus which meets in Chuenjit’s home once a week. Many of the members are from tribal groups and as a whole they recently made a trip to a tribal village where they distributed blankets, clothing and toys while running a program.

Chuenjit and her team have also begun working in a Government-run halfway house elsewhere in Thailand where some boys are required to live for between 1 and 5 years, including a number of boys who have come from the Pathum Thani Remand Centre. Although there are no current plans to visit the facility on a regular basis like the other two centres, Chuenjit plans to arrange for a local church to visit to maintain contact with these boys, as well as including the location in the Christmas outreach program.


Personal Stories


changed lifeBy the age of 15 Mann had no parents and was living in a temple with the monks. He joined a youth gang and was eventually put before the Court for stealing motorcycles, ending up in the Pathum Thani Remand Centre where he met Chuenjit. He became a Christian in the Remand Centre in 2017.

When he was released from the Centre the Court required him to have a place to stay, a job and someone to be responsible for him so he went to stay with a friend of Chuenjit’s for two months. Through the support and training that Chuenjit and others in her network have provided he has now been out of the Remand Centre for a year, has a job working in a retail shop and is also studying for his high-school equivalency. He lives with two other boys who have also become Christians though the Remand Centre.

He recently went to a northern tribal village with the Following Jesus goup and brings along non-Christian friends when he is able to attend the bible study group at Chuenjit’s house.

He still has to report back to the Court (with Chuenjit) every three months and unfortunately he is not currently able to get to church regularly because of his work hours.


Aiw accepted Jesus while in the Ayutthaya Remand Centre through Chuenjit’’s program. He has been out of the Centre for the last four months and living with a friend as his parents passed away when he was young and he was raised by his extended family.

Cheunjit keeps in touch with him and has been trying to connect him with a local church.


Bao was formerly from the Pathum Thani Remand Centre and has been doing well since leaving. He has been involved in leading worship at a Bangkok church and is currently working for the Good News Team taking the Christian message into schools across Thailand.

In November he will be entering the army for two years after being selected in the Thai national conscription ‘lottery’.


great workPartnership's Influence within the Community

Chuenjit has a wide influence with both individuals and organisations, as recognised by her recent award and commendation presented by the head of the Ministry of Justice. The award effectively gives her national recognition and the ability to refer other groups and interventions in the area of Youth Justice.

She also participates on the Juvenille Welfare Committee and the Pathum Thani Relocation Board, where she has a considerable amount of influence. The latter group, made up of other volunteers who are working in various areas from education to training and work placements, meet regularly to plan new strategies and best support those leaving the centre.

She is recognised as a Christian and is accepted and respected for her views and commitment. Her comment was “I can’t change people, but Jesus can.”

It is a testament to her character and success that as people who have been acquainted with her work move to other positions they seek her out to begin her program in new locations as well.

great work

The week before my visit Chuenjit was involved in the signing of a MOU with approximately 50 people and organisations, including local government, on how best to protect and provide a better life for those young people going through the Youth Justice system. 


Plans for the Future

Chuenjit is continuing the basis of her program and also extending into new centres at their request. She has recognised the need to bring others alongside and currently has four trainees who are helping in the work.

She has considerable input into groups who are able to contribute to the ongoing care and support of the young people coming through the Remand Centres and while she is often directly involved there is also a network of people who are assisting or leading in this regard.

I recommend that the current budget be continued.


volunteersCurrent Issues and Challenges

A number of new people have joined Chuenjit in visiting the Remand Centres and Youth Prisons. All are doing so in a voluntary role and while they are very helpful there are always other demands on their time. One in particular is looking for a new job and may have to move away from the area in which he is currently working.


Prayer and Praise Points


1) New opportunities in Ayutthaya and elsewhere
2) Continuing success in reaching young people in the Remand Centres
3) The growth and success of many of the young Christians who have come through the program and their rise to positions of influence
4) Partner organisations who have contributed to the work with these young men and women


1) Continued development and encouragement of trainees that have joined Chuenjit to be able to support the expanding work

2) The ongoing commitment and growth of those who have made commitments to Christ in the centres and are now back in their communities. On leaving the Remand Centre they are often returning to environments where there will be little support for their new way of life.

3) The development and growth of partnerships in the ongoing care of these youth



Chuenjit remains humble, unassuming and thoroughly engaging. Overall she seems to be doing extremely well in the difficult work she undertakes and it is great to see her commitment and dedication recognised at a national level. 

It is encouraging to see the ‘graduates’ of her program taking up leadership roles in other organisations and moving forward in their own lives.