Bangpoo is a suburb of Bangkok, the capital and most populous city of Thailand. Around 11 million people live in the city, which is also one of the most visited cities in the world with around 22 million tourists per year.
However, despite and because of the booming tourism and economy, the city suffers from prevailing pollution, poverty and inequality.
Millions of vehicles and the lack of proper waste disposal pollute the city, in which 20% of the people live in slums. Children growing up in Bangpoo are the most affected by these living conditions. They often struggle with health consequences and can hardly escape the cycle of poverty.
Since 1974, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Bangpoo.
Bangpoo suffers from air pollution. This is not only due to traffic, construction and factory emissions, but also the burning of waste. Bangkok is especially infamous for its traffic congestion. The city has around 10 million vehicles, which is 8 times as much as the existing roads can handle. Cars in Thailand are seen as a representation of affluence, so it is hard for people to give it up and opt instead for more sustainable options.
Every single day, around 10,000 metric tons of waste is produced in Bangkok. On a yearly basis, only 19% is recycled. Children are especially vulnerable to the lack of waste management and air pollution, which has a negative effect on their health and living conditions.
Bangkok's infrastructure has not been able to keep up with the rapid economic development. People who move to Bangkok in search of a better life and job opportunities often live in one of the city's slums and lack access to electricity, water and health services. In fact, 20% of people in the city live in these poor conditions.
Children are the most affected by the difficult living conditions in the slums and do not have access to adequate health care and education. For these reasons, it is often difficult for them to escape the vicious circle of poverty.