East and Southeast Asia


of children under five have stunted growth due to malnutrition


of the Thai population live below the international poverty line of £1.45 per day


of Laos’s population work in agriculture


of the world’s rice is produced in East and Southeast Asia

About the Mekong subregion

The Mekong River or ‘Mother of Rivers’ flows a distance of 2,983 miles from the Tibetan Plateau into southern China’s province of Yunnan, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. These countries make up East and Southeast Asia.

Tearfund is focusing on an area within East and Southeast Asia, where the borders of China, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet – referred to here as the East and Southeast Asia.

Following decades of armed conflicts, relative peace in recent years has fostered economic liberalisation. Governments in the region have cooperated more, helping to build infrastructure, such as roads, in the area.

Each of the provinces in the countries mentioned above has their own distinctive social, political and economic profile. However, shifting economic demands on shared resources like rivers and forests are altering delicate ecological balances, often to the detriment of marginalised communities in these regions.

How we do it

Church & Community Transformation

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Our Work in East and Southeast Asia

Tearfund is working through local churches in East and Southeast Asia, empowering and enabling them to bring about spiritual, physical, social and economic transformation. The focus is on the lives of vulnerable migrant people – giving them control over their own sustainable development.

Tearfund aims to envision 100 churches in East and Southeast Asia to meet the needs of these migrant communities. In particular we are focusing on preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS among migrant workers.

We have been working to reduce HIV/AIDS prevalence through programmes to educate churches and vulnerable groups.

We are developing a number of local language resources to do this work.

In addition, staff and local partner organisations are working to protect the rights of migrant workers, including their citizenship rights when they enter a country. Other work includes helping communities to prepare for natural disasters, such as cyclones and floods, and working with children at risk, especially girls who are vulnerable to human trafficking.

Tearfund and our partner groups have also been encouraging churches and vulnerable communities to care for their environment.




churches have been inspired to engage with the poorest in their local communities.


churches have worked to combat community issues, such as HIV and natural disasters.


churches have worked to address abuses of power and exploitation in their communities.

Pray for our work

  • Pray for Tearfund’s work to end human trafficking, particularly for women and girls.
  • Pray for the churches Tearfund is working with to reduce the risk of migrants contracting HIV/AIDS.
  • Pray that our work will promote peace and stability in East and Southeast Asia.
  • Ask God to strengthen Tearfund and his church as we continue reaching out to those in the greatest need.

Stories from East and Southeast Asia

  • Fifty years, fifty countries: Mekong

    The Mekong River flows nearly 3,000 miles from the Tibetan Plateau into southern China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The naturally rich and fertile lands around the river basin make up a region known as Greater Mekong. Nearly half of the world’s rice is grown here.

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Where we're working