Mekong subregion

40%

of children under five have stunted growth due to malnutrition

12.6%

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

71%

of Laos’s population work in agriculture

44%

of the world’s rice is produced in the Mekong subregion

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 what is referred to as the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

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

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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Advocacy

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Resilience

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HIV

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Our Work in the Mekong subregion

Tearfund is working through local churches in the Mekong subregion, 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 the Mekong subregion 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.

OUR PARTNERS IN THE MEKONG SUBREGION: MMF, CEDAR Fund & World Concern Laos

ACHIEVEMENTS

315

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

115

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

60

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 the Mekong subregion.
  • Ask God to strengthen Tearfund and his church as we continue reaching out to those in the greatest need.

Stories from the Mekong subregion

  • 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