Prateep Ungsongtham Hata, Thailand

Since the age of 16, when Prateep Ungsongtham Hata started her own slum school, she has spent her life fighting for children growing up in poverty in slums and rural areas in Thailand. She has given them a better life and the chance to go to school.

Prateep offers children financial support; her organization Duang Prateep Foundation runs pre-schools, a school for children with hearing impairments, and homes for vulnerable children. She also builds school libraries; lends money via “The Bank of the Poor”, and runs “The Poor People’s Radio Station”, where children can make their voices heard. Prateep received The World's Children's Prize in 2004 for her 40-year-long struggle for the rights of Thailand’s most vulnerable children.

Prateep’s life is threatened by criminal gangs in Bangkok’s slums. They don’t like her giving poor children an education and a chance to say ’no’ to dangerous work, drugs, prostitution and criminality.

Learn more about Prateep in the Globe Magazine from 2009:

Text: Andreas Lönn, Photos: Paul Blomgren

The facts and figures on this page were accurate at the time of writing, in 2004

Text: Andreas Lönn

Related stories
Your gift is empowering