Siam-Care Foundation

Siam Care takes a biblical approach to strengthen marginalized and at risk children, families, and communities through psychosocial support, health access, educational scholarships, family reconciliation, legal rights and HIV awareness raising, advocacy, and spiritual transformation.
Jun 17, 2015

Second home

My name is Plaa. I am 20 years old and for as long as I can remember I have had a warm and caring family. Maybe not like other families who have a father and a mother, but I have a grandfather and grandmother who take care of me. I can always rely on them and they are my first home where I feel safe and protected. But I would not be where I am today, if I had not known Siam-Care.

As a child, without Siam-Care I would have stayed at home alone. Never gone anywhere, never do any activities and never would have known others who would come near me and talk with me, share food, dance, sing and hug. I never would have known others who give me love or extend feelings of appreciation, if it had not been for Siam-Care.

Second home
Siam-Care is my second home, and not just for me, but for many others too. If it hadn't been for them and my sponsor, I would for sure not have been able to study up to a Bachelor’s level. My sponsor, uncle Emil, has very kindly supported me all these years. Once I was able to meet him, this made me so happy I can't even describe the feeling. I was still very young but I still remember he bought me a football as a present. Every year since then, I hoped to meet him again. I've never had the opportunity to meet him and tell him the many stories I'd like him to know. But I let him know those things through the letters that I send him twice a year through Siam-Care. These letters give us the opportunity to thank our sponsors and return some happiness to them. At times I received an answer to my letter, which made me very happy.

Almost gratuated
I have now almost finished my four years of study, thanks to the support and guidance of my family and Siam-Care. They prevented me from going the wrong path and they patiently guided me to finish.

Future
I will take what I have learned with me and make good use of it for myself and for others. Thank you all, Pa Adrienne and all Siam-Care staff, who I consider my big brothers and sisters. I love you all very much. Please continue to stay with us when things are good and when we feel discouraged. You are our solace and you dry our tears. You are always there for us. It doesn't matter how much time passes by, I will never forget that the goal and reason I see today is because of Siam-Care. Thank you so much for the good life you offer to vulnerable children through Siam-Care.

May 11, 2015

Why birds don't fly

Broken wings
Broken wings

A group of women, dressed in blue. Isolated from the outside world. And a little bird, free to fly out. Singer Anouk from The Netherlands once sang a strange song about birds. When I was in the prison for women, this song suddenly made sense.

As part of our activities, the women did a little performance. One of them carried a sign ‘HIV-infected’. Facing her with disgust, another woman took a step back and shivered. We all laughed about it. But in my heart, it made me cry. This time it was a performance, but outside prison it happens every day. Sometimes being yourself is wrong apparently.

Though the women seem happy when we visit them, their faces sometimes show something else. Some of the inmates are young, but look old and tired. Sometimes they smile, but seconds later they sadly stare at the sky. Their minds wander off, who knows what their futures will look like?

A small bird flew into the group and landed on the shoulder of a young woman. The woman told me proudly: “that’s our bird, we take care of it”. I watched how the bird flew to different women and made them smile for a while. It made me think of the song of Dutch singer Anouk. “Birds falling down the rooftops, out of the sky like raindrops. No air, no pride. That’s why birds don’t fly.” I never understood the lyrics, but now I do. When you have been a prisoner and you have HIV, you are considered amongst the lowest of Thai society. With no air and no pride, you are like a bird with one wing. Even your hope can turn into fear.

But hope is strong. And we come to prison to repair the other wing. We come to give back hope and dignity. We tell the women about their value, despite of their illness. We share God’s love and teach them self-confidence. And we hope that one day, when they are released from prison, they will spread out their wings and fly.

Mar 25, 2015

The face of improvement

She is waiting for us at the entrance of a sunny, light room. Her face shows a big smile when she sees her ‘family’ from Siam-Care again. Isra is a HIV-infected lady of 45 years old. She has been supported by Siam-Care for 25 years already. Yet this is the first time we visit them in a long time.

As usual in Thailand, we take off our shoes when we enter Isra’s house and find a place to sit on the floor. I cannot speak Thai, so I just observe my colleagues talk, sometimes they translate for me. I see how my colleagues do not stop laughting at Isra, because she keeps on making jokes, while she answers my colleagues’ questions. I see the proudness in Isra’s eyes when she shows pictures of her stepdaughter, who is about to graduate.

Proud and grief
I can also see the worries in her eyes when she tells about her son (11), who is very ambitious. So ambitious, that he sometimes forgets how their situation at home used to be. He even wants to be in an international school, where only wealthy students go to. I see how Isra is torn between proud and sadness, when she tells that her son is exactly like her. Always debating and asking questions.

Able to
Behind us are clothes racks full with laundry, in Isra’s one room apartment. Isra points at the many racks and tells about the improved circumstances of her family. “I earn a little income by doing laundry for other people. I can give my son eight times more pocket money than my daughter used to get when she was young. In the past my daughter had to walk to school, but now they can go by bus.” Isra and her family are doing a lot better than before.

What’s the point?
Why do I share this story with you? Isra and her family are not longer totally depending on Siam-Care. They are able to stand on their on feet and that’s exactly why we want to tell you this story. To show you what happends when Siam-Care starts taking care of a family. Together with Isra we found a way to make money and we counseled the family in multiple areas. Over the years, this family was enabled to be more and more independent. Because of your donations we were able to guide them and help them reach their goals. Other families are just at the start of this proces. Will you help us to help them as well?

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