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.
Mar 10, 2014

The pain of dependency

We arrive in an area with narrow streets and park our car on the sideway. It is a small walk from here. When we get there I see an old lady sitting in the doorway. Today we visit one of the families Siam-Care supports. To bring food, but especially to bring companionship.   

Directly we are invited to sit on the small ‘veranda’. I am listening to Neng (64) even though I do not get any of the Thai words she is speaking. Her head is covered with wrinkles. Pi Leng, one of my colleagues, knows this lady very well,and helps us to understand by translating. She is the grandmother of the 14 year old Lin. Her parents passed away because of HIV, that is why Neng, the grandmother, takes care of her.

Ashamed
We ask Lin what she wants to become in the future. She tells us that it is hard to think about the future. The only thing she can come up with is working in a supermarket, so that she has money to buy nice things. She also tells us that she does not want to go to school during the week. She wants to go to a weekend school, so that she can work during the week. Lin looks very uncertain, as teenagers sometimes do. Some of her friends know that she is HIV positive, and that is one of the reasons she does not like to go school. She is ashamed.

Being helped is not always nice
When we ask grandmother Neng about the things that make her happy, she starts crying. She is very thankful for the food and medicines we give her, because she is suffering from diabetes. She is thankful for the shoulder to cry on and that we listen to her story. But at times she is very sad about the fact that she still needs the help. She desperately wants to take care of herself. In the end that is what Siam-Care aims at as well; to provide Neng with those skills and those materials that she will be able to help herself. Unfortunately sometimes the way to becoming self-reliant is long and tough.

Mar 10, 2014

Worth waiting for

It is a usual sunny Wednesday morning, when we arrive at the prison hospital. Because we want the prisoners to trust us, we make sure they see the same faces every time when we visit. Colleagues Ard and Thorung know the prisoners very well, and the prisoners know them very well. Arriving in the room where the activities will take place, prisoners are already waiting.

We start with a little ice-breaker. (what was the ice-breaker of that day?) While the group is talking about how they see their future, Thorung went for a walk to see the prisoners who are too sick to attend the activities. 

Uncle Saeng 
‘When I, Thorung, arrived at Uncle Saeng his bed, he is already trying to get up because he is looking forward to our visit. He directly starts telling me stories. He used to be a police officer, for the prevention of drugs. For several reasons, (he will not tell) he ended up dealing drugs himself. At the age of 35 he got caught and got life sentence. Because of his HIV-infection he cannot move his legs anymore. I am checking if there is any feeling in his feet by ticking on his feet. He nods. ‘I can feel them, but I just cannot move them’ he tells me. I know this is not only due to HIV but also the lack of hope he has for the future.’

Miracle
Last year uncle Saeng almost died. He was very sick and had bedsores everywhere. His last wish was to see his family. Siam Care arranged this family reunion where he could see his wife and two children. Nobody knows what exactly happened but Saeng got better. He was even able to walk a little.

It is about waiting
Saeng has to wait. After he sits two third of his time in prison he can make an appeal asking permission to go back to his wife and children. It is still a long time to go. But it is worth waiting for. We keep reminding him that. So that he will not lose hope.

(For security reasons the names used in this article are not real.)

Dec 17, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

According to Andy Williams December is 'the most wonderful time of the year’. He’s probably right. Families come together , people cook delicious food and everyone is happy. Although, everyone? Not if you have no money for a special dinner. Not if you are an orphan and celebrate Christmas without your parents. Especially for those people Siam-Care organized a special Christmas celebration. This is a story about a Christian feast in a Buddhist country.

As a Christian NGO , we support the less fortunate not just financially. Moral and spiritual support are just as important. If you are sick , money is not always the problem. Often the stigma that hangs around HIV is a bigger issue than just a lack of money. People often feel alone and ashamed of their infection. Take Moon for example. Her parents deceased when she was young and Moon herself is also infected with the HIV virus. For her Christmas is not a good time. It is a time of being confronted with the fact that she’s an orphan and suffering from a pretty bad disease.

Providing food and share a message of hope
Along with 40 other children and families we invited Moon for a special Christmas celebration. Thanks to around 1000 euro’s in donations (among this were gifts that came in through globalgiving.com) we were able to throw a special Christmas celebration. We were able to provide Moon and the other attendees with a special box of Christmas presents, plus some food supplies as rice and candies. We shared the Christmas message of hope and love with the people present. The message that there is a loving God who cares about every individual and who sees our problems.

Moon felt very blessed
Moon issued after the Christmas celebration that she felt blessed. Not in financial or physical sense. But blessed because she could celebrate Christmas together with children who are in the same situation. Moon felt blessed because she knew that there is someone who is looking out for her. Someone who loves her and wants to help her. She was also very happy with the relatively 'simple' gifts. Simple for another , but special for her. With only 1000 euro Siam-Care gave hope for the new year to 40 children and families. Because of this celebration Christmas was still a very wonderful time for these people. A huge thanks to you for your contribution. Unfortunately, your help is still needed in order to keep providing hope. 

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