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.
May 29, 2014

Friends in prison

“My name is Joseph and I’m from Liberia. The last 6 months have been the most terrifying months in my live. I’ve been so stupid to smuggle drugs to Thailand. I was desperate for money and then you do unwise things sometimes. I got caught by the police and ended up in one of the most notorious prisons worldwide: The Bangkwan Central Prison in Bangkok.”

“In the Bangkok Hilton – a nickname for Bangkwan Central Prison – you have very little space for yourself. I share my room with about 30 other prisoners. We even take turns sleeping for there is not enough room to sleep at the same time. Did I tell you already we don’t have a toilet in our cell? You won’t be surprised that after a couple of weeks I started to feel weaker. After visiting the prison doctor and waiting for the results, I discovered something awful: I was Hiv-positive.”

On one speaks English
“Of course I was shocked by the news. They immediately transported me to the prison hospital where I at least had my own bed. But all the other inmates were Thai en no one could tell me what I should do. The nurse gave me some basic information about my medication but I didn’t quite understand what she was telling me. Thankfully the nurse told me about Siam-Care. This NGO visits the prison hospital twice a month. I was very happy to see them for the first time; finally someone who spoke English and could tell me more about my infection.”

More knowledge about Hiv
“I spoke with one of the staff members of Siam-Care for quite a long time. He gave me more information about Hiv and about how and when I should take my medication. He also explained why it is so important for me to take my medication. I know a lot more about Hiv and that gives me more peace. Of course my situation is still very bad and I’m not even sure how much longer I need to stay in prison. It might be 20 more years. But at least I know there is someone I can talk to about my situation, someone who’s really listening. Siam-Care has been a great help for me in prison and I’m definitely more relax now.”

Would you help us to keep on supporting people like Joseph? Please donate money, so that we are able to keep on hiring someone to visit the prison hospital as much as possible.

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

May 29, 2014

Girl on her own: the future is wide open

A girl on her own
A girl on her own

My name is Fluk and I am 22 years old. I live in Bangkok and just finished university. But this story starts 22 years before today. Back then no one expected me to finish university. They didn't thought I would be able to go to school at all. I was living with my old grandmother who was too old and sick to take care of me. But then Siam-Care showed up and my life changed drastically.

July 1992, Mukdahan
I was born in the northeast Thailand, not to far from Mukdahan, a medium-sized city, in the province Isaan. Isaan is considered one of the most poor areas in Thailand. Most people are farmers and grow rice or sugarcanes. Just like my parents. They were both Hiv-positive, already before I was born. I was my parent's first child and also the last one. My mother would have loved to have more children but her physical situation didn't allow her.

May 1995, Mukdahan
After my birth my mother's body got weaker and weaker. When I was only 3 years old, she died. I was to young to understand what was going on. I don't really remember what my mother looked like, to be honest. Thankfully I still have some pictures of me and my mother. After my mother died, my father took me to Bangkok, because there he would have a better chance to find a job. He ended up working as a construction worker, for about 12 hours a day. He made around 250 baht a day (8 USD).

November 1997, Bangkok
The health situation of my father was not improving. Despite the fact that he used medication to suppress his HIV infection, he became weaker. In the end of 1997 he died in Bangkok. I was only 5 years old but already an orphan. I moved back to Mukdahan to live with my grandmother. She was almost 80 and too old to work. Hence I wasn't able to go to school, because how would we ever be able to pay for the uniform and travel costs, to name just a few expences.

January 1998, Mukdahan
One of our neighbours brought us in conact with Siam-Care, a NGO that was working with Hiv-infected people. I'm not infected myself but that didn't matter for Siam-Care. After they heard my story Siam-Care found someone in Europe who wanted to support me. I was able to go to school and that made me so happy. I still remember the first day I went to school. I was so proud to wear my uniform. There was someone I didn't know who though I was precious enough to support. That made me feel so special.

May 2014, Bangkok
After finishing primary and high school I moved to Bangkok again to study at university. My grandmother doesn't live anymore, but because of Siam-Care's support I was able to study. I payed for my own food because I had a parttime job in a Thai restaurant. Now that I've finished my study to become a teacher, I can start working after the summer holiday. I am so proud that I can take care of myself now. Ofcource I miss my parents but atleast I know that my future is wide open. I can work, take care of myself and start a family one day. Thankfully my children won't need the support of Siam-Care, but I am so thankfull that Siam-Care was there for me!

Fuke didn't allow us to use her real name and picture. 

Writing letter to sponsor in Europe
Writing letter to sponsor in Europe
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.

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.

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