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

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.

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.)

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $15
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $200
  • $300
  • $15
    each month
  • $25
    each month
  • $50
    each month
  • $100
    each month
  • $200
    each month
  • $300
    each month
  • $
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?