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.
Sep 19, 2013

The power of a loving family

Once again the support of the Siam Care staff is tangible and lively during the monthly visit in the prison hospital. The prisoners are already sitting and waiting for Siam Care to arrive. It is obvious that they are happy to see us. They are all smiles and having a small talk together. For the prisoners, especially those who are terribly ill and weak, Siam-Care’s visits offer a moment to escape the hard reality and to connect, to develop friendships and to experience a sense of hope. Ard and Leng, two well trusted and longstanding employees of Siam Care are well known among the prisoners and their attendants. It is heartening to see their glowing faces when Ard and Leng are listening to their stories and comforting them. Stories that are heartbreaking and overwhelming but everyday reality for the men who are locked up inside of Bangkok’s prison hospital.

Meet Chatchai, a prisoner who is highly affected by HIV/AIDS, emaciated and weak. Some time ago his condition deteriorated en he couldn’t feel his legs and feet anymore. He was tied to the bed, not able to move around. That made Chatchai very sad.  “Before I came here I was very active in sports, like Thai volleyball. I really enjoyed doing that, it made me feel alive”. Standing at his bedside we were very pleased to note that the feeling in his legs improved. Slowly he was able to move them and even stand a little. He still has a long period to stay in prison, but what keeps him going are the visits of his wife and son. Although they came only twice in the ten years of his imprisonment, it gives him a lot of joy and strength…… Because his wife is not earning enough money to come and visit Chatchai, Siam Care provides for her and their son’ s travel expenses, so they can visit. Thankfully Siam Care was there to witness their precious reunion. The whole ward brightened up and this gave a tiny ray of hope for all the prisoners who were present. Chatchai hopes to see his family again soon and to be able to walk again.

Aun, a 40 year old prisoner lying next to Chatchai, has trouble moving the lower part of his body. His legs and feet are numb, making it hard for him to stand and move around. Because of good behavior, Aun will be released earlier from prison and he is very excited and making plans for his future. He wants to go back to his home village and set up a fish farm together with his brother and sister. Aun told us that he had a hard time accepting the visits of his sister, he felt very ashamed and sorry for the pain he had caused his family. He is now determined to make the right decisions in life, to restore his family ties and take care of his loved ones.

Many sick and weak prisoners come from far places outside Bangkok, making it hard for the families to come and visit. In order to make this possible, donations are needed. With your gift we can help restore the ties with their families and provide them with hope for a better life. Would you like to be part of that?

Jun 27, 2013

How Ying learned to walk again

Ying and her daughter Tik
Ying and her daughter Tik

Just imagine: you are a 34 year old single mother with an 11-year-old daughter living in a basic shelter next to your parent's house. You have psoriasis, a persistent skin-problem, which is so bad that your whole skin is being eaten away by the disease. It actually makes you so weak that you cannot walk, indeed: moving around at all is hardly possibly. 

Not open to help from others
This is the story of Ying. She is one of the people that Siam-Care is looking after. And that is pretty amazing in itself, as a year ago Ying and especially her parents, were absolutely not open to receive help from others, to put it mildly. They had this strong believe that Ying's skin-problems were caused by evil spirits. To get rid of them, they thought, Ying just had to wait for a good spirit to heal her body, while receiving treatment from the local medicine man. At one stage Ying was so weak that all she could do was lay on the floor for two months, without the tiniest bit of movement. It is little miracle that at that time she didn’t pass away.  

Renewed energy for Ying
After a while Ying's neighbors became so worried about her physical condition, that they contacted the local hospital. The hospital then contacted Siam Care and asked us to visit. After seeing Ying's condition we transported Ying to the hospital where she finally received correct treatment. Since then we have added Ying to our support program and Siam-Care workers now visit her regularly at home, with amazing results. As we have time with Ying and her family we have the opportunity to provide medication, encourage her and talk about all sorts of issues the family is struggling with. It obviously helped Ying; she now is able to walk small distances again. Her skin still gives her a hard time, but due to the medicine she applies daily Ying regained her strength and has renewed energy to look after her daughter. 

Your donations help Ying and daughter Tik
Ying and Tik live in a small village,15 kilometers away from the main provincial city. Ying has no job and has to survive on 500 baht ($ 16) monthly government subsidy, which she receives as disability support. Her parents grow rice on the small fields they own, they can grow enough for their family's rice supply but not enough to sell and cover all the household expenses i.e. food, toiletries school fees for Tik, medicine and transportation for Ying. Because of your donations Siam-Care is able to support Ying and her daughter improve their quality of life.

Ying
Ying's shelter
Under Ying
Under Ying's parent's house
Jun 27, 2013

Letter from Mr. Pat

The work of Siam-Care in the prison, can be a slow process to seeing improvement and changes in lives. Long sentences contribute to the inmates feeling lethargic and hopeless, difficult to motivate or stimulate to look after their health. 

But there are high lights which make the work, the time and effort put into it, all worthwhile. We want to share one such high light with you in the form of a letter received from Mr Pat one of the inmates who has been in the hospital ward for many months. From being a quiet man without much hope he changed into a friendly and talkative person who is motivated to improve his life and looks forwards to his release in a few years time. 

Here some exerts of Mr. Pat's letter:

  “When I lived outside I was a teenager without a goal in life, dropped out of school and ended up using amphetamines to pass the time. This eventually led me to selling drugs which is the reason I am now in prison with a 15 year sentence.........

After being incarcerated a couple of years I became sick, so very sick that my legs and lower part of my body lost all strength and I couldn't even get up any longer. I gave up on life and didn't have a reason to continue. But two other inmates were my friends and didn't let me give up, they kept encouraging me and telling me that I would be a free man again one day and have a new life on the outside. Also my mother and sister kept visiting me. I thought they would be angry and upset with me and not want to have anything to do with me, but instead they continued to come on visiting day and begged me not to give up on life. So finally I agreed to see the prison doctor and was eventually diagnosed with HIV and Psoriasis.......... 

I was admitted into the hospital and here I met you (Siam-Care staff), you also didn't let me give up but brought me hope and stories about life outside. I started to tell myself that I still had a life ahead and should exercise if I wanted to leave this place walking on my own. So slowly I started practicing; first moving my toes, then my feet, then bending my legs. I practiced every day and improved little by little, I also received medication for my sicknesses.......... 

I started this in 2011 and now I am walking again with a stick, I have never skipped a dosage of medication and every day I feel stronger and happier. And I will never give up.........

Thank you for helping me, for being my friend and encouraging me, I will never forget you.”

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