We’d like to introduce you to the Lhekyang family, consisting of grandmother Plaa and her 15 year old granddaughter View. View’s parents died because of HIV when View was very young, so grandmother Plaa has always taken care of View. Until a couple months ago, when something went really wrong.
View is HIV-positive, just as her parents were. She used to be quite open about this and shared it with her classmates. They didn’t react in a positive way: they started bullying View en hence she started feeling more and more insecure. At one point she couldn’t take it any more and decided to start all over again at another school. At the new school she only had lessons on Sundays, so the rest of the week she could work and support her grandmother, who cannot work because she is almost completely blind. So far, so good. We were very happy with this solution, for View was still studying and she could support her grandmother, although here income was very low.
15 and pregnantBut then the relationship between grandmother Plaa and View got worse. The old grandmother didn’t quite understand her teenage granddaughter and View didn’t show a lot of respect to her grandmother either. Therefore view suddenly decided to move to a friend’s house. She still went to school by that time and regularly visited her grandmother. For a moment it seemed like the situation improved but then View found out she was pregnant. Thereafter she and her boyfriend split up and she was all alone. She also didn’t want to take her medication any longer. Which means she puts not only her own life, but also the life of her unborn child into danger.
No contact with grandmother any moreAfter she got pregnant View ran away from home and doesn’t want to have any contact with her grandmother any more. Grandmother Plaa worries a lot, as you will understand. Being a 15 year old pregnant and HIV-positive orphan makes View a very vulnerable girl. She might be kicked out of school as well; as soon as her teachers find out she is pregnant.
Story isn’t over yet I would like to end this story with a nice ending. I would like to tell you that View is doing fine now and that she is living with her grandmother Plaa again. Unfortunately this is not what happened so far. This sad story isn’t over yet. Our staff still tries to convince Plaa that she should start taking her medicine again. We are the only one she still trusts and we do our very best to guide her in this difficult process. We hope she’ll move back to her grandmother. Whatever she decided, she needs financial and moral support. She’s just 15 years old and has no experience in raising a child. Thanks to your support we are able to help vulnerable children like View. Yes: she made some wrong decisions in her life but she has been very unlucky, growing up as a poor and sick orphan. Will you help us to provide View with knowledge about how to raise a child? Will you enable us to support View with some basic supplies, like food and oil to cook? She won’t be able to survive on her own.
Due to your help Siam-Care is able to support many underprivileged families. We are very thankful for the many who support our project in different forms. We cannot change the whole world. But we can we have a huge impact on some families. Like the Buritan family, consisting of the 18 year old mother Por, her boyfriend Eak (19) and their 2 children Ping (2) and Nok (0).
Some of the families we support have a relatively decent house, usually inherited from family. But for the Buritan family, this is a completely different story. Both Por and Eak's parents died at quite a young age because of HIV/Aids, without any personal belongings. So after Por and Eak started dating and Por got pregnant when she was 16, they didn't have a proper place to live in. Two years later Por got pregnant again and now Por and Eak have 2 beautiful children. But no job or money to take care of them and to pay for rent.
Enter house thrue the windowBoth Por and Eak didn't finish their high school. Hence is it difficult for them to find a good job. They are completely on their own, no family or friends to support them. Father Eak makes some money by selling food on the street. He makes around 3000 baht a month (90 USD), which is not enough to cover all their expenses. They cannot afford to live in a normal house. Fortunately the family found a room that they can rent. It is very small but at least they have a place to sleep and protect their children. The only thing is: their room doesn't have a door, the family has to enter their house thrue the window. Which is quite difficult with two young children.
How we support the familyWith your support we would like to provide the Buritan family with some food, like milk for the 2 young children. Also we would like to train father Eak to find a better job so that the family can move to a better place. Also we would love to teach Mother Por and Eak how to raise children, since both parents are very young and don't have someone who tells them how to raise children. Thank you for your continuing support for this project. You don't change the world by donating to Siam-Care. But you do make a big difference in the lives of some families, like the Buritan family.
For privacy reasons the names of the family have been changed.
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, MukdahanI 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, MukdahanAfter 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, BangkokThe 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, MukdahanOne 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, BangkokAfter 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.
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.
AshamedWe 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 niceWhen 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.
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 hopeAlong 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 blessedMoon 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.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
Manager of Communications