My name is Plaa. I am 20 years old and for as long as I can remember I have had a warm and caring family. Maybe not like other families who have a father and a mother, but I have a grandfather and grandmother who take care of me. I can always rely on them and they are my first home where I feel safe and protected. But I would not be where I am today, if I had not known Siam-Care.
As a child, without Siam-Care I would have stayed at home alone. Never gone anywhere, never do any activities and never would have known others who would come near me and talk with me, share food, dance, sing and hug. I never would have known others who give me love or extend feelings of appreciation, if it had not been for Siam-Care.
Second home Siam-Care is my second home, and not just for me, but for many others too. If it hadn't been for them and my sponsor, I would for sure not have been able to study up to a Bachelor’s level. My sponsor, uncle Emil, has very kindly supported me all these years. Once I was able to meet him, this made me so happy I can't even describe the feeling. I was still very young but I still remember he bought me a football as a present. Every year since then, I hoped to meet him again. I've never had the opportunity to meet him and tell him the many stories I'd like him to know. But I let him know those things through the letters that I send him twice a year through Siam-Care. These letters give us the opportunity to thank our sponsors and return some happiness to them. At times I received an answer to my letter, which made me very happy.
Almost gratuatedI have now almost finished my four years of study, thanks to the support and guidance of my family and Siam-Care. They prevented me from going the wrong path and they patiently guided me to finish.
Future I will take what I have learned with me and make good use of it for myself and for others. Thank you all, Pa Adrienne and all Siam-Care staff, who I consider my big brothers and sisters. I love you all very much. Please continue to stay with us when things are good and when we feel discouraged. You are our solace and you dry our tears. You are always there for us. It doesn't matter how much time passes by, I will never forget that the goal and reason I see today is because of Siam-Care. Thank you so much for the good life you offer to vulnerable children through Siam-Care.
She is waiting for us at the entrance of a sunny, light room. Her face shows a big smile when she sees her ‘family’ from Siam-Care again. Isra is a HIV-infected lady of 45 years old. She has been supported by Siam-Care for 25 years already. Yet this is the first time we visit them in a long time.
As usual in Thailand, we take off our shoes when we enter Isra’s house and find a place to sit on the floor. I cannot speak Thai, so I just observe my colleagues talk, sometimes they translate for me. I see how my colleagues do not stop laughting at Isra, because she keeps on making jokes, while she answers my colleagues’ questions. I see the proudness in Isra’s eyes when she shows pictures of her stepdaughter, who is about to graduate.
Proud and griefI can also see the worries in her eyes when she tells about her son (11), who is very ambitious. So ambitious, that he sometimes forgets how their situation at home used to be. He even wants to be in an international school, where only wealthy students go to. I see how Isra is torn between proud and sadness, when she tells that her son is exactly like her. Always debating and asking questions.
Able toBehind us are clothes racks full with laundry, in Isra’s one room apartment. Isra points at the many racks and tells about the improved circumstances of her family. “I earn a little income by doing laundry for other people. I can give my son eight times more pocket money than my daughter used to get when she was young. In the past my daughter had to walk to school, but now they can go by bus.” Isra and her family are doing a lot better than before.
What’s the point?Why do I share this story with you? Isra and her family are not longer totally depending on Siam-Care. They are able to stand on their on feet and that’s exactly why we want to tell you this story. To show you what happends when Siam-Care starts taking care of a family. Together with Isra we found a way to make money and we counseled the family in multiple areas. Over the years, this family was enabled to be more and more independent. Because of your donations we were able to guide them and help them reach their goals. Other families are just at the start of this proces. Will you help us to help them as well?
Thanks to everyone who donated money through GlobalGiving we were able to celebrate Christmas with 40 poor and sick families in Bangkok. What a joy to spread joy to people in despair! without our donors these families would be al alone with Christmas.
A famous song says: "It's the most wonderful time of the year". For most people this is true with Christmas, but not for the families we work with. Like the Phuanmob family, consisting of father Poo (41), motger Lou (39) and their 4 daughters Nim (18), Keaw (14), Ping (12) and Ploi (10). Both parents are HIV-positive and the family shares one small room, where they live, eat and sleep. No private space fot the teenage girls, no silent room to do their homework. Still the 4 daughters perform pretty well in school and are happy. Christmas is just like every other day for the Phuanmob family. They don't have money for a special meal, they are already happy if they have enough food at all.
Rice for ChristmasWith the money donated through GlobalGiving Siam-Care bought basic supplies like pans, rice cookers and food. Every family attending our Chistmas celebration received a box with rice and oil and some small gifts for the children. Also families could win prices in a special Bingo game. The Phuanmob family won a rice cooker, some toys and a fan. It was touching to see how grateful they were after receiving the gifts. At least they can cook rice with Christmas and provide themselves a basic meal.
Grateful familiesWe could share many more stories of families like the Phuanmob family. We won't, just look at the pictures and see how thankful and happy these families are. On behalf of them we would like to thank you very much for donating money to Siam-Care. Without your help the Phuanmob family would be al alone and that would be a heart breaking story, since there is no one elses who takes care of this very poor family. Thank you very much, we're all in this together!
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.
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