Oct 25, 2017

Foster Family education

Plans for the foster parent trainings are coming along well. We got a budget and plan breakdown from them and we are excited to provide the financial support for these events! We will be able to provide three events each for current foster families and prospective foster families, in addition to doing five sessions of our trafficking prevention program for current foster children. We are hoping to begin these trainings in January and are excited to continue doing awareness raising in the greater Thai community to get even more families interested in providing short-term, long-term or emergency foster care for children in need. Thank you for your support that will make these events possible!


In other news, we have a newsletter that describes in more detail what we do with Jojo's Sanctuary every two to three months. If you would like to read our updates, please email us at jojos@thaiconnections.org


Sep 28, 2017

Why Short Term Foster Care?

Butsaba and Jay Saeher, co-founders
Butsaba and Jay Saeher, co-founders

In the US, we take social services and the foster system for granted. But we all know that it’s a recent addition to our society, replacing orphanages before it. In Thailand, the standard procedure for poor families or orphaned children is to send them to orphanages or children’s homes. But what about when children have their sole caregiver arrested for a petty crime and sent to jail for only a few weeks or months? What becomes of them?

Thailand has been working for the past several years to build the infrastructure to shift from orphanages into family-based care, whether that be with extended family, neighbors or a qualified foster family. However, because the problem is so big, they have been focused solely on long-term care. Jojo’s Sanctuary provides short-term care (up to one year) for children in this situation in a family setting. Two of Jojo’s Sanctuary’s founders are a couple who have long had the desire to be foster parents, even before they knew what it meant. They will be able to provide a loving environment for a few children at a time, but in order to create a whole system, we must engage the community as well.

That is where your support comes in! By supporting our project, you will make it possible for us to partner with the Thai government in doing community outreach to share with Thai people the benefits of family-based short term care. This is a big task, as it requires people to overcome their fear of allowing bad karma into their homes by taking in disadvantaged children. By promoting foster care, and putting a human face on it, we will be able to find and equip good families to provide support these kids need.

We will also be able to support the Thai government by providing funds for them to have training sessions for current and future foster parents so they can better care for the kids entrusted to them. They will learn about the different types of foster care, attachment disorder and how to prevent or treat it, how to be sensitive to kids needs and emotions, parenting children who have been traumatized and how to recognize signs of sexual abuse and how to prevent it.

Here are some words from some of our founders, Butsaba and Jay Saeher:

We started Jojo’s Sanctuary because we wanted to work with kids who had been traumatized. We know that there are lots of kids abandoned by their parents and others who don’t have the chance to go to school. We want to become foster parents so traumatized children will feel loved and supported and have a better future. We know we can’t replace their parents, but we can help them process their trauma and work with their families to become strong, loving and supportive of their children. We feel called to do this because we know God loves us and we want to share that love with children and families who may have never felt loved.


Sep 20, 2017

What's In a Name?

Why are we named Jojo’s Sanctuary? We get asked this question a lot. We named our project in honor of a little boy called Jojo that our founders knew. We founded this project only weeks after his tragic death and in an effort to keep his memory alive and always remember why we do what we do, decided to name it in his honor. Jojo was the nephew of friends who do humanitarian relief work in Thailand. For several years after Jojo’s parents divorced, Jojo and his siblings lived with this aunt and uncle while his father and other relatives remained in Laos. Once his father was more stable, the children moved back to Laos, but their dad couldn’t take care of all the kids on his own, so Jojo was sent to live out in the country with a different aunt and uncle. Sadly for all involved, the aunt did not adjust to parenting well and began abusing little Jojo, resulting in his death at the age of 8 years old. When we decided to form Jojo’s Sanctuary, we did it with the idea that we could reach out into rural communities and teach both children and their caregivers about children’s rights, abuse, and positive discipline techniques to try to prevent this from happening to other children. If children are being abused, their caregivers can be equipped with the information necessary to parent better and get help for themselves and their family. 2017 has seen our outreach program reap good results. Thank you for helping us to continue it in 2018!

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