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.
Apr 26, 2016

Our impact in 2015

This time we won't share a specific story about one of our prisoners. In stead we will give you an overview of what we have done in 2015. And a quick summary of what our project looks like, for those who aren't familiar with Siam-Care.

Siam-Care’s goal is to help the marginalised in the Thai society. The HIV infected prisoners have two major cultural stigma attached to them - both of which society views as “unclean”. By giving them a second chance, we not only help the prisoners in their immediate surroundings, but we also help to rehabilitate them to reintegrate into the society they live in. For over 7 years, Siam-Care has been working with the Department of Corrections to help prisoners, especially those who are HIV infected, to gain more understanding about the virus and the different treatment and prescriptions of ARV that they can take. We have established a trust and good working relation with the government agency throughout our time there. Siam-Care works to fight against stigma and discrimination through raising awareness and counselling activities, helping the prisoners to become aware of the hope that they have at another chance in life.

What we did in 2015
Siam-Care’s staffs have worked to focus on two prisons in 2015. The new approach this year: to provide counselling to those who are not infected as well as to raise awareness and to eradicate preconceptions of living with those who are HIV infected. Many of our activities are fun and light-hearted, designed to lower the tense atmosphere of life inside a prison. The practical information provided means that other prisoners are less afraid to spend time with those who are HIV infected. Furthermore, the prisoners who are infected are provided crucial information, not only on their condition, but also regarding their social rights to free treatment and government benefits to help them combat the virus inside their bodies. Just like every year, Siam-Care’s staff and a large group of volunteers, sang Christmas carols in prison. This year we were also given the opportunity to explain why Christmas is celebrated. The event was much appreciated by both prison staff and the inmates. Also we handed out gift boxes with basic supplies, in both the male and female prison.

Result of the program
Siam-Care made 20 visits to the men’s prison hospital and the woman’s prison rehabilitation facility in 2015. The result of these program meant that over 70 prisoners received the assistance and counselling of Siam Care this year. We decided, this year, to conduct a session with non-infected and infected prisoners to raise awareness. The result is a better understanding between these two groups in living together. We were also engaged on the personal level through one-on-one counselling, ensuring that every individual person is cared for.

Our prison program in 2015 in numbers
2 prisons are part of Siam-Care’s prison
70 total prisoners helped this year. 35 male / 35 female
10 visits to the men’s prison hospital
10 visits to the woman’s prison rehabilitation facility.
300 prisoners received a gift package with Christmas, which were filled with underwair, tooth brush, soap, a little booklet about the gospel

Mar 8, 2016

Graduated student or teenage mother?

At the moment we are working on a corporate video for Siam-Care. It will help us to share our story in an easier way with all our donors. We love showing them the many stories of the many families we support. And show donors how their donations help changing lives. Among other people, we did an interview with Ning, a 23 year old girl. Her story was so touching, that we want to share it with you.

Ning, not her real name, was born in the poorest part of Thailand: Isaan. Her parents were both HIV-infected. Back then medication was not available or very expensive. Hence Ning's parents got weaker and both died when Ning was 6 years old. From that moment on, Ning's grandparents started taking care of her. They didn't have a lot of money, for they were simple farmers. On average they make 4000 Thai Baht a month, a little over a 100 Dollars. This is barely enough to survive, let alone send a child to school.

Same sponsor for 15 years
Siam-Care came into Ning's life when she was 7 years old. We found her a donor which allowed her to go to school. This very donor kept on supporting Ning until she finished university, in the beginning of 2016. We interviewed her in January of this year and we were all very touched by her gratitude. While she shared her story with us, she cried the whole time. She shared that without Siam-Care, she probably would have ended up pregnant at a young age. Subsequently she would not have been able to finish her school and without a diploma, finding a job and taking care of your child, is very difficult.

Give back
Ning shared that Siam-Care is like a family to her. These are her exact words: "Siam-Care is my family, they are my parents and my brothers and sisters. They gave me a chance to escape the wheel of poverty. They gave me a chance to finish my education and find a job. I pray that one day I will be able to work for Siam-Care and give something back. I don't need to make a lot of money. I simply want to do to others what Siam-Care did for me. I am so glad and proud that I am not a teenage mother, but a graduated student with a brigh future a head of me. Thank you for your support, you have made this possible. Please consider donating to Siam-Care, so that they can do the same thing for other children as well.

Jan 29, 2016

Little encouragement with big impact

Every 2 weeks Siam-Care visits a woman’s prison close to Bangkok. We meet many woman, who all have their own story. We would like to introduce you to Ang, a 33 year old mother of 2 children and sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Siam-Care’s goal for the prison project is two-fold. First of all we teach the inmates about HIV and other sexual transmitted diseases. In this way we help the inmates to protect themselves and to prevent the virus from spreading. Our second goal is to encourage woman and give them some love. Often prisoners have no one visiting them, our staff are the only people from the outsite world they see. Ang has two children, but their father, Ang’s ex-husband, doesn’t want the children to visit their mother.

A little distraction
Today we start with a game, to break the ice. Ang has a big smile on her face and is one of the most fanatic people in the game. She doesn’t win, but this doesn’t matter to her. She is happy that Siam-Care brings her some distraction from her boring prison life. She was arrested 3 years ago, because she was selling drugs. Forced by poverty, Ang was tempted to make some ‘easy money’. Her children needed to eat and Ang couldn’t find a regular job. She was caught by the police the very first time she delivered drugs to a customer.

HIV-infected since 14 years ago
Back to today’s session. During the training about HIV Ang listens carefully. She is HIV-infected herself, since she was 19 years old. Her children are not infected, because she always took her medication. Ang askes many questions and zealously makes notes. She wants to know every detail about the virus, so that she can prevent it from spreading.

Moments to treasure
After our session, before our staff goes back to Bangkok, Ang comes to our staff. She shares that she is a Christian and that is very thankful she can talk to other Christians (our staff). She asks us to pray with her and cries while we do this. Ang says she feels encouraged by our visits and that she is happy that we look after her. We only see her once every two weeks, but for her these moment are something she treasures. She feels loved and not so alone. There is not much we can do for her besides visiting her, but sometimes the little things we can do to encourage somebody, is just enough to keep somebody going.

 
   

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