Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies

by Family Connection Foundation
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Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies
Helping Single Thai Mothers Keep Their Babies

Mary came to Home of the Swallow just for a short season, when she was at the end of her means to support her and her son. She was glad to have had a place to stay here at Home of the Swallow over the last few months, as she didn’t have anywhere else to go. Her short-term goal was to make money so she could get a Thai ID card. Then she would be able to rent a house and get a job. She was finally able to get her Thai ID card after coming to live at Home of the Swallow. The cost was higher than she could afford, which has been a hindrance to getting it in the past. So being able to live at Home of the Swallow and work and save money for this made a huge difference. 

Mary wants her son to be able to study and get a high education.  She says “I want my son to learn important things and not do bad things as I’ve done. Even though his father isn’t around, I want him to have a good life.”  She wants to be able to work for herself in the future, and being here has given her motivation to work towards that. She has another daughter that lives with her father, because Mary is just barely making it now, and is not able to take care of both of her children. She hopes that soon she will be able to bring her daughter to live with her, once she has a more stable income and can support two children well.  

Mary says that she has been happy to be at Home of the Swallow for this season, but she feels that it’s time to leave and try to make it on her own.  She says “I learned a lot of things here, specifically how to concentrate better, how to better get along with others, and how my words affect other people.  The house mother helped me a lot, encouraged me, and has been there for me.”  She has decided to move out to follow her dream to be able to take care of herself. She will be working in an orchard, planting, sweeping, watering, etc.  It’s not difficult work. and it’s something that she likes and will be good at.  She believes this is a job that is a perfect fit for her because she’s been waiting for an opportunity like this for a while. 

Every woman comes to Home of the Swallow for a different reason but all ultimately have the desire to be able to care for and support their family. Some come through our program for a season to get on their feet again as Mary did, and we are thankful to have been able to help her and her son in her season of need! 

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Home of the Swallow welcomed Brenda back, who had sought help from our project in the past. After the COVID situation had caused her to lose her job, she was struggling so much that she didn’t have enough money to buy food for herself and her son. We welcomed her again to live at Home of the Swallow temporarily until she could find work and had saved enough to rent a place of her own. Brenda felt stressed and didn’t want to come back to Home of the Swallow, because she had already graduated from the program. Initially, she considered temporarily leaving her son at an orphanage so she could focus on seeking stable employment and not have to worry about him. But in the end, she decided to come live with us for the time being so she could receive counsel and recommendations from our staff.

Two weeks after Brenda moved in, she found work at a factory making spring rolls. Not long after that, one of her co-workers contracted COVID, which caused everyone at HOS to need to be tested for COVID and quarantine for 14 days. The situation was surprising and frightening to everyone at Home of the Swallow, especially at first (before knowing the results of the initial tests which we later found out were all negative). This was the first time COVID had hit so close to home for HOS. No one had the courage to interact with Brenda. Some of our clients were so anxious they couldn’t sleep. The project closed: no one was permitted to enter the house, and both staff and clients who lived at Home of the Swallow couldn’t go out, aside from the designated staff member who purchased food from the market. 

Everyone took time to share how they were feeling and talked through their fears, this helped everyone to feel less fearful. We also focused on serving and loving Brenda during this time by finding ways to acknowledge and be alongside her in these challenging circumstances, such as bringing meals up to her room. We had very strict measures in place within the home to protect everyone. Our staff provided a wonderful example of caring for Brenda through serving her. Some of the other women followed suit and enjoyed helping out.

Brenda used this opportunity of the time spent alone to learn new things and grow. This caused Brenda to draw closer to others and her son. This situation caused her to become more humble as well. She was able to allow others to serve her, the staff, and other clients who sacrificed for and tended to her. Brenda was worried at first about needing to quarantine, having so much time in her room with her son wanting to play and run around. While it had its challenges, the time she spent with her son helped them to grow closer together and learn so much from the situation. Even though it was all stressful for Brenda when it was over, she was able to see how she grew through it and had developed a better relationship with her son and everyone at HOS. Everyone that had to quarantine at the home ended up enjoying the opportunity to be together and serve one another. 

So many hard situations ultimately end up being an opportunity to learn new things, especially about ourselves. We are also very thankful no one tested positive for Covid during this time! 

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Piper is 34 years old and is a graduate of our program. She shared a bit about her story with us recently and her experience at Home of the Swallow. Piper’s parents separated when she was young, around the time that she was born. She was living with her mother who then passed away and she was sent to live in an orphanage. Piper never had the opportunity to experience life in a family, and was never able to know the loving touch or hug of her mother or father. When she was at the orphanage she felt heavyhearted and struggled a lot. It wasn’t just that she didn’t have parents, she also didn’t have anything secure in her life - not even her health. She felt that everything was stolen from her. Before Piper came to live at Home of the Swallow, she didn’t have anywhere to live and didn’t have the will to continue living. She was pregnant and couldn’t depend on the father of her child because he was in jail. 

Coming to Home of the Swallow was a turning point for her. She said, “My time at Home of the Swallow has had a profound impact on my life.” If not for HOS, she wouldn’t be able to see her son, and she doesn’t even know if she would be alive today. Piper was given the opportunity to experience the world in a new way; she found a new community, and new love through Home of the Swallow. Piper is so grateful to have had been in the environment at HOS to grow and heal from her past. She was able to experience what a true family is like through her time at Home of the Swallow. She now has a family/community she did not have before. She now has hope, new life, and a new way to experience this world. 

“I am so thankful for this house which demonstrates the real love and caring to one another. And more than that, I am certain that Home of the Swallow will have a strong impact on others in the future.” Through her time at Home of the Swallow she has developed a passion to help others that have come from similar circumstances. She sees how he offers freedom, freedom to love with deep warmth to women like her and orphans, even though many in this world will reject them. Piper wants to thank everyone at Home of the Swallow, who loved her and showed her kindness.

We are so blessed to have been a small part of Piper's story and are able to continue to walk alongside her on her journey! 

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Uma is a client who us and 2 other organizations have been collaborating to help, she has three children. Before she graduated from HOS to live in the community in early April, these three organizations met to figure out how best to support her. It wasn’t an ideal time for her to move out since her youngest was still a baby. She had come to live at Home of the Swallow when she was 6 months pregnant. She had planned to live with her 16 year old niece who was living in foster care elsewhere. We tried to encourage her to focus first on supporting herself, her baby, and her two older children who were living with family, but she had a strong passion to help with her niece, because she had been abandoned by her own parents at a very young age. 

After Uma moved into the community to live independently, she was able to receive support from all three organizations to varying degrees. It will likely take her 3 months to adjust and it will be helpful for her to have support especially during this first period. She chose to live very close to our project in order to still be around the community she has come to be apart of through our project.

When she first moved, things were very difficult. She would come eat with the women and staff and cry with our house mother, because of the challenges of adjusting to life with her niece. Her niece would wake up late and not help at all around the house. Uma’s training from our project made it hard to accept these circumstances with her niece. Our house mother advised her to change her strategy and the way she was talking to her, encouraging her to be patient and calm, and continue communicating to her in love. Uma felt better after spending time with our house mother.

Uma followed the recommendations and has seen the situation improving. She continued working hard at her sewing job and began earning a good income, enough to make it possible to cover her expenses this month. We believe that when Uma sets out to do something and is willing to persevere through issues that might arise because she desires to provide for her children and niece. 

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Emma (pseudonym) recently reached out to the Thai government orphanage, Baan Wiang Ping, and another local orphanage to inquire about leaving her 4 year old son, Christopher (also not his real name) there on occasion. Each organization required his father’s signature on various legal documents in order to register him. The father had demonstrated over time that he was unsafe for both Emma and Christopher, so Emma was reluctant to connect with him. The local orphanage referred their case to Home of the Swallow.

After chatting with Emma, we learned that the reason she couldn’t care for Christopher independently was because she works a rotating shift at Home Pro (a local hardware and home goods store) and thus has an irregular work schedule. As a single mom without other sources of support, Emma was spending a large share of her income to compensate neighbors and babysitters to care for Christopher at all hours of the day and night.

Before encountering this child care obstacle, the COVID situation had left both mom and son in a precarious financial situation. Emma had been out of work for months in early 2020 and the two of them didn’t have enough money to sustain themselves or eat regularly during this time, causing Emma to be fearful that she would lose her job again. She felt she had no choice but to prioritize work and figure out a way for others to help care for Christopher, so she connected with these orphanages as a last resort. She planned to come back for Christopher if she was able to secure employment with a more regular schedule. 

When HOS staff discussed this case, we decided to expand our typical nursery hours in order to care for Christopher on an as-needed basis. Although HOS usually provides residential care to women and their children, Emma, who had grown up in an orphanage herself, was reluctant to live at a foundation again. We thus decided to receive Emma and Christopher as members of our project, even though Emma continues to live in the community. This is the first family we have supported in this way. After coordinating care and meeting regularly to provide encouragement and counsel to Emma and Christopher for a month, Emma decided she could care for Christopher herself!

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Organization Information

Family Connection Foundation

Location: Muang, Chiang Mai - Thailand
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Timothy Dunham
Muang, Chiang Mai Thailand
$20,907 raised of $25,000 goal
55 donations
$4,093 to go
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