Holistic Care for 450 HIV Positive Thai Families

by Siam-Care Foundation
Vetted

As you probably know Siam-Care focuses on children who are affected by HIV and their families. 95 percent of the families in our program, have family members who are infected with HIV. Od and Ed are an exception. This very special couple has been part of our program for many years. We would like to introduce them to you.

Od is a funny and a happy guy. He is 54 years old and was born in Bangkok, in the same house where he still lives today. When we visit him, he always makes jokes and shares a lot of smiles. He lives together with his sister Ed, who was born in the same house. Ed is a very friendly and calm woman. Together with her brother she does the house hold chores: she cooks, cleans and washes their clothes. 

No ordinairy family
Od and Ed are no ordinairy family. Od has profound spasms and cannot walk. Ed is blind. Because of their conditions, they are both unemployed and cannot leave the house. Yet they are very well able to survive as a couple. Ed takes full time care of her brother. Eventhough she was born blind and doesn't know what her own house looks like, she knows every corner of the house like the back of her hand and does all the house hold chores by herself. She is the legs of this family, Od is the eyes. She walks around to do household chores, Od tells her where things are being kept and warns her when he sees something on the floor that might cause Ed to stumble and fall. They wouldn't be able to survive by themselves, but as a couple they do miraculously well.

Loneliness 
This family hardly has an income. The Thai government supports this family because of their illnesses, but the ammount of social welfare they receive is way too small to make ends meet. Siam-Care has been supporting Od and Ed for many years. We give them food and keep them company every now and then. Their lives are pretty lonely, so we try to visit them as often as possible. We listen to their stories, laugh with them and sometimes pray for them. We will never be able to change their situation: Od will remain cripple and Ed will remain blind. But we can make sure that they have enough food to eat and that they won't get too lonely. Your supports helps us to support Od and Ed. Thank you very much for making a difference in their lives.

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.

My name is Mariët and I work as a volunteer for Siam-Care. I would like to share the story of a young woman I met a couple of weeks ago. We visited her in a hospital in Mukdahan, in the poor northeast of Thailand. The woman was in the hospital for a couple of weeks already because she is HIV-infected but she didn't take her HIV-medication so she got ill. She had many problems with her lungs and stomic and had a high fever and diarrhea. Siam-Care's staff told us that she is so weak that she might nog live much longer. It was so sad to hear this. She still was so beautiful and had such a big smile on her face. Yet she was very weak and sick.

When we visited her, we brought her some fruit and other food. The woman had nobody else who was looking after her, not even family members. Siam-Care's staff spoke with her about her situation. Each day the staff prayed for her recovery and when we met again, a couple weeks later the staff was very surprised. The woman told us that she was getting better! No one had expected this, not even the doctors. It was a true miracle! The woman said that she still was afraid. She still didn't have much hope for the future. Our staff then reminded her of her physical improvent and of the prayers we prayed for her. They told her about Jesus who is the Healer and who is always with her. She told us that she was also praying for herself. At the end we prayed with her and then we had to say goodbye. Three days later we were supposed to visit her again, but she wasn't in the hospital anymore! She was healthy enough to go home. I felt so happy for her!

This is a story which tells about the way Siam-Care provides hope in a hopeless situation. Sometimes having hope is more important and more powerful than having the right medication. Without Siam-Care this woman would have had nobody to take care of her. She would have thought that this was her end, there would have been nobody to pray for her and tell her about Jesus. I was really touched by this story and it made me even more enthusiastic about what Siam-Care does. Help them to provide hope to others in need by supporting Siam-Care. Thank you very much!

Twice a year all sponsor children and families write a personal letter to their donor. This is what Pok, a 14 year old boy who recently found a donor, wrote in August 2015.

Dear sponsor,

My name is Pok and I live with my grandparents in the northeast of Thailand. My parents died when I was 2, they were both HIV-infected. I am infected myself as well but my medication keeps me strong. I am very grateful that Siam-Care found you: someone who wants to help me finish my education.

I study in the second grade of high school and really like going to school. Although my grandparents work very hard, they couldn’t cover all our expenses. Therefore they asked me to stop studying and find a job to support my family. I was really sad when they asked me this but I didn’t want to disobey. I know how hard my grandparents work and I am really thankful they have always taken care of me.

6 months ago one of the staff members of Siam-Care visited me and my grandparents. They had great news for me: they found me a sponsor, to support my education. This has changed so much for me. When I heard the news I almost cried. You enable me to continue my study and to find a job in the future. I would like to start my own business in selling computers. I would be so proud if I could take care of my grandparents and pay them back for everything they have done for me.

Thank you so much for helping me! I will never forget what you have done,

Pok

Help a child like Pok
If you feel touched by Pok's letter and want to have an impact on him and many other children, please donate through Global Giving. Thank you very much for making it possible for underprivaleged children to go to school and work on their future!

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 gratuated
I 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.

 

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Organization Information

Siam-Care Foundation

Location: Bangkok - Thailand
Website: http:/​/​www.siamcare.org
Project Leader:
Jan-Peter Kelder
Manager of Communications
Bangkok, Thailand
$5,979 raised of $75,000 goal
 
91 donations
$69,021 to go
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