working on Mrs Toon's house
Siam-Care is thankful for the many who support our project in different forms; some through this website, others come and give of their time and skills and still others in various ways. The beginning of this year some overseas-volunteers join forces; a retired army officer from The Netherlands, a retired couple from the USA, as well as a retired teacher from the UK, all came to spend time at the Siam-Care project. One of the things they did was upgrade the house and add a toilet for Mrs Toon and her husband. Mrs Toon has suffered much on behalf of her first husband. After he died rumors quickly went around the village that this must have been due to HIV, he was so thin and sick. At the request of her brother, the head teacher at the local school, Mrs Toon went and had a blood test done which came back HIV positive. No privacy was granted her and soon neighbours knew of her plight and weren't very sympathetic towards her. Mrs Toon's healthy looking 13 year old daughter was allowed to stay in the house but Mrs Toon was asked to leave, ostracized and forced to moved out of her home into the fields. Thankfully she owns these fields and set up a small house, more like a hut, to live in. Over the years Toon has worked hard on the fields, has been able to have an income from her crops and always fresh vegetables to eat. At the local PLWH (People Living With HIV) group she met a nice man whose story was quite similar to hers. They understand each other, can support each other and now form a family.
In the local village things have changed over the years, a better understanding of living together with those who are HIV positive as well as medication for the sick has meant that the villagers now understand Mrs Toon's plight and accept her back among themselves. However since Mrs Toon's daughter went off to higher education in a nearby province she has decided to stay where she likes living, surrounded by nature and seeing the fruit of her hard work.
When our retired, full of energy and zeal, volunteers asked what they could do for us we thought of Mrs Toon's house. It needed new walls and roof to keep the rain out and a toilet would be very helpful. Together with the Siam-Care staff as well as Mrs Toon and her husband they set to work and the result makes everyone happy.
An additional surprise for the family came in the form of a 'Waka solar energy' lamp. Through the Dutch Volunteer Siam-Care received several of these lights which are very simple and at the same time very bright and work just on solar rays, of which Thailand has plenty! We have been able to distribute these lights among some of the very poor families in the Siam-Care project and made many a family happy!
Thank you for your continuing support for the project, it doesn't just bring hope for better physical health but also a better quality of life as people receive these gifts of love through the partnership of Siam-Care with many of you!
Family with Waka lamp
Siam-Care staff at work on Mrs Toon's house
Happy with a real toilet!