As you perhaps know, Siam-Care trains and counsels inmates in 10 different prisons. At least: we used to do this, before the COVID-crisis hit Thailand. Most prisons closed their doors for outsiders, and so we had to cancel many sessions. Slowly, some prisons are now reopening, but most are still closed. Which is quite frustrating!
Shopping malls are open, massage parlors, sport clubs. People can meet in large groups. But we are not allowed to enter into prison with 2 staff, to spend time with vulnerable people. This is frustrating, but we accept the situation as it is. Currently only 2 prisons (out of the 10 we work in) have reopened their doors for our staff to come in. Last year, many of our sessions were cancelled, but thankfully we could do some trainings. Hereby we'd like to share some numbers with you, so that you know how we use your donations.
Our prison program in numbers
In total Siam-Care conducted 27 training sessions in the different prisons in 2020, down from 62 in 2019. The reason behind this had been stated before: due to COVID, many prisons closed their doors to outsiders. Even as we write this (January 2021), many prisons are still closed. A much smaller group than in other years received assistance, training, and/or counselling. Before a sex education training, Siam-Care always does a post-test and afterwards an after-test, to see if the inmates gained a better understanding of sexual transmitted diseases. Our tests show that on average the inmates had 73 percent more knowledge about sexual transmitted diseases after being trained. Next to group trainings, we were also engaged on a personal level through one-on-one counselling, ensuring that every individual person is cared for.
Thankfully we could still carry out some of our Christmas celebrations, as December was a month with few Corona-infections and hence few restrictions. Just like every year, Siam-Care’s staff and some volunteers, sang Christmas carols and explained why Christmas is being celebrated. The event was much appreciated by both prison staff and the inmates. Also, we handed out gift boxes with basic supplies, in 3 different prisons.