Health
 Thailand
Project #7304

Support 100 Thai prisoners and families with HIV

by Siam-Care Foundation
Vetted

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 2016. 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 8 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 2016
Siam-Care’s staffs have worked to focus on three prisons in 2016. The 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 , female and youth prison.

Result of the program
Siam-Care made 28 visits to the men’s prison hospital and the woman’s prison rehabilitation facility in 2016. The result of these program meant that over 110 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 2016 in numbers
3 prisons are part of Siam-Care’s prison
110 total prisoners helped this year. 70 male / 40 female
14 visits to the men’s prison hospital
14 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

A guy who killed somebody. Or a drugsdealer. Maybe a rapist. Do they deserve to be loved? To be treathed with dignity? In Thailand many people don't think so. Siam-Care disagrees and weekly visits people who messed up. This is the story of Kain, a father of two and sentenced for 25 years.

Kain doesn't look like the typical criminal, is such a person excists at all. He has a friendly face, a tiny body and a warm and friendly voice. He didn't make it easy for himself in life. Before he moved to Thailand, he had was wanted in the country where he was born. He was suspected of drug trafficking and decided to move to Thailand. He changed his name and started a new live in Thailand. But unfortunately he came in touch with the police again.

Need help and love
A friend of Kain was in the possesion of drugs and at the very moment the police arrested him, Kain was visiting his friend. Hence Kain was arrested as well and got sentenced with 25 years. He says he is not guilty. We don't know who to believe, but for Siam-Care, it doesn't matter that much. We believe that especially people who messed up, need help and need to recieve love. We are a Christian foundation. Jesus inspired us to reach out to sick people, to people who messed up and need help. People like Kain.

Difficult life in prison
Living in prison in Thailand is not easy. Due to overcrowding, none of the cells have beds, nor are prisoners given any mattresses. Just a thin sheet. If they have any money, they sometimes can buy extra bedding. Prisoners sleep head to foot with 60 others in a small room. There is an open toilet in the same room with a low wall around it. If someone want to go to the toilet during the night, they have to clamber over all the limbs. For this reason it is lucky the light is left on all night. However, the bright light makes it difficult to get any sleep. Long story short: prison life in Thailand is very difficult.

Love for the unloved
Siam-Care believes that people need to be treathed with respect. Eventhough they made a mistake (or many mistakes) they cannot loose their human rights. Kain does not have any family in Thailand. His wife and two children (8 and 13 years old) moved back to their home country and cannot visit their husband and father. Nobody else visits him, so nobody buys him food, helps him contact his family or tells him what is going on in the outside world. But Siam-Care. We visit him every week and buy him some food. We listen to his stories and sometimes contact his family. It is not much, but it is something. A little bit of love that might keep him going. Thanks to the help of our donors, we can reach out to people like Kain. Will you allow us to keep on sharing love with Kain and many others? Your help is much appreciated.

We are very pleased to introduce to you, the latest addition to our prison team: Krutmuang Pongsagon. He is a young man who is an ex inmate himself. He wants to use his experience to help other inmates and is very compassionate towards them.

Growing up without his parents, Krutmuang ended up in the crime scene and started selling drugs. At one point he got arrested and ended up in a juvenile prison outside of Bangkok. In prison he was visited by a missionary and he became a Christian. His life was changed and after a couple of years, Krutmuang was released from prison. 

Different life
It has been many years since Krutmuang was in prison. Since he was released he really changed his ways. He got a job in a cafe that reaches out to university students and tries to counsel and help them during their study. He liked his job but really wanted to get in touch with inmates again. Not to be one of them, but to help them and warn them for the risks of an criminal lifestyle, full of drugs and (unprotected) sex. He knew one of the staff members of Siam-Care and after talking to them, Siam-Care offered him a job.

Easy to relate to each other
Krutmuang is a tough guy, with tattoos on his arms. He knows what it is like to be in prison. Hence it is easy for him to relate to prisoners and also easy for prisoners to relate to him. They believe him and have respect for him. He is a great addition to our team and will hopefully stay with Siam-Care for a long time. He did many prison visits with Siam-Care already over the past few months and showed that he has a lot of potential as a prison worker.

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

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.

 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Siam-Care Foundation

Location: Bangkok - Thailand
Website: http:/​/​www.siamcare.org
Project Leader:
Jan-Peter Kelder
Manager of Communications
Bangkok, Thailand

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.