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