Ning and Fern
Ning is a 36 year old mother who spend the last 7 years of her life in prison for selling drugs. She is not your regular drug dealer; after her husband left her and her mother became sick she didn't know how to cover all the family expenses she was responsible for. Fern's (her daughter) school costs, her mother's hospital's bill and the family's running costs; food, clothing etc. Selling some amphetamines seemed the only option to make ends meet, but ended in a prison sentence. When the King of Thailand celebrated his 84th birthday last December 2011, (7 complete cycles of 12 years) special amnesty was given to many prisoners and Ning was one of the fortunate ones who received a reduction of her sentence which was enough to secure her release, after which she joined her mother and daughter again in their family home. What a joyful reunion it was!
But soon the stresses of every day started to weigh heavy on Ning; she had to help her family earn an income, especially since she hadn't been able to do anything for them the past 7 years. Ning got to know Siam-Care while in prison where Siam-Care runs activities and provides counseling for HIV positive prisoners. It was through this contact in the first place that we got to know Ning and her family. Ning was very worried about them and asked us to visit them and see how they were since they didn't have much contact. Ning wasn't sure if her daughter was even going to school. Siam-Care visited Ning's mother and daughter and learned that the transportation costs, to visit prison, were too much for them, they missed Ning but couldn't afford to visit. Siam-Care was able to help them with bus fees to visit Ning. Also Siam-Care was able to offer an educational sponsorship to Fern the daughter who is an outstanding student.
Now, after her release, Ning came to see us out at our centre in Bangkok seeing advice and counsel about continuing her ARV medication (finding the right hospital, making the correct hospital card) and also asking counsel about job opportunities. Siam-Care was once again able to help her; Ning now received treatment from a hospital nearby and is in very good health. Also we gave her a small loan to set up a street-side stall selling barbequed chicken and barbequed bread.
Ning is selling reasonable well, enough to cover the daily family costs and save up a little for Fern and the future. She is someone who is thankful for the new chance she got in life and resentful of her past action. She is a reformed mother determined to give Fern a better chance for the future so she won't have to make wrong choices as Ning did herself. Thanks to support from GlobalgGving Siam-Care was able to help Ning and many others have a hope for the future and keep their heads high after being released from prison! Thank you!