Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Thailand:
On June 4, I met with a board member, staff, and 3 youth that were supported by Siam-Care now with hopes and dreams of pursuing professional careers.
First I met 2 young women, one is studying finance and the other an international law student. One of the young women had been brought in at 12 years old for support by her "adopted" mother because she lost family from HIV/AIDS. She now supports financially her siblings. The other young woman was an orphan and studies law because she is interested in law and justice. We discussed that if they were not at Siam-Care they would be at higher risk for trafficking and or abusive work situations. Many youth migrate uninformed to large cities like Bangkok to support their families or themselves if they don't have families. With the support of Siam-Care they can stay in school, receive education and support, and aim for professional careers like accounting, medicine, and law.
The issue is that it is free to "sit in a classroom" but families have to pay for everything else including books, uniforms, and even specific haircuts. If the students don't have this, they can't attend.
Through GlobalGiving Siam-Care was able to support 50 overall youth. 6 are in technical school for things like electrician, bookkeeping, and other skillsets. The youth get to choose themselves what they want to study based on their passion and skills. The families and youth supported by Siam-Care are referred by word-of-mouth, other organizations, hospitals, and social workers. The last youth I met was a young man that a relative brought in because his mom died when he was 5 of HIV and his father passed away when he was 2. He is now in school, part time working at KFC, and studying to be a computer programmer. He also is interested in giving back and volunteering - he even asked about volunteering for GlobalGiving!
All of the youth and staff I met were kind and sincere. Despite difficult situations, economic instability, and families affected by HIV/AIDS everyone was hopeful, inspiring, and committed to making theirs' and others' situations better. I asked the young woman studying law what her favorite thing about Siam-Care was, and she said the retreats filled with fun activities and trainings that Siam-Care provides for families and youth. The young woman studying finance described Siam-Care as "like a family. If there are any problems, I can come here."
To support Siam-Care's current project click here: Support 100 Thai Prisoners And Families With HIV