We have just finished writing our annual report over 2018. Some heartbreaking events took place, but thankfully we have enough reason to celebrate as well. When we look back at the year 2018, a number of key events and themes seem to stand out and define it. We would like to share 8 highlights with you!
1: PRISON PROGRAM EXTENDED
Up to 2015 just one prison was being visited by Siam-Care; the medical ward of the Klong Prem prison. In 2016 another prison and in 2017 2 other prisons were added to our program. The growth has not stopped in 2018: we now train inmates in 7 different prisons: 1 male prison, 1 female prison, and 5 juvenile prisons, all in and around Bangkok. In 2019 new locations will be added to our program, which goes to show that our work is appreciated and acknowledged by prison directors. Our main goals in this program are to prevent young people from getting infected with this HIV-virus and to offer counseling and training to infected people.
2: YOUTH FOCUS GROUPS
Just like in the previous years, in addition to home visits and regular counsel moments, Siam-Care Bangkok organized focus groups for youth. Once a month we gathered a group of teenagers for counselling, peer support and fun activities. We conducted 12 focus group sessions in 2018. The main purpose of the focus group is to create a stronger relationship with our youth, hopefully resulting in higher quality counselling and thus better wellbeing of the children. Seeing the success of Bangkok’s focus group, our offices in Mukdahan and Phang Nga decided to organize a focus group sessions as well, which were well received by Siam-Care’s youth.
3: CHARITY EVENTS IN THE NETHERLANDS
For the fourth consecutive year Siam-Care organized a Charity Dinner in Harderwijk, the Netherlands. We welcomed more guests than ever before: 70 people enjoyed a great evening with moving speeches, delicious food, a fun auction and great conversations. The dinner was a great success and more than 3500 euro was raised for children in need. Special thanks goes out to the many restaurants and individuals who made this event possible. Furthermore, Stichting Hands & Feet organized a cycling tour through the Netherlands, to raise funds for Siam-Care as well. They raised a little over 15.000 Euro, a fantastic amount!
4: INTENSIFIED COLLABORATION WITH CHILD RIGHTS COALITION THAILAND (CRC)
CRC is network of child protection organizations, who’s main goal is to create a safe environment for Thai children to grow up in. Siam-Care is one of the main partners of CRC and Siam-Care staff served as speaker during several events. We trained other organizations in the areas of cyber bullying, safe use of social media, among other themes. A group of Siam-Care youth in Bangkok also conducted a research regarding bullying and presented their results during a national conference in Chiang Mai. 12 youth from different Siam-Care locations also functioned as guest speaker during a child protection training and trained other teenagers in the area of child rights and child protection.
5: YOUTH CAMP MUKDAHAN AND BANGKOK
In October 2018, we were able to gather a group of students older than 15 from Bangkok, for a camp in Khao Yai National Park. Mukdahan also organized a camp for students, they spent a weekend in Nakhon Ratchasima. Just like previous years, the camp was very well received by all attendees. Siam-Care brought the children together for peer support, but also to train them in several areas. The main subject this time was: raising youth leaders. We did not only train the children, but also helped them to pass on the knowledge to their peers.
6: NEW DONORS
We are thankful to announce that in 2018 Siam-Care met several organizations who want to partner with us in the future. World Outreach International has found us a couple of individuals who support in generous ways. Furthermore, In the Netherlands, one individual decided to start supporting a large number of children. We are also grateful for organizations who decided to donate again in 2018, after giving in the past, such as Stichting Hands & Feet, Stichting Sonnevanck, Stichting Wereldkinderen, and others.
7: VOLUNTEER TEAMS VISITED SIAM-CARE
Next to our 11 fulltime staff, we often see volunteers from mainly Europe come to Thailand to come and help out in practical ways. In the summer of 2018, a group of young adults from ‘Bethelkerk Veenendaal’ came and served as volunteers for a number of weeks. They organized fun activities for Siam-Care’s sponsor children, taught English in local schools and helped fix houses of Siam-Care’s families, among other things. In 2019 Siam-Care will welcome multiple youth groups, who will come and help out Siam-Care in multiple ways.
8: 28 FAMILIES ENABLED TO STAND ON THEIR OWN FEET
One of Siam-Care’s most important goals is to help families become self-sufficient. We are proud to share that 28 families from Mukdahan, Bangkok, and Phang Nga, were enabled to take care of themselves. Some people found a better job through Siam-Care, others finished their studies with Siam-Care’s help and hence became self-supporting. After becoming self-supporting, the families left our program and made way for new families to join our program.