Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Supporting the livelihoods of children" in Thailand!

"Supporting the livelihoods of children."

The Thai phrase "Ban Rom Sai" translates as which translates as 'under the Banyan Tree' and symbolizes a haven, a safe place. Ban Rom Sai, a Chiang Mai orphanage founded in 1999 for children who have lost their parents to due AIDS or have contracted HIV from a parent, wishes to be a haven for the 30 youth between the ages of 2-17 years old who reside there.

Ban Rom Sai strives to operate not as an orphanage, but instead a 'big family' that provides the children a healthy and balanced lifestyle--even though doing so is less profitable.

The building offers a spacious and green property with plenty of space for the children to play. All aspects of health are promoted, such as hygiene, physical activity, nutrition, and free provision of anti-retroviral and other medication.

Self-empowerment is also a priority at Ban Som Rai. The children are actively involved in discussing and making decisions about their lives, whether it is pursuing a hobby of their choosing (current offerings include painting, ceramics, photography, traditional Thai dance, theatrical performances, cloth dyeing, sewing, swimming, soccer, Aikido and computer programming) or selecting a career/educational path for their future.

Ban Rom Sai also reaches out to the surrounding community. Having recently constructed a library, computer room, and activity room, staff host free educational seminars about HIV/AIDS, and permit the village residents to use the computer room as well as reading and/or borrowing books from the library.

Check out this Friendsday WEdnesday website: