Below is a transcript of a phone text sent from one of our Sponsors, Whish, who together with his partner Charmaine, were on a visit to Thailand last year (2016) to visit their sponsor children and the work Born To Live Charity does. The text was sent to his friend Sarah who also has a Sponsor Child in Thailand.
We thought the words were too beautiful not to share with you and to give you an insight from a Sponsors point of view:
Subject: Meeting with your child yesterdayHi Sarah
I had one of the most emotional days of my life yesterday at the HIV clinic.
We were picked up at 9am from our Chiang Mai hotel and went to the clinic.
9 kids were there aged 11 - 16 (he has 125 in this area but they come in different shifts) including yours and Charmaine's ( her previous one died)
First of Sean spoke to each kid and asked what they wanted to be when they grew up (this is to let them know/feel like they do have a future )
Then they each went off to see the Dr for their 3 monthly check and to make sure there levels were right.
As each one came back Sean gave them a pressie e.g beanie, wallet , nail , polish etc .
They were so grateful.
Then your girl came back and before we could give her your present she gave me a scarf for u that she wove for u herself.
Then Sean read your card which was interpreted to her and we gave her your gift.
That was when I lost it your words we're perfect.
With my 2 healthy girls it just seemed so sad & unjust.
This is your scarf, it's beautiful, blue , pink & mauve according to Charmaine
She loved your scarves and kept opening the bag and looking at them and then carefully folding them up again .
I found out that she'd taken a 120km trip by herself in the back of a ute winding down the mountain where she lives.
She stayed w her uncle last nite ( who's just had an amputation from an ulcer) before returning home today.
Then after all the gifts I met the beautiful Dr who donates her services and we all had pizza and soft drinks.
For them this food was a huge treat
(By the way most of the kids had mums or grandmothers w them )
After this we were invited to see Charmaine's little girls house . She and her parents all have HIV. The parents haven't had treatment ( he was an orderly in a hospital)
We followed her & her mum on their scooter.
It was basically a shack with rubbish everywhere.
Her Mum was so honoured to have us visit and especially for Charmaine ( who makes it possible for her daughter to live a normal and hopefully a long life)
When we left Charmaine gave them a big
group hug and the Mum had tears streaming down her face
Anyway I've asked Sean to send me a pic of your girl with Charmaine & me.
I'm so proud that you , Charmaine , Tim & me can make such a huge difference to some little kids life for $1 per day
I'll send u the pic wen I get it
Love Whish x
Sent from my iPhone
Farewell and Welcome
FAREWELL It is with sadness that we farewell a wonderful person in our Born To Live Charity family. Non has been part of the Born to Live family in Bangkok for over 10 years. She began her work with the HIV project as a Social Worker and has won the hearts and love of the children, their Carers, Medical Staff and all co-workers over all the years she has been involved with Born To Live Charity.
She goes way above and beyond the call of duty and has become a vital part of all our children’s life. She welcomes them daily to the HIV Centre and involves them in all aspects of activities and creative outlets.
She has spent numerous hours on home visitation to develop strong relationships between family and the clinical needs of the children. She has organised all annual camps with great dedication and on numerous occasions has gathered our older children together for meals and interaction to continue to develop the strong foundations of the Born To Live ethos.
She is retiring to return to her village to offer full time care to her aging and ill health Mother. She has promised to keep ongoing contact with the children and the Born To Live Charity.
All our love and thoughts go with Non for every success in the future and we would like to say a very big thank you for all you have done Non and we wish you well on your journey.
WELCOME to Chutima who is lovingly known as Oui. She now becomes the Social Worker for the HIV Medical Team in Bangkok who is sponsored by the Thai Government with whom we work and liaison with the Born to Live Charity.
Oui has already had a wonderful introduction to the Born to Live Charity by attending our Bangkok camp this year and co-working with Non. She has also spent the last four months working side by side with Non to make the transition period a lot easier on the children and their families.
WELCOME We also welcome to our team in Bangkok young Bow who has recently graduated from University
and wants to work with our children born with HIV.
She also attended the annual camp and was wonderful with co-ordinating the interactive activities with the children.
We welcome both Oui and Bow to our Born to Live family and hope that we have a long association together.
New Extensions to the Hospital and Clinic in Chiangmai
New Extensions to the Hospital and Clinic in Chiangmai
Our Clinic facilities at the Nakornping Hospital in Chiangmai have been completed after two years. Until now our Medical Staff, under the leadership of Dr Suparat and Jim, have had to work under very ordinary circumstances. Our new Clinic has much better Consulting Rooms for our Doctors and Nurses, Interviewing Rooms for the children and an Activity Centre for the children’s long days at Clinic.
It is good to see that once again children born with HIV are treated under the same medical conditions as anyone who has to attend Hospital visitations.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY 2016
CHRISTMAS IN JULY 2016
On Sunday 24th July we held our first Christmas In July Party. A very big thank you must go to Jud and the team at Wassail Wine Bar at Prospect. We enjoyed a four course Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings and of course the wine was flowing freely.
The entertainment for the night was provided by Whish and "The All Stars" who are members of the 'Adelaide Symphony Orchestra'. All I can say is "WOW what talent"!!! The poor guys were ready to finish for the evening but the crowd would not let them go and a couple of encores were necessary.
Father Sean and Teresa did an amazing job organising it and there was of course Santa giving out presents from under the tree to unsuspecting guests.
We all can't wait for the next one in July next year and until then stay warm and ho ho ho.
Liam (pictured above on the left) was our Barman for the night and what a great job he did. Thank you for always making sure the tables were fully stocked with wine and because of this many people were in a joyous and merry mood. Thanks Liam
Just a small gathering of our wonderful supporters. Without these people children in Thailand would not get the support and love they receive to stay healthy and in place within a family unit. We are blessed with many supporters and sponsors and we value and appreciate each and every one of them. Thank you
Father Sean can out dance anyone I've ever met ......
Many thanks to Adrian and Karen (far left) who set up the venue for us,
you did a great job guys and we wish you all the very best for your
upcoming Wedding in November.
The Band (pictured above) were "The All Stars" and Whish (in the middle playing the Tuba) organised and performed in the Band. Guys you were truly fantastic and we thank you very much for an enjoyable evening filled with Christmas Carols.
We also held raffles and silent auctions
on the night so thank you very much to everyone
who donated prizes especially Jan Jarvis for donating
a couple of designer handbags for the silent auction.
They were both a great success.
Thank you very much to everyone who attended our Christmas In July on
Sunday 24th July 2016.
A great night was had by all and we would like to mention a special thank you to
for donating the fruit mince pies which were absolutely delicious.
We look forward to seeing you all at our next function and until then stay safe and enjoy.
CHILDREN'S CAMPS 2016
Father Sean and Non - Our Social Worker in Bangkok
Bangkok Camps 2016
CHIANGMAI CAMP 2016
Pictured below is Jim with Dr Suparat on the Camp
CHIANGMAI TEENAGE CAMP
The other Camp we held was the Chiangmai Camp. It was held from 5th - 8th May and the children from Chiangmai were taken to a region called Hua Hin which is located at the Beach. The children had to trave from Chiangmai to Bangkok and then from Bangkok to Hua Hin making this a 12 hour drive for the children and their carers.
On the Camp there were 50 people compromising of 33 children, 10 carers and 7 staff.
The reason the local picked was Hua Hin was that most of the children on the Camp had never seen the beach or sea before. They were very excited to finally reach their destination and actually see the sea in all it's glory.
This Camp was aimed for the teenage children so we can give them an experience they will never forget. Just as we did with the children at the Bangkok camp this was a time of team building, trust and friendship discoveries.
The children also had discussions on their relationships with other people and how to approach the HIV conversation with their friends, partners and people close to them. These children have spent a vast amount to their lives living with and trying to cope with their illness and through the support of Born To Live Charity, Our Medical Teams in Chiangmai and Bangkok and our generous supporters in Australia and especially the support of the Australian Embassy in Thailand we are successfully helping these children lead a normal, healthy life and become productive members of Society who will then go on to lead and guide other children in the same situation they were in.
This year we had two Born To Live Camps in Bangkok. On 27th February 2016 we held a Pre Teen Camp. This Camp was held at Safari World and went for one day as the children are aged between 6 and 10 years old. On this Camp we took 15-20 young children who are living with HIV, 10-15 carers and 10 staff. At this age our children are too young to go on an extended camp, as well as a beautiful day out with meals provided we use this time to educate their parents, grandparents or caregivers on the ways of dealing with young children living with HIV. Many caregivers do not know how to approach the way of telling the children that they have HIV and explaining the illness to them. It also gives the young ones a day of excitement and fun as most of these children and their families cannot afford luxuries in life.
The second Camp we held was for our teenage children they range in age between 10 and 20 years old. The local for this Camp was
"The Pine Resort" in Pathum Thani. and was held from 30th April - 1st May inclusive. Attending the Camp were 29 teenagers, 18 Carergivers and 10 Staff.
This Camp focuses on more grown up issues, depending on the age of the child. Attending the Camp are professional Social Workers who discuss issues like relationships, sex, life issues and personal goals with the children who are of appropriate age. The children also have many activities which are fun but are also aimed towards building trust in each other and learning to work as a team to accomplish tasks.
For some of these children it is the only time they are able to be open and honest about their HIV and not feel like they are being discriminated against. Also it is a time when the children, who come from all over the Bangkok region, can bond with other children who are in similar situations as themselves whether it be family life, difficulties in school or trying to cope with their illness. Friendships created on these camps are very important and the bond the children form is carried throughout their lives.