For over thirty years, the Thai foundation Siam-Care has been changing lives of underprivileged children who are affected by HIV/Aids. Some of the children are infected themselves, while others are orphaned by HIV. The biggest goal of Siam-Care is to enable affected Thai families to stand on their own feet again.
The children Siam-Care help are poor, vulnerable, and without support; therefore, most would not be able to receive an education. Siam-Care gives physical, financial, and spiritual support. The objective is to keep children in school until at least Grade Three of High School. Then they will get a certificate, which will make it much easier for them to find a job. And finding a job means they can take care of themselves.
One of the people who received an educational sponsorship through Siam-Care was Nid, now a twenty-four-year-old young lady originally from the northeast of Thailand. Nid shared, “I was seven when both my parents died because of HIV. I was very weak mentally and physically, and people in my community thought I wouldn’t get far in life. But then the local hospital connected me with Siam-Care, which started looking after me. They made sure I had a place to live and explained to me what HIV did to my parents. They also found me a donor who supported my education. Seventeen years later, I have now finished university and work for Siam-Care. I want to give others the same opportunity that Siam-Care once gave me.” In 2016, Nid also decided to become a follower of Jesus and is now part of a local church.
Nid’s story is just one of the many. Over the years, Siam-Care has enabled hundreds of children to study. None of these children would have been able to go to school without financial support. Natasja wrote, “We are thankful that we can do this kind of work. It is extremely rewarding to see lives being changed. We have also seen multiple families dedicate their lives to Jesus, which is so amazing! Every humanitarian organisation can give scholarships and do counselling, but we have a much bigger gift for people: eternal life and a relationship with their Creator.”
Jan-Peter and Natasja Kelder have three young children. They are Dutch missionaries based in Bangkok, where Siam-Care operates. Learn more about Siam-Care on www.siamcare.org.
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By Jan-Peter and Natasja Kelder
Ministry leaders working in tribal villages with children at risk and their families