Thailand celebrates Mother’s Day on August 12th as it is the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, or the mother of all Thai people. As it is an extremely important day in the year, Hope Home comes together to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen Mother as well as the many “Mee” (or mothers) that selflessly give of themselves and their time to each of the Hope Home kids everyday. While many people might see the children at Hope Home as “motherless” these women step up daily and love each child like their own. Our celebrations were complete with a poster the children helped to create, special pizza treat, and lots of pictures!
The celebrations continued past the actual day and into the weekend as we were able to join in a special event with friends in the community. Hope Home children and staff as well as a foster family and representatives from the local Social Welfare office came to a Mother’s Day program where the concept of “Motherhood” was discussed and those present were challenged to think about how one can still be a mother without being a biological mother. It is our hope that this was a valuable time in which community members became aware of the opportunity it is to foster a child.
Hope Home children and staff were also able to present a special performance for the audience! The children performed “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” in both Thai and English, “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock” in Thai and other songs the children enjoy along with motions. It was a big hit for everyone in attendance and we are hopeful that this is one more step in advocating that all children have special talents and abilities!
In conclusion, everyone was able to plant a Thai Jasmine flower or “dok mali” in a small group. This flower is the traditional flower of Mother’s Day and the Hope Home kids and mothers had a blast planting their own flowers and can’t wait to watch them grow over the next year!
Smile’s family has been around the Hope Home neighbourhood and ministries for quite some time. The family has participated in many Hope Home activities, outings, and just spending time with us weekly. When Smile’s mum came to Hope Home recently to report the family had encountered hard times and she was unsure how to work and still take care of Smile; the Hope Home was excited to help!
We are truly blessed to support Smile’s family. Her mum helps at Hope Home and is able to bring Smile, her younger sister, and another relative with her! This has enabled the family to stay together and to prosper together as well! It also enabled Smile to get specialised development services through the Hope Home Education Centre. Recently, with the help of Hope Home, Smile was accepted into the local government special education center! This time riding along with Hope Home children in staff who study at the same center has made this opportunity a reality!
Hope Home is excited to come alongside families and support them in keeping their families together and strong even with the extra challenges of navigating disability services, doctors appointments, and more!
Kame was brought to the Hope Home through the government orphanage after her young mum decided she could no longer care for her complex needs. At two years old she already had numerous hospitalizations, a medication that her mum could not afford, and a strict diet that the young mum could neither understand nor keep consistent with her limited resources. Out of love for her daughter, Kame’s mum decided to temporarily sign her over the Office of Social Welfare and eventually decided she was not capable of caring for Kame in the way she needed.
When Kame was transferred to Hope Home by the Office of Social Welfare she was quiet, rather expressionless, and would stay anywhere she was placed whether sitting, standing, or lying down. Part of this could be attributed to adjustment to a new place, but much of it was in fact the result of her untreated disability. Within three days she had to be hospitalized again as she had been without her medication for five months.
Since returning from hospital, Kame has begun making great strides in her development and now six months later she can definitely not be described as “expressionless” anymore. This blossoming almost three year old is now walking, running, climbing the ladder on the playground, completing jigsaws, saying some words, and keeping the boys (especially Tadpole and LeLe) in line! Kame is even helping take her own blood sugars, though she does not know what those numbers mean yet! These are tasks we did not think would come about so quickly and it has been incredible to watch her develop! With the proper medical care in a supportive and rich environment Kame should develop typically and her slow development to this point should be reversed.
Hope Home is working to help Kame achieve developmental milestones, maintain her health, and complete all paperwork which will complete her eligibility for adoption. We thank a sponsor in the UK for the financial support of Kame’s medical costs and all those around the world who have partnered for this special girl in prayer!
Hope Home exists to bring out the power and abilities of each child and family in our care. We rejoice in how this has come to fruition in Kame’s life and look forward to seeing more life transformation in her life, and in the lives of others!
Hope Home is always seeking to grow and enhance the development of our children. The most recent advancement made in our home has been the renovation of the stalls in our backyard to become a new Education & Development Centre for our children and other children with disabilities in the community! Thanks to a grant from the Reach Foundation and the hard working volunteers from BMS Action Team our stable has gone from this storage space…
To this engaging Winnie-the-Pooh classroom environment…
From day one this has been a family affair, bringing in funds from our global family, the volunteer labor from extended family members, and of course lots of help from our immediate Hope Home family as well! It was great vocational practice for Chaay and we were very excited to see the very hope and purpose behind these walls to begin even in their renovation!
We have all enjoyed creating this new and exciting space, filling it’s walls with educational materials, and now using it to help give each of our children a better chance at a prosperous future. In Thailand, education is challenging and for many of our children there is not an appropriate option for them. Our hope is for this centre to be a place to develop the skills they need to proceed into formal education environments whether the government special education centres, schools, or private vocational centres!
Children and staff have already been utilizing this new centre and having a fun time learning important lessons that will enhance their physical, cognitive, emotional and spiritual development! Every child deserves the best start to their education and their future and we cannot wait to see how that unfolds in our new centre!
Hope Home has always prioritised keeping children in their biological families and works to support those families on a daily basis. While support is available in Thailand the system can be challenging for families who are affected by both disability and extreme poverty.
Nook and his family are the latest addition to the Hope Home extended family. The connection was made through founder Judy Cook’s network of workers in Chiang Mai. When another organization discovered that a family in their ministry was experiencing crisis because of the father’s imprisonment, Hope Home was consulted about care for the 8-year old boy, Nook, who has multiple and severe disabilities and his mum.
Nook requires 24hr care and while the family previously managed with the help of monthly support through rice and the government stipend, Nook’s father’s imprisonment meant his mother is now tasked with providing for the family of 4 as well as caring for Nook and given that the mother’s current sewing work earns her approximately 20bht a day ($0.61USD, $0.41GBP) the task is understandably overwhelming!
Hope Home is helping this hard working mother with Nook’s needs through providing physical therapy and medical advice, milk and nappies to relieve extra pressure. In addition, Hope Home staff and the staff at CAM (CCT Aids Ministry) are making frequent visits to encourage and assist the family as needed!
Your support of Hope Home supports families like Nook’s to thrive together and to empower the lives of people with disabilities in Northern Thailand!
April was an exciting month for everyone at the Hope Home with the celebration of the Thai New Year, but it was an especially exciting month for the Hope Home’s oldest boy as he moved out of Hope Home and into his forever family! The months leading up to the big day were filled with careful explanation, shared fun times with his new mum and big brother, and lots of hope and prayers that 9-year old Kaew would understand what was happening!
Founder Judy Cook was approached over a year ago by the social worker who felt she wanted to bring Don into her family as a permanent foster child, a situation just as permanent as adoption, but with a few differences. While the original plan was to make the transition after Kaew’s 10th birthday, we are pleased to see Kaew transition in with his family a year early!
The day finally came and Kaew ran through the gates with his BIG bag of belongings to move to his new home down the road! Kaew moved in with his new family and while it was a challenging transition both for him, his family, and for everyone else at Hope Home we are now overwhelmingly excited to see that he is thriving in his new family! We are beyond blessed to continue seeing Kaew every weekday and helping his family with respite care as needed. It is a beautiful moment to see a child of ours move on into a loving, supportive, and happy family!