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Pattaya Daily News

09 August 2008 :: 17:08:17 pm 6895

Mali’s Sense of Pride

Mali (not her real name), 13, has never given up this goal. On the contrary, the girl has an even greater interest in HIV&AIDS. Finally, a community cares coalition for HIV&AIDS called “Kunapon” provided training to youth core leaders, which World Vision helped to set up in schools and sub-district level.
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“When I grow up, I want to be a nurse. I want to help the poor who are sick like my mother.”

Mali grew up in a poor rural village in northern Thailand. After her father passed away in 2002, she lives alone with her mother in their home. It is a Thai-style wooden house with 2 bedrooms and an extended kitchen and toilet at the back.

Mali is studying in Grade 8 now. She likes to play badminton. She is a happy girl, has good relationships with others and is well loved by her friends. She also learns fast and has a great and creative imagination. As her favorite subject is Mathematics, she has signed up for the Science club in her school. This year, the club members are doing a research and developing a “water bottle rocket.” Mali is having such a good time with her friends in creating a “water bottle rocket.” They hope to send their invention to challenge with other schools.

Mali is one of the 150 children who receive a scholarship of 900 Baht (=29.04 USD$) a year from the project. As she is interested in art and handicrafts, she received training on making cotton bags. She does this during her term break and it is a source of income to help her mother.

Mali, 13, is crocheting a cotton bag and
making it into a beautiful piece.

Mali is pleased with the cotton bag,
her handiwork.

“Thank you for giving me an opportunity and support. I’m happy that I can give some money to my mother. I’m also glad that I can counsel my friends who are in despair because of AIDS,” Mali poured out her heart. “I want to thank you Canadians for your kindness in helping my mother and me. I wish you good health and happiness in your work.” Mali leaves her appreciation to all her supporters.

Poodson (not her real name), 41, is Mali’s mother. She has been taking anti-retroviral drugs for 4 years already. Every 2 months she gets together with the group and receives the drugs. She enjoys good health and does laundry work and house cleaning for others. She earns a little over 1,500 Baht (=48.39 USD$) a month. Before received help, her life was full of turmoil and hopelessness. She had no one to turn to for emotional support. She felt tired because of hard work. There was only anguish of heart and anxiety due to this problem and other pressures. Her only daughter’s future education was a real source of concern to her.

After she opened herself up and joined in the project over a year ago, they have been receiving emotional support as well as a bag of gifts (milk, soap, toothpaste and shampoo) and a package of dry food, such as rice, fish sauce, oil and dishwashing detergent. The project also provided the family with a variety of home vegetables and 150 catfish to eat each day and help to reduce the costs of buying food.

Mali and her mother received the catfish from
the project. The catfish are growing.

Mali enjoys studying and reviewing her
lessons during her free time.

“Thank you for helping with educational funds. These have encouraged us a lot and relieved our troubles.” Poodson spoke about her only hope right now. “I will take good care of my health. I want to see my daughter study and complete her Bachelor’s Degree. I want to live until I become a grandmother and care for my grandchildren.”

Poodson said that this project has helped over 800 families in her community. Those who felt grief because of their AIDS infection did not have the courage to open up at first. Now more and more people are opening up in order to receive help. People who were afraid before because of a lack of understand are now able to live together and seek one another out with greater ease and relaxation because we have a mutual understanding. This is how it should be at the start.

You can contact World Vision Foundation of Thailand via the following address:

World Vision Foundation of Thailand 582/18-22 Sukhumvit 63, Klongton, Wattana Bangkok 10110 Tel. (02)381-8863-5 Fax: (02)711-4100-1,(02)381-2034 E-mail Address: info@worldvision.or.th

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Stories

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