Project Thailand 2008 (AIDS)

Project Thailand 2008
When: Saturday August 30, 2008 – Thursday September 11, 2008
Location: Ban Home Hug, Yasotorn, Thailand

Project Leaders:

Ping Punyakumpol: pingp ‘at’ stanford.edu
Job Jivasantikarn: jobj ‘at’ stanford.edu

Local Partner

Ban Home Hug (Home of Love) is a hospice located in the northeastern Thailand. The hospice is home to around a hundred orphans, most of them infected with HIV through their parents. This hospice was founded by the Suthasinee Foundation, currently run by only twenty staff members and volunteers.

Problems

  • People in the community around the hospice still have stigma against the infected children. Once the children’s friends know that they are HIV-infected, they reject the children. Therefore they feel unloved and think of themselves as a burden to the society.
  • The children, especially the high schoolers, want to contribute to the foundation, but they are not confident to reach out to the outside society.
  • With monthly expenses of more than $15,000, the foundation is financially struggling. Its revenue from donations barely covers half of the expenses. As a result, Ban Home Hug cannot afford to hire more staff to take care of the children.

Objectives

“World of Understanding and Hope”

  • To better the lives of the children by helping them regain respect and acceptance from the community and equip them with a set of useful skills that will help them in real life situations
  • To create a link between Home Hug and the community through the HIV-infected children.
  • To raise public awareness about the problems of AIDS.
  • To help make the foundation more financially sustainable.

Approaches

Service Component

  • Work closely with children in Ban Home Hug to get them exposed to new learning experiences and obtain self-esteem by creating the workshops to train students to carry out such activities as performing musical and cultural shows, painting, publishing their meaningful life stories through documentary, writing and video taping. The community center will also educate people about AIDS in general. This permanent exhibition will be run by the older students from the leadership sessions .The aims of this center are to raise public awareness, act as an agent to help bridge children from Ban Home Hug with the community help the students in the foundation regain self-esteem and bring about a source of pride for children.
  • Initiate the AIDS-Product Campaign in Thailand by collaborating with various companies in producing a line of specially-designed products to be sold at slightly higher prices. The extra income will directly support the foundation.

Leadership Component

  • Set up leadership training sessions for the children of ages 12-16 in Ban Home Hug and high school students from the area. These sessions are aimed to advise them on the skills necessary.
  • Train local high schoolers to work with the HIV-infected youths in Ban Home Hug.They will be in charge of reaching out to the society to publicize the HIV-infected children’s activities through the community center.

Team Member Responsibilities

  • Plan and facilitate training sessions for the group of ten AIDS patients and local high school students
  • Mentor and assist the group with the activities the group will execute such as creating workshops. For instance, the team members can lead the music, painting and documentary videotaping workshops for the children to exhibit their work in the community center.
  • Collaborate with Ban Home Hug staff and students to establish the community center

Skills Needed

We are looking for people with interests in AIDS issues and passions to help better AIDS patients’ lives. Experiences and skills in one of these following areas would be a plus:

  • Teaching/Mentoring skills
  • Experience in publicity and multimedia
  • Experience in working with children and youth groups
  • Artistic skills such as painting, drawing, designing and playing musical instruments