Being homeless and watching over her three younger siblings whenever mum went off on a meth binge was a way of life for young Tangmo, and she accepted her fate without question. Now the children are in school and they've got a roof over their heads instead of a road.
Published in Bangkok Post, Spectrum Section, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013
By Fr. Joe Maier, C.Ss.R.
Tangmo (Watermelon) tries to be as good and loving as any mum on the planet, but she's only eight, and she worries a lot about her five-year-old brother and the twins. Not that there's really much to worry about there: he's happy and the twins are jolly three-year-old eating machines. Her mum, back in rehab? That's a worry, but it's nothing new.
Like the time the police arrested mum again after she'd been sick and violent on meth and was coming down, on domicum mixed with methadone.Minutes before the police arrived, Tangmo (she prefers to be called Daeng) had grabbed her younger brother and the twins and ran to the safety of a rickety bamboo-shack karaoke bar under the expressway. She woke up the old man who's always asleep at the door to let them in to hide from mum.
เมื่อ วันศุกร์ที่ผ่านมา ครอบครัวเมอร์ซี่ประกอบด้วย แม่ๆและพ่อๆประจำบ้านเด็ก คุณครูและตัวแทนนักเรียนโรงเรียนจากศูนย์เด็กปฐมวัย และนักเรียนจากโรงเรียนยานุส คอร์ชัค เหล่าทีมงานทำงานเพื่อสังคม พร้อมเพื่อนๆพี่น้องในชุมชมต่างเรร่วมกันร้องรำทำเพลงแห่เทียนเข้าพรรษา สู่วัดสะพาน คลองเตย กรุงเทพฯ ด้วยความชื่นมื่น ชมภาพกิจกรรมได้ ที่นี่
Published July 10, The Guardian - Global Development Professsionals Network. Complete article and text here. Usanee Janngeon writes about the evolution of the Human Development Foundation-Mercy Centre's HIV/AIDS Program - from a "dumping ground for the dying" to offering all-inclusive home-based care. Photo above: Mercy Centre staff training Mae Tao clinic staff in community-based homecare.
For over 10 years, the Human Development Foundation – Mercy Centre's Aids hospice was the first, largest and only free Aids hospice in Bangkok, Thailand. At first, Mercy was known as a dumping ground for dying people. Then we changed our general policy and, apart from the truly indigent, only accepted patients with their relatives' involvement. Over the years as the treatments improved, our hospice became a place of hope for the future where people could recover and go back to the community and their family.
We learned that HIV is not about one person, it's about the whole family. We created three-way partnerships between our hospice staff, patients and their families. We asked the families to share in the hospice care of their family members, and in return, we provided counselling to the families and taught them home-care skills. The patients also agreed that they would contribute to the maintenance of the hospice as much as they were able to.
It often took several months of counselling, sometimes even years, to unite families and patients and bring them home. It was rarely easy. As our home-care programme expanded, we were able to close our hospice in 2012 and now all our Aids care is done in the community.