Sem Pringpuangkeo Foundation

Foster Parents Program


Background

The prime aim of this program is to support the education of AIDS orphans in the six far northern provinces of Thailand, each of which is facing serious problems as a result of the AIDS epidemic. With so many main family bread winners gone, the child may become a burden to their grandparents or other family members. As it is a strong tradition in Thai society for children to support their aging parents, technically the grandparents have been orphaned too.

Thus the child may have to be taken out of school, either because they are previously rejected by the local community as AIDS orphans or simply due to the fact that there is no money to provide them with the cost of an education. In many cases, the child may be needed to work to support the remaining family members, thus leaving school before completing their education. Sometimes this means young people sell themselves for sex, in which case, the cycle will likely repeat itself.

It should be noted that the Foster Parents Program is not about finding a home for these children via foster parents, as they are virtually always taken in by other members of their family in Thai tradition. The role of the foster parents is to provide financial support to allow these children to complete their education and break out of undesirable cycles, as noted above.

 

Program Objectives:

1. To identify those children in the region who have become isolated through AIDS, and bring    them into the Foundation under a fostering arrangement     so that they can continue their    education

2. To ease the burden on others and provide opportunities for these children to develop their    own individual potentials, with a view to their becoming valuable members of society despite     their initial disadvantages

3. To encourage those children who have gone right through the program to secondary or tertiary level to offer their services to mentor younger children just entering the program

4. To endeavour to break the cycle, where children come from an environment of homelessness, drug addiction, crime and prostitution, and reduce the economic and social gap  As well as providing funding to allow their foster child to continue his or her education, foster    parents are actively encouraged to visit the region and mentor their child where possible.

Foster Parents Program Funding:

Annual funding required to support a child at primary school is 5,000 baht (approx USD140), while for secondary school is 6,000 baht (approx USD170). This financial support covers cost of text books, educational equipment, school uniforms, lunch and transportation. The Foundation will not deduct overhead expenses from your contribution, but will transfer the whole amount to your child’s account. Overheads and administrative costs are covered through annual corporate donations. Teachers, project coordinators and/or public health officials will be responsible to oversee the withdrawal of these funds to ensure they are used for the proper cause.  A profile and photograph of each child will be made available at the first stage to his or her foster parents, along with reports on his or her progress throughout the year. Visits to children by their foster parents are always most welcome, and can be arranged through the Foundation project coordinators.








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