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Our vision is that one day, all disadvantaged children and the hill tribe communities we serve will have free access to social care, health care and education, regardless of wealth, nationality and religion. Here at the Camillian Social Center Chiang Rai, our aim is to ensure that all hill tribe children throughout North Thailand - whether poor, orphaned or living with physical or learning difficulties - and their communities are given the opportunity to build a better life.
The Home of Charity, part of the Camillian Social Center Chiang Rai, was officially inaugurated on November 15, 2009 and provides on-site care, rehabilitation and education for children with physical and learning difficulties. Now in our third year, we help 27 children build a better life - 24 live on-site during school term and three are day care attendees. The majority of our residents are hill tribe children from Northern Thailand. Most are from the Akha tribe, others Karen, Yao, Mhong and Lahu. Many children came from poor and broken families.
Health care and rehabilitation
Health care and physical rehabilitation is our main focus. The needs of our children are varied. Each child has neurological complications and many of our children's medical difficulties are from birth or their early months or years. Children may be born at home with their mothers not receiving any pre or postnatal care; others have long-term side effects from illnesses that occur in early childhood.
Our children have individual therapy programs focusing on their physical requirements; this often includes the use of our aquatic therapy pool. Each child requires a tailored method of care and all of our staff have been trained to conduct these. Most of our children have trouble ambulating, so we require sufficient staff members in order to help our children achieve their goals. At present, each staff member is responsible for a maximum of three children. It is incredibly rewarding for our staff to see how many months of repetitive stimulation improves our children’s physical ability.
In addition to the physical therapy program, the Home of Charity provides a well-rounded program to stimulate and educate our children. Although we are not a school, we do follow a general teaching curriculum that has been tailored to suit our children’s abilities.
We rely on the enthusiasm, expertise and education of our volunteers and care providers to teach our children and share their knowledge. In addition to teaching Thai, English, mathematics and computing, our children take part in a number of activities designed to challenge them to think and play constructively using cognitive and physical skills. Research shows that all of the children are happy and enjoy following the schedule.
Five of the children attend local schools and receive physiotherapy at the Home of Charity once a week. On alternative days, they also have swimming practice and an additional computer class.
Employee and volunteer support
The Home of Charity provides support for children with learning or physical difficulties that primarily have developmental delays. We have 10 skilled care providers working directly with our children that take part in their everyday care, educational programs and exercise programs.
We also welcome the support of enthusiastic, energetic and talented volunteers. Volunteers help with hands-on teaching, care-giving and general management. At any one time we can accommodate a maximum of four volunteers, most stay for a minimum of one month.
Currently, the Home of Charity has three spacious buildings set up to accommodate, rehabilitate and teach children with disabilities. Our main building includes a computer room, classrooms, medical room, kitchen, dining room and two dormitories for the children. Our second building has two floors and includes the library, sensory room and private study rooms on the ground floor and guest accommodation on the top floor. The lower floor in the third building includes the physiotherapy and art rooms; and the floor above is the accommodation and facilities for volunteers and staff. We also have an aquatic therapy pool for physical therapy, which the children enjoy immensely. We have one van which was kindly donated so that we can use it for general support, the children’s field trips and to transport our older children with disabilities to their local school.
Come and help us - Visitors and volunteers
The Home of Charity encourages visitors. It provides a great opportunity for the children to meet and interact with others.
We also welcome the support of enthusiastic, energetic and talented volunteers. Volunteers help with hands-on teaching, care-giving and general management. In 2012, the Home of Charity was fortunate to receive support from a wide range of skilled volunteers, from English and art teachers to physical, behavioral and occupational therapists - all of whom were able to share their knowledge. As such, the benefits the Home of Charity receives from having volunteers can be seen not only in their short-term impact, but also the long-term value they add.