Channel of Blessings Home
Article and photography by Randy Gaudet
In Doi Saket, just twenty kilometers north of Chiangmai, a Thai couple who both have hearts big enough to look after 111 children. These young ones were at one time without love and opportunity before coming to live at a center for abandoned children. The ages of the children range from three years to nineteen years.
The caretakers of the home and children are Rachane and Jib. This wonderful couple, in their 40's, lost both of their own young children due to a rare illness ten years ago. During the past eight years they have dedicated their lives to helping orphans and abandoned children. Officials working with government agencies such as the BPP, and Sub-district administration have been steadily bringing children to their door.
The home offers a lot more for the children than the essentials of food and shelter. A good education is very important and the home accomplishes this by enrolling the children in the local elementary and high school. Although this costs a lot more than bringing in teachers to teach at the center, it's an opportunity for the children to interact and meet the other children and people in the community of Doi Saket.
In the center there are sewing machines and sewing classes at the home where young girls can learn a trade. Since the local schools require uniforms the girls are taught how to make them for all the children at the home. The professional tailor teaching the classes is Khun Jib's mother. The children are also taught music and art. Rachane, a graduate from Payap University in Chiangmai, is very talented with musical instruments and singing and teaches the children. A volunteer art teacher comes in from time to time to show the children how to paint and create other art projects. The couple also operate a restaurant in Doi Saket where the children can learn how to cook and handle a business.
The afternoon we spent at the home was very peaceful. It didn't seem to have over 100 children. The children were busy with chores such as washing and ironing school uniforms, or coming and going on bicycles, playing table tennis and kicking the football. The older children sat and talked with younger ones. However after talking with Rachane and Jib about the home there is a very serious problem.
The land that the home is located on was initially donated by a local couple to build the home for the children. Rachane and Jib have recently learned that the original caretakers borrowed money against the land many years ago and the finance company wants to reposes the land for resale. This could put all the children on the street however Rachane and Jib have a way out of this predicament.
For a start, in the past month they have rented a nearby house with their own money and now have 13 children living there. There are two house mothers in their mid twenties to watch over and take care of children while Rachane and Jib stay at the main home for now. The new house is very near to the school in Doi Saket so the children can walk to school. A few Expats in the area are helping with donations of food, clothes, toys, and money for rent and electricity for the new rented home. The immediate need now is to build another bathroom and instal a filter system for the well water as the water turns the clothes black when washed.
Rachane and Jib are now looking to purchase land near the school and build a new home for the children. So far they have received a pledge from an Australian man who will donate 700, 000 Baht toward the purchase of land. This is just a start as much more will be needed as the home receives requests every month to take in more and more abandoned and orphaned children. Rachane and Jib would like to continue to meet this need which is just not possible for now. Operating costs for the home, at this time, are more than 80,000 baht per month to cover the normal everyday operation taking care of 111 children.
If you would like to visit the Channel of Blessings Home or need any other information please contact Randy Gaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers are donating a web site to the home. Their new URl is: www.channel-of-blessings.org.
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