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Thailand Children's Charities
Drugs and Runaway children in Thailand
An interesting story ...

In Thailand there are a number of charitable giving organizations doing great work. Our hats are off to all of them and we sincerely respect their good works and their commitment to those in need.

Our firm identifies and contributes time, resources and money to needy people and organizations that don’t receive funding or contributions from other charitable giving organizations. As you can see from our web pages we provide support to schools and individuals.

We do not wish to duplicate the efforts of other charitable giving organizations and there is no need to be redundant when there are so many children who need help. For example, organizations like the Pattaya Orphanage receive support from numerous sources. Of course they have a great need and do fantastic work, but there are other people and organizations that are not receiving any support. We provide support for the Baan Darn Ngo school in Phetchaburi pictured on our web pages because without our support the school would not be able to provide rice for the children to eat as they have very limited support from other sources.

When you live in Thailand you constantly see people in need. One quickly realizes that charitable giving doesn’t need to be provided through an orphanage, shelter, clinic, foundation, school or other type of organization, help can be given directly to those in need.

We often provide assistance directly to families where the parents don’t have work, who don’t have money to feed their children, who can not cloth their children, and who can’t afford to send their children to school. Even at free schools children must have basic necessities to attend, often families can’t afford these basic necessities and the child can not attend school.

As stated above, when in Thailand you constantly see people in need and we have seen an area of extreme need that receives very minimal attention from traditional sources: Teenage runaways who are addicted to drugs like yaba, ice and ya-ice, a methamphetamine. This is a very sever problem effecting large numbers of children.

Typically, twelve and thirteen year old girls and boys start hanging around together, stop going to school, stay out late at night with their friends and stop going home. Girls like boys and boys like girls and they will stay together in groups or move from one friends room to another. During these times they start experimenting with drugs due to peer pressure, or to just feel better and happier, and to escape the reality of their impoverishment. This is happening in huge numbers in Thailand. As a result of this and other factors Thailand has the second highest teenage pregnancy rate in the world.

To give you an idea of just how big a problem drugs are in Thailand, here is a recent quote from the September 4th 2011 issue of the Bangkok Post – “Police working as small-time traffickers must stop” — Police General Priewpan Damapong, about to become Thailand’s police chief, on his first target in a new war on drugs. At the time he was the deputy chief of police of Thailand.

Parents have difficulty controlling a child who is addicted to drugs. The children will not listen to their parents, and they will not do what their parents tell them to do. If parents punish their children (often physically) in hopes of correcting their behavior the children frequently runaway.

We see dropping out of school at twelve to thirteen years of age, becoming addicted to drugs and becoming pregnant as a very sever problem and extremely detrimental to a child’s future. Our friend Pat who works with the Red Cross, is part of a team that takes a drug awareness program from school to school teaching children starting at the age of seven and starting with cigarettes, alcohol, then on to other more serious drugs about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. This is a fantastic program, unfortunately brief infrequent seminars can not change the children’s lives and can not compete with the daily peer pressure. But god bless them for there great work and a great program, as surely it influences some children to stay away from drugs.

Poor families in Thailand often consist of a mother raising children alone. If a father is part of the family he may have problems of his own, and they can range from alcoholism, drug use, being abusive to his wife and children, having another wife, or simply being unavailable or unwilling to participate in his children’s lives in a meaningful way.

Many children don’t have even basic parent child relationships with their fathers (as we would expect) and we see this as a big part of the problem. We also see that the children yearn for a good father child relationship. They want the secure feeling of having a consistent, stable, loving and caring father. Boyfriends don’t fill the void of an absent father but a relationship with a boyfriend this often pursued in an attempt to fill the void of a physically or emotionally absent father. We believe this contributes to the high teenage pregnancy rate.

Some children are in desperate situations and only heartless people are unaffected when seeing them. My position is how can you stand by and do nothing when witnessing their plight.

We have attempted to provide direct help to only three runaway drug addicted children, we are aware of more. We approached this cautiously as an experiment with reasonable expectations. We certainly understood that trying to help drug addicted teenage runaways would be challenging.

We have been successful with getting two girls off drugs and back to their parents. We attribute these successes with consistent and reasonable parental behavior on our part.

We encountered expected challenges and some very unexpected and extremely difficult challenges along the way. We are proud of our accomplishments and would like to do more, but the challenges have proven too great a price for our own families to pay. In Thailand problems can come in surprising forms and from official organizations and agencies who we expect to be on our team. We have since learned that many people (both Thai and foreigners) compare these official organizations to the mafia, but in our opinion they are far worse as they work both sides of the system by enabling bad people and victimize good people.

While it is a well known fact that corruption is a serious problem in Thailand, we now have first hand experience with how innocent people can become victims of greedy officials. As American’s, and seeing a clear distinction between good guys and bad guys and right and wrong, we do not submit to their extortion.

We have now discontinued our work with drug addicted runaway children, while we continue to support schools. As always we welcome input from our clients, you are our partners/financial contributors as the monies we earn from clients fees fund the charitable giving program.

We appreciate your ideas and suggestions as well as your feedback on this article: charities@usa-immigration-law-thailand.com

Why I help Thai children, my childhood and, why I live in Thailand: by Brian Wright

My childhood

I had a great childhood, and this is the reason I want to make the childhoods of Thai children better.

I am a small town country boy. I sometimes joke and tell people that I am from Mayberry, because that’s what my home town was like when I was growing up.
With a population of 350 people, we all knew each other, and we all interacted with each other on a daily or weekly basis. My high school graduating class was the largest in history to that point, 14 students. Other grades averaged 6-8 students. There were a variety of people, some colorful characters but no really bad people. There were only two African American’s but we were unaware of their race because our parents raised us to be color blind to such things.

My formative years took place in the 1960′s. My family wasn’t rich, we weren’t even what people would considered middle class. But we always had our home, good food on the table, clothes, and the other basics needed for a modest yet comfortable life. My father worked 5 days a week and took on extra work on his days off to give us a better life. My mother stayed home and took care of me and my two sisters. We played outside all day, every day, except when it rained. We only came inside to eat the wholesome meals our mother prepared for us. We played with each other, our toys, and we used our imaginations. We didn’t have video games and we watched less than an hour of tv a day. I watched a western show called the rifleman with my father, and I don’t ever recall watching it without him. If you have never seen the show or don’t recall it, the show was about a father teaching his son about life and fundamental values and morals. In many different situations the father taught his son the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, how to be a good friend, how to treat people fairly, honestly and how to do the right thing and how to know the right thing to do by looking in to your heart.

Growing up the entire community was our backyard, we rode our bikes everywhere without fear. We played miles away from our homes all day without needing a cell phone and calling home to let our parents know we were okay, and we were okay. If we had a problem we took care of each other or would stop into anyone’s home that was near by. Each day we stopped at different homes to ask for a drink of water. Of course we knew everyone and would always be treated with kindness and given treats. We would always be asked if we were okay or if we needed anything before being set off to play again.

In summer we rode in the back of my father’s pick up truck, it was a special treat, no child seats, no air bags, no seat belts, we were not scared, we were fine and we were happy.

We went pond fishing with my father, my sisters and I got ice cream cones on Friday night, drank root beer that my mother made herself, we created forts in the forest, we made mud pies, collected bugs, investigated wild life in streams, raised chickens and ducks, helped my mother and father in our garden, picked wild black berries, and we witnessed the miracle of nature by seeing a caterpillar turn into a butterfly by watching the cocoon.

Living in small town helps people to grow up properly because you have an entire community teaching you the difference between right and wrong. If you did something wrong everyone knew it and you knew how everyone felt it. At the same time when you did something right everyone knew it and you knew how everyone felt. This community wide positive and negative reinforcement was a very good teacher.

I never called an adult by their first name until I was in my twenties and given permission. My parents taught me to address adults as Mr. Brown, Mr. Murray, Mr. Dodge, Mrs. Littlefield, etc.

I believe it is this respect that I was taught together with the security of having two kind and loving parents who were involved in my life and gave me a great childhood that shaped me into the person I am today.

I was blessed with two kind and loving parents who showed me that they loved me more than anything else in the world. They taught me that when they had to teach me with a punishment that it was painful for them too. My father never hit me, his slightly raised voice was enough to correct my behavior and my mother only tapped me on my bottom once to emphasize her verbal instruction, followed by a hug. My mother died of cancer in 2004, but she was one of the happiest and optimistic people I have ever known. Her kindness and generosity to others, especially her family was remarkable. I remember her telling me about a visit she had made to see her oldest granddaughter who had three young children. She told me about their poor living conditions. My mother didn’t like where they were living and she moved them into a nice home she owned and that she was planning to sell. I asked her why she gave them the use of a very nice home for free when she was planning to sell it and she said, because I can.

My father has always been and is a steady, reasonable, sensible, compassionate man. To my knowledge he has never told a lie, never done anything extreme, never drank more than one beer in a day, never had a serious problem with another person, and has many close friends. He was born during the depression and has always known how to be financially responsible. He has never owned a credit card. He served his country in combat in Korea earning the rank of Sergeant. He was my constant teacher when I was a boy growing up and has continued to teach me all through my life. Today he is my best friend. I love, respect and appreciate him more than anyone I know.

Why I live in Thailand

People often ask me “why do you like living in Bangkok”, while my answer is usually something polite pointing out the positive aspects of Bangkok, I actually don’t like living in Bangkok. While I do prefer other parts of Thailand to Bangkok I can think of many other places in the world where I would prefer to live.

If I tell people that Bangkok isn’t really my cup of tea they ask me why I chose to live here. I respond that I chose nothing, I live in Thailand because this is what God has chosen for me. This is where he wants me to be, and I do the work he has chosen for me.

The business of making it possible for couples and families to be together in the United States, and helping children in Thailand – is God’s work. My clients have told me many times that I am doing God’s work. They most often tell me this when they breathe a sigh of relief when getting the visa that enables them to be together. It’s a stressful time for people waiting and wondering if they can be with the person they love, and I take my work and my responsibility to my clients very seriously because I know how important it is to them.

Maybe God knew I was a good candidate to help children in Thailand because before moving to Thailand I sponsored a child in Guatemala. Although I never met this child I had faith in the international children’s foundation that took responsibility for her care. But I probably annoyed them more than most of the other sponsors because I was always checking on her well being and wanting to do more.

My work brings me pleasure because my clients are really nice people. I sincerely care about my clients and I want them to have a great future together. I will continue to live and work in Thailand as long as God needs me.

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