Kelsie’s Experience at Baan Viengping Children’s Home

I volunteered at Baan Viengping Children’s Home for seven weeks. This home located in Thailand currently provides help for over 500 kids who were abused or abandoned.

The Home

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When I came here, I found that the home looks clean with large area outdoors with a lot of equipment where kids can play. It’s a great place.

Kids have enough food and everything else they need. I noticed that their teeth look healthy. The difference is noticeable between the kids that have been at this home for a long time and those kids who came at the age of three or older. Their teeth were usually rotten and brown, from lack of proper care and diet.

The Children

The fact that these kids were abused, abandoned or that parents weren’t able to keep taking care of them, is truly sad. Some kids are returned to their families, while others are adopted by families in the West as well as in Europe.

Most kids however, stay in this home. Girls are here until the age of 18, and boys until the age of six when they go to a home for boys. Some kids cannot be adopted as there is no information about their parents. Being abandoned makes the paperwork for adoption a very difficult process.

Health

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Some kids here are very ill. There are kids with disabilities and those suffering from hepatitis or AIDS. Kids with hepatitis are least wanted when it comes to adoption. They aren’t accepted in numerous countries, whereas kids with AIDS are more easily adopted.  This doesn’t make much sense, as hepatitis is easier to control and treat than IADS.

There is a one-year-old girl that suffers from lung disease. It’s a chronic condition. She got pneumonia and has been in hospital for months. I visited her occasionally.

A Strange Story

I have a friend who volunteers in Australia, who has been there for more than ten years, working on and off. He tells me many stories as he has been taking care of a lot of kids in homes and hospitals.

I was told a story of the baby that was just a couple of months old. It was a baby of a surrogate mother. It got ill and the mother wasn’t able to take care of the baby.

The father of the baby is a man from Japan, who is a billionaire. The man is the father of 16 kids, to which surrogate mothers gave birth as well. Because of some scandal, he is wanted by the authorities. The man got custody of three children. There are a lot shady things about this man. One of these children is at this home at this moment, as a consequence of his wrongdoings.

Volunteers

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There are a number of volunteers that come to help for about a week. Two of the volunteers are here long term but they don’t speak English so I wasn’t able to communicate with them.

Two women took internships here. One is about to become a teacher in a primary school, while the other is a sociology major. They are teaching English to older kids and also teach girls about the empowerment of women.

My Role

I was taking care of one- and two-year-old babies. Each morning, a nanny would give me a baby to take care of, for a couple of hours. I would walk with the baby, play with toys and in the park. I was trying to give them needed attention and affection as they were abandoned. I spent time with all these kids in the afternoon watching CDs and playing with them. I loved spending time with these kids, as they are so special in their own way and this kind of interaction means so much to them.

I also met some older children but I couldn’t communicate with them as I don’t know their language. I managed to learn some words though.

Recent Changes

The home changed rooms that were for the same-age children, into rooms where the kids were of different ages. Older kids are there to interact with younger kids. The idea is to improve the development of younger kids. The idea turned out to be great — the younger kids are more talkative and the siblings are able to be in the same room which means so much to them.