'A message from founder' – A message from Miwa Natori
Even if the children from Ban Rom Sai are living with AIDS, it doesn't change the fact that they are still orphans. These two facts will never change for the children and until a cure is found for AIDS, they will continue to have to take anti-viral drugs for the rest of their lives. They have to face facts about building up a resistance to existing drugs, deal with the side effects of the drugs they are taking, discrimination and prejudice in society. As they grow into adults, the children have to think of earning a living, deal with a sometimes hostile society and face issues about love and sex, as well as the usual teenage fears and worries. It is our role at Ban Rom Sai to support these children through these phases, like parents would.
And within this lies our biggest challenge, to help the children achieve physical and emotional independence for the long-term.
Our current challenge is to help the children with their education. Some children are doing well in school and are looking forward to further education at the high school level and some of the older children are looking at vocational schools, technical schools or even universities. Some of the children, however, are suffering from learning disabilities and these children will not be able to go on to secondary education.
It is our role to find out ways how these children can become useful members of society and reach some level of independence in adulthood.
One of the long-term goals of Ban Rom Sai is to achieve independence; independence from donations.
This independence is also important to the children. Normally, children grow up seeing their parents work hard to earn money, to put food on the table. However, children at Ban Rom Sai do not have this opportunity. We do not want the children to think that money simply falls from the sky. We want the children to learn that people need to work, to earn a living and work is not always easy.
We have several ongoing projects at Ban Rom Sai, which are part of the orphanage's long-term plan to reach independence. The projects are also aimed at providing a potential workplace for those children, who will be unable to leave the orphanage, even when they reach adulthood. One such project is the Hoshihana Village Guest House, with its beautifully designed bungalows and tranquil atmosphere.
Please help us develop more projects to secure the long-term independence of the children and the orphanage.
Although we are working hard to become independent, in reality, the goal is still far away. We continue to rely on your help for the children to grow up and live healthy lives, without developing AIDS. Please watch Ban Rom Sai's children grow and follow their activities on our web-site.
Thank you for your warm support.
Miwa Natori, Founder of Ban Rom Sai