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Camillian Home: Volunteer, Give Back, Get Involved

As much as KohSpot likes to rock out, sometimes it’s refreshing to give something back to a community that has given us so much throughout the years – we are forever indebted to the Kingdom of Thailand. So we decided to change course for a brief period of time and spread the word of something other than attempting to live the lifestyle of Keith Richards.  Still with us? For folks who have the time and the inclination there is a worthy charity in Lat Krabang called Camillian Home for children.  We have no direct association with the charity other than we think it’s a productive way to spend a few hours on a weekend and for those who may feel their karma coffers are feeling a little light, we encourage you to read on and perhaps even get involved.

Camillian Home for children was founded in 2008 as a gift from two Italians in the Red Cross and acts as the one of the few facilities in Thailand that cares for kids with disabilities and HIV. The organization is eagerly attempting to build out its volunteer network because securing paid professionals to work at the home has proven to be a daunting challenge. Communication Director Faisal Malik says the lack of volunteers can be partially contributed to cultural and religious beliefs in Thailand, as well as the stigma attached to those living with disabilities and HIV. Malik also expressed that there is a general malaise within the community towards helping those who are severally disabled.

We jumped off the moral high road many kilometers ago, but we also understand the importance of reaching out to those less fortunate and think that using KohSpot as a platform for this effort is appropriate from time to time*. Volunteers can help out in any number of ways, but Camillian Home is primarily looking for assistance with group play therapy games with the severely disabled kids, as well as activities with older autistic children. The home tries to take the kids on a field trip once a month, and volunteers are also encouraged to take part in these. Past trips have included a wild and wacky trip to a bowling alley, movie theater, and the zoo. Good times for all.

“It is important to take the kids out into the community so the children feel like they are normal, but also so the community gets educated as well. Some Thais feel they don’t know how to take care of the disabled,” said Malik.

While the home can house 30, it now has 16 kids who have often been orphaned or abandoned by their families. Day care is also provided to those who cannot attend school because of their disability, allowing their parents to work during the day. Camillian is particularly enthusiastic about volunteers that have any physical therapy training.

Camillian Home asks volunteers to make a commitment to visit a minimum of once a week at a set time for at least three months to stabilize the relationship, as both you and the kids become familiar with each other. The home believes this rapport aids a child’s development.

Malik hopes with better education Thailand will cease having babies born with HIV. As the country offers free medicine if a mother starts dosage six months before birth, there is a less than 1% chance the baby will be born with the virus. He noted a WHO statistic that Thailand has the highest percentage of faithful women (meaning they have only had one partner their whole life) who were infected with HIV by their partner. Shocking.

If you are interested in getting involved reach out to Faisal Malik by dialing the phone number below or you can follow the directions and show up.  They would love to have you.

Camillian House
Location: 81/2 Luang Phang Road, Kumthong, Lat Krabang. From Bangkok, take the Motorway (No. 7) in the direction of Chonburi. Take exit No. 21 (On Nut) and turn right at the traffic light. Drive for 2.5 kilometers and Camillian Home is on the left. Depending on your starting point, it is about 35 minutes from Bangkok.
Mass transit: None, you need to drive or take a taxi
Hours: Volunteers are welcome every day during the day
Phone: 02-360-7852
Website : www.camillianhomelatkrabang.org

*KohSpot supports scholastic achievement in South Africa by helping sponsor stellar students. You can learn more about the project
Website : www.imaginescholar.org/home

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