BaanChivitMai - A home for a new life in Thailand

I don't usually write long stories. But please, take a few minutes and read this. It is important.

Sometimes I think I have a lot of serious problems. I worry about how I look, if I have the perfect home and how I will find ways to pay for it, how I should boost my career and book the most inspiring weddings and grow as a wedding photographer, how to find time for my friends, is there anything like the perfect love, I think of where to go on my vacation and I have issues with what to put on in the morning (this was actually a big issue this morning...). Thus, just like most people I know. But, even though one shouldn't ignore the small everyday problems we all have, we all need to take time to reflect and appreciate the beauty around us and how lucky we are. Other people do. Even the ones that have no families, own nothing and have seen the really ugly side of mankind. Like the children at Baan Chivit Mai in Chiang Rai, Thailand. I visited BCM in January and when I met the kids, heard and read the stories I cried and smiled at the same time. Life truly is a mix of happiness and sorrows but I strongly believe that the good things in life are stronger and will win in the end if we allow it! We all have it within.

BaanChivitMai, which means “home for new life”, is an independent local relief organisation in Thailand that has saved several hundred of children and youth from a life in prostitution and drug dealing. Through BaanChivitMai's ministry, exposed children and youth are provided with a place to stay and the possibility to go to school. BaanChivitMai, which means “home for new life”, is an independent local relief organisation in Thailand that has saved several hundred of children and youth from a life in prostitution and drug dealing. Through BaanChivitMai's ministry, exposed children and youth are provided with a place to stay and the possibility to go to school.

There are strong connections between BaanChivitMai and Sweden. There are a few Swedish organisations but mostly individuals from Scandinavia, that donate money regularly to the ministry.

Eva Olofsson who participated in the founding of the organisation has handed over her responsibilities to Madeleine and Inge Ekelyck. They are now responsible for keeping in touch with the donors and to some extent they also travel around informing about the ministry.

Meechai Wongworawhitt is the local manager and he and his wife (see photos here) and everyone else working with this organisation are living angels through their work! If you want to support the work, visit BCM's website to find information on how to donate.

The lifestories are heartbreaking and here are a few examples (not specifically connected with the photos below). More can be read at BMC's website.

"Chantima was one of the first children at BCM. She was mentally retarded and was only 11 years old when she was raped at home by a drug addict. She got AIDS and died when she was 13 years."

"Vinai, a little boy, was standing alone when we came to the village, dirty and afraid. He was 5 years, lived alone in the forest and was not allowed to play with the other kids. His whole family had died in AIDS and the only time he was allowed to go the village was when he came to get food in a small plastic bag. BMC took him in and gave him a home at Eden, the home for HIV-infected children."

"Nalee came to BCM when she was 8 years old and her mother probably had sold her two older sisters to men in Bangkok. After some time a man came to BCM and said he had agreed with her mother to buy Nalee for 1 000 SEK. BMC refused and Nalee stayed."

These photos are from two of the homes close to Chiang Rai, one of them is Eden, the home for HIV infected children.

All the children help each other on the field, growing their own vegetables.

Before dinner they hang out, relax, have fun and maybe also read the newspaper. Yes, they go in school and can read. If it weren't for BCM they probably wouldn't be able to.

These gentlemen followed me everywhere I went and especially he in a brown sweater. He didn't leave me and my camera alone at all :-)!

fotograf - linda broström - baanchivitmai - baan chivit mai - lindisima - chiang rai - thailand