CS300 : Your Support Means The World To Them


Nostalgic Day  


Today, 4 of us, my 2 Thai staff and Bruce (our PhD intern) headed down the mountain to Phitsanulok to grab the supplies for tomorrow's mission team. This is a routine chore that we do prior to every volunteer team's arrival.Though routine, this trip turned out to be a nostalgic one for me.

As I stood in the all-so-familar surroundings of the Thai hypermart (Tesco Lotus), I was reminded that this would be last time I'll be here; hearing the repetitive thai music while struggling to get groceries that have their labels written only in Thai.

With every step, my heart felt heavier. Looking through the items brought back memories.
Going through the children section, reminiscing how I have previously bought some of these kids on our streetkids program. The dried noodles & bedding section, brought back memories of late nights where Ben and me will be filling our empty stomachs with instant noodles and wondering when will we be able to buy a proper bed instead of sleeping on the floors.

Each section took me back memory lane, though the hard times, happy times and times that was filled with tears.

Finally i stopped by the Audio & Video section to pick out a few educational documentaries for the kiddos. This too brought their faces to mind, and my heart sank knowing that I may not be around to watch these shows with them.

On the journey, Bruce asked me what made me the same question as many of our dearest supporters. A simple but painful question "Why did I decide to leave full time service in Thailand to head back to Singapore?"

Now, we have been on the mission field for some 2 years now and since we started, we have drawing from our personal savings . Its only of late that we managed to draw a small allowance from our lifeline project- CS300. Without CS300 attaining full financial support and the ministry has pressing needs for the money, both the directors bore the burden and survived on a terribly small allowance.

My decision to leave is not a sudden one, neither is it one of disappointment, instead its a hard decision that have been rendered months of careful thought.

With low financial support and insufficient manpower, having Ben to manage the operations in Thailand and me to work in Singapore to support financially would definably be at the best interest of RADION.Without having to cater for allowances, RADION will now be able to free up some funding to employ 2-4 more local destitute villagers to continue and expand our work.

That i guess is the best option right now.

It's saddening just thinking of how to break the news to the kids, but i do hope that i can quickly clear off all my existing commitments and return to Thailand as soon as I can. Missions is fun ;)

So do keep me in your prayers :)


2 Year Old Child Sexually Abused To Death  


Yesterday, we received news from the villagers that the body of a 2 year old child was found near the guesthouse. The body had bite marks all over the body and her lips were bitten apart. Investigation indicated that the young toddler has also been raped before being killed.

The hideous act was committed by a local villager who kidnapped the young toddler when he was high sniffing glue. The attacker tried to to silence the girl from screaming and closed her mouth with his hands but she ended up suffocating to death. The arrest has been made however it offers little to the parents who have lost a child.

Glue sniffing/substance abuse is a prevalent problem in the village, attacks are also common ranging from gang rapes to murders. That's the reason why we focus our efforts to bring awareness and aid to children from high risk background such as this to prevent them from going down that path....


StreetKids! Update Aug 2009  


The Program
StreetKids! program is a rehabilitation program giving substance abusers and children from high risk backgrounds a second chance to study. The program provides shelter, food and education for each of these needy ones.

The Process
Poor parents will always push their children to be on our program, but only the children who are deemed within the high risk categories are accepted. Most of children are ostracized and their own parents and the village has given up all hope on them.

The Need
Right now on the streetkids program, we have 16 children. 12 have already been sponsored, leaving the following 4 kids who have either completed probation and awaiting a sponsorship, or children who have just joined us

The Children
1 ) Tao ( Waiting For Sponsorship) Tao is a 13 year old young lady who comes from a high risk background. Her father was caught trafficking drugs and she has been left without a fatherly figure in the family. Her mother was a poor odd-job laborer and she subsequently remarried to another villager. Tao in her growing up years had little guidance and was slowly starting to loose interest in school to hang out in the streets with gangs that had a reputation for substance abuse. Tao has just passed her probation with us and will be a needing a sponsor to enable her to continue her rehabilitation program and education.

2 ) Manak (High Risk Family)
Manak's father who is the sole breadwinner for the family was diagnosed with stroke and has since been unable to find work. To make matters worse, Manak's mother is a drug addict(current) and the family has little to make ends meet. Manak is always seen walking around the village barefooted before he joined the program.
Each sponsorship cost just SGD96/month. If you wish to sponsor Manak, please email me at eugene@radion-international.org

3 ) Kua & Tong (On Probation) Tong and Kua are siblings. Both of them come from a complex background of neglect and vice. Tong was recently caught sniffing glue while Kua was well known for stealing. Both these children are not well liked by the village due to their vices. Both are now undergoing probation. They should be up for sponsorship in 2 weeks.

The Rehabilitation
All our child sponsors play a crutial role, not only in providing for these kids financially but also in the area of emotional rehabilitation. Its simple. The sponsors are required to communicate with their sponsored child to let them know that someone cares for them. These children have no sense of hope, but when they know that their sponsors care, they try harder in everything they do so as not to disappoint their sponsors.

Each sponsorship cost just SGD96/month. If you wish to sponsor a child, please email me at eugene@radion-international.org


Update On John's Brother  


John's brother was admitted to Khao Khor hospital with a high fever and he was bleeding profusely through his nose.

Upon arrival, it was most disappointing. The doctor on duty was not around and the nurses were terribly rude. One of the nurses asked him, "What are you feeling" and this young man would only muster a inaudible sound as he was having a high fever and having blood choking back in his throat he was unable to talk.

The nurses retorted "Can't you even speak up ?, are you mentaly disabled or what ?"

My medical staff rebuked the nurses telling them that the patient cannot speak clearly because of bleeding. She also relayed my concern to the nurses that it maybe dengue and requested for a them to run proper tests.

This was probably the most disturbing behavior we received from government hospitals which are normally of excellent standards.

Anyway, the boy was admitted to hospital and some blood test were ran. He was diagnosed with dengue fever. He is now out of the red and recovering as we speak.

Thanks for keeping him in your prayers.

Community Development : Hip Hop ?  


Bruce a PhD student from University of Chicago is now doing his internship with RADION. He is spearheading a new drug awareness project in the local schools under our community development Program.

He has been teaching english in the local school to build rapport and foundation for his drug awareness program.

...and tomorrow, he'll be teaching HIP HOP in the Shophouse! to his students !

A creative way to bring awareness and reach children !


STK : Tao For Sponsorship  


We first met Tao during our mass educational outing sometime back last year. We remembered her well as she stood out from the rest of the girls - She got into a fight with our boys on our streetkids boys.

Tao's father was part of a drug trafficking circle and was caught and imprisoned many years back, leaving Tao without a fatherly figure. Tao grew up to be quite a rebel and the mom could no longer control her.

Few months back, Faa (a child on the streetkids program) informed us that Tao was getting into bad company and she has started loosing interest in her studies. Many days, she would play truant just to hang out with her delinquent friends.

Her mother got seriously worried when she heard that her friends are also connected to glue sniffers and her main concern is that Tao may be taken advantaged or even raped by these gangs (which occurs frequently here)

Tao was placed on the high risk children's category in our streetkids program and has been showing positive signs of improvement in our program. She has passed the probabtion phase and is ready to accept a sponsor.

Sponsorship cost SGD96/month and it provides her with a shelter and everything she needs to go through school.

If you would like to sponsor Tao, please email me at eugene@radion-international.org


Bad News  


Our sturdy Mitsubishi L200 was our first vehicle donated by supporters.
It cost just under SGD5,000 and has lasted us for almost 2 years.
It has accompanied us on humanitarian operations, used to ferry children to school, carry pigs....etc etc. Everything that the ministry ever needed.

2 months back, an unfortunate incident happened. Our car was parked at the children's home and when my staff started the engine. It refused to start, so we did a check. The batteries are fine but the truck just refused to start.

A mechanic was called in and he did a couple of checks before opening up the engine belt compartment. To our horror, we found a dead rat dangling by its mangled skin in the compartment.

The whole compartment was splattered with blood and organs. The mechanic told us that it was a common sight in the village as rats are known to find cozy places to sleep at nights.

So here are some pictures of what happened.

After checks and repairs, we were told that the truck was only good for another 20,000-30,000km before we have to scrape it. (Below : when engine is started radiator turns into a fountain)

The streetkids! work requires a truck to send the children to school. A 2nd hand truck will cost roughly 10,000SGD. If you would like to sponsor a truck, please contact me at eugene@radion-international.org


Sunday Emergency  


Just about 10mins ago, i was called from my office by one of our streetkids to do a home visitation.

John was terribly frantic asking me to quickly visit his brother and render medical aid. According to John, his brother had a bad case of nose bleeding.

We responded to the house call and discovered that it was not a normal case of nose bleeding.
John's brother was lying outside his home on a blood soaked make-shift blanket bed. As we attended to him, he was hardly able to sit up and the fresh blood was literally dripping out of his nose.

As the village ambulance is not available, we turned our outreach vehicle to a make-shift ambulance and sent him to the nearest hospital for further checks. Now the child is on his way to the hospital, do keep him in your prayers.

Gentle Reminders For Visitors  


General Rules
- Please inform us at least 1 month in advance if you plan to visit us
- RADION management reserves the right to decline visitations or volunteers
- All visitors are to stay at the guesthouse (approx 400baht/night) as we do not have guest rooms
- Transfer cost per truck & driver
200bht/way (from Khek Noi), 500bht/way (from khao khor bus station), 1000bht/way (from Lomsak)
- Local meals are chargable at 60bht/meal
- All visitors are required to be covered with personal insurance before arriving

STK! Sponsors

- You are encouraged to visit your sponsored child at least once a year.
- 2 X meal with your sponsored child will be waived and FOC.
- Each visit should not last for more than 3 days
- Only during the 1st week of each month
- Please send your proposed visit date at least 1 month ahead of time for de-conflicting of resources (ie if we are running humanitarian trips, you will have problems reaching us)

For existing CS300 supporters and friends (non-volunteer visit)
- Each visit is not to last more than 2 days.
- Orientation trips can be organised for teams of 6 and above
- Each trip should be on the 1st week of each month.

Open/Single volunteers
- We accepts only skilled volunteers (translators, trainers, teachers, counsellors, doctors, medical personnel, preferabally proficient in Thai/Hmong languages)
- Only self-supported volunteers with a minimum commitment of 1 month will be considered

Group Volunteering / Mission Teams
- Minimum of 7 days to a max of 18 days
- Minimum of 6 pax
- RADION will quote a full package price for accomodation, transport and meals.
- All mission trippers and group trippers are subjected to a mandatory contribution of SGD200/pax which goes towards the outreach fund