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CCD stands for ‘Christian Care Foundation for Children with Disabilities’ and is run by Wasan Saenwian, pictured here with his wife Chariya.
When Martin Lee, Director of Christian Outreach Relief & Development (CORD), Wasan and Chariya first witnessed the conditions of the government orphanages 17 years ago, the effect upon them was so great they felt utterly compelled to do something.
CORD encouraged Wasan and Chariya to apply for Thai NGO registration. In 1997 their work with disabled children became a registered Thai NGO and CCD was founded.
In brief, the situation is as follows. In Thailand some children born with disabilities are abandoned. Their disabilities might range from Cerebal Palsy through to something as minor as a missing toe or a cleft pallet.
The reason for their abandonment is often due to poverty and to cultural and religious beliefs and the stigma surrounding disability. The children are frequently abandoned and left outside of the government orphanage, a huge establishment housing over 2000 children and adults. It is here that they are likely to spend the rest of their lives.
As you might imagine the conditions are appalling and the children exist in an environment where the most basic human needs of physical touch, care and stimulation are simply not provided.
Today CCD are touching the lives of over 600 children. They have 50 Thai staff, many of whom are Christian, as well as volunteers from all over the world.
Much of their work is within the Pakkred Government Home for Children with Multiple Disabilities. They have been able to set up three day-care centres, which they have equipped with toys, wheel chairs, high chairs, paints, paper and games etc. This is where many of the staff and volunteers work, simply spending time with the children, playing with them and helping them to learn to walk or talk etc. For nearly all the children this is the greatest human interaction and stimulation they will ever receive.
There are currently four CCD daycare centres; two for young children, one for older girls and one for older boys. Many of them have never know a life outside of the homes, and have not been given the chance to grow up as they should. There are men and women of up to forty years old.
Almost all of the CCD volunteers work in the daycare centres. They get involved in all aspects of the work; teaching, feeding, playing, washing, cleaning, everyone has to just get stuck in! Daycare centres operate between 8am and around 3.30pm.
CCD’s most exciting development recently has been the opening of ‘Rainbow House’, their own purpose-built home for disabled children. So far, almost 30 children from the government orphanage have been completely released into their care. At Rainbow House the children learn many necessary life skills that will enable them to be integrated back into society. They also receive lots of love and individual attention and experience, for the first time, ‘family’ life, beds, toothpaste and school!
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