‘Thank you’, Klanarong Kaewkliang expressed his gratitude toward a customer. Every time he says the words, he thinks about his sponsor. ‘Mr Pern was my sponsor. His support opened my window of opportunities’, Klanarong said with a smile.
Klanarong was a sponsored child in the World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT)’s Child Sponsorship Programme, Kanchanadit Project, Surat Thani Province. He had been supported by his sponsor since he was in primary school. The time of excitement in Klanarong’s childhood was when an academic year started as he would get new school uniforms and went to school with a new set of stationery. His parents, who worked as hired hands to provide for their 3 kids, were also happy that their heavy expense burdens were alleviated.
Since he was young, Klanarong had dreamt of being a soldier and felt encouraged every time he read his sponsor’s letter that urged him to study hard so that he would be able to take care of his family in the future.
‘When I was a kid, I couldn’t help staring when came across soldiers in military uniforms. I loved uniforms so much’, said Klanarong.
Unfortunately, his dream did not come true because he was a small person. Therefore, Klanarong changed his direction to pursue vocational education in mechanical power technology. At the meantime, he also worked as a mechanic at a neighbourhood garage to earn extra income and accumulate practical experiences.
‘My parents told me to learn to become an automotive mechanic because it would be easy to find a job. But when I completed year 3 of the vocational degree programme, I could no longer pursue higher education because it took a lot of money to enrol in the higher vocational degree programme,’ said Klanarong.
The misfortune that seemed to disappoint him again finally turned out in his favour when the Kanchanadit Project heard about this and told Klanarong to fill out the application for the Bachelor’s Degree Project.
‘I was elated on the day I got a call from the WVFT staff telling me that I was granted with a scholarship’, Klanarong said with a grin when thinking back to that day.
Recently, Klanarong has completed year 2 of the high vocational degree programme but decided to take a leave of absence from college to make a living for his family. ‘I had worked full-time at the garage for a while before 7-Eleven announced job openings for which I went to apply because I wanted to gain work experiences in other fields. If I had not got a high vocational diploma, I would not have received this job opportunity. Thanks to the sponsor, Child Sponsorship Programme, and Bachelor’s Degree Project for giving me chances and life options’, Klanarong said with a broad smile again.