High spirits supply the best source of power for one to overcome all life’s obstacles. Further, with altruistic support from ‘kind sharing’, high spirits multiply one’s strength, just like the story of “Yoh” or Phanudet, a vulnerable child in Child Sponsorship Programme, who’s grown up amidst a rural area in Waeng Yai district, Khon Kaen province. Though physically impaired, ‘Yoh’ is high in spirits because his life has been fulfilled with the generous sharing from ‘you’.
Yoh doesn’t live with his parents for they’ve divorced since he was young and gone their ways to earn their living in big cities. He and his little brother, therefore, have been raised by their grandparents. Their farmer livelihood can only sufficiently feed the family. The kindness Yoh has received from his sponsor since he was 7 years old through Child Sponsorship Programme, World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT) fulfills his development and needs to access life opportunities any little boy deserves. He has full access to education and greatly commits to studying. “I dream of becoming a teacher. I’d like to have a secure job, so that I can provide for my grandparents and my little brother to have better life,” said Yoh.
Having not even fully reached his teen stage, the boy’s dream to the better life and brighter future got stuck. Leukemia put everything around him on hold, including his life when he barely turned 15. “I was diagnosed with leukemia when I was in junior high. I needed to stay at the hospital for months and eventually for years. So, finally I dropped out of school.”
His grandparents are his greatest source of encouragement and strength to fight against the disease. But on the darkest day when Yoh and his grandparents felt that they were about to reach the dead end, another stream of kindness has poured down on the severely afflicted boy and his desperate grandparents through Disability Aid for Children Fund supported by ‘Gift Catalogue” Project, another WVFT’s initiative to provide emergency response to children, families and communities.
“Our only hope back then was to keep him alive. It didn’t matter how much it took. We were in great debts but that was all right. We just wanted to help our grandson to get better. We’re so grateful that WVFT supported his medical treatment. I still can recall the project name. It is Gift Catalogue, because it’s really given a gift of life to my grandson,” said Yoh’s grandpa.
Besides the support through ‘Gift Catalogue’ Project, WVFT’s Child Sponsorship Programme has also restored Yoh’s family through livelihood promotion, as occupations will enable Grandpa and Grandma to generate income and to live on to continue caring for their grandsons, the apples in their eyes.
“I’ve received promotion on sufficient agriculture, both vegetable growing and fish raising. I got circulating capital from selling the vegetables and fish and could pay for Yoh’s hospital expenses. All debts loaned for Yoh’s medical treatment were paid off, one after another. Thank you so much for helping me and my grandson,” Yoh’s grandfather said in tears.
“Through these 10 years in sickness, with the love from my grandparents, generosity and kindness from the sponsor and support from WVFT’s Child Sponsorship Programme and Gift Catalogue Project, I’ve been strengthened to fight the pains inside my body and to battle the disease. I still need to constantly get follow-up care checks for leukemia at the hospital based on my doctor’s appointments. But now I’m strong enough to help my grandparents around. I’ve not let go of my dream to be a teacher yet. One day I’ll get a bachelor’s degree. I’ve enrolled in an informal education programme. I’ve already completed junior high school. I have a strong intention to graduate with a bachelor’s degree,” said Phanudet, or Yoh. Now he’s reached his 21 years of age with his pride on the academic achievement he’s earned through both physical and mental efforts to fight leukemia.
Though physically impaired, ‘Yoh’ is high in spirits because of the generous sharing from ‘you’.