Renovations on the roof and the façade
During heavy tropical storms the inside of one of the houses showed leakage. Apparently the outer wall was clad with wood which had started to shrink as the years went by resulting in large openings. At the same time we had problems with birds which were nesting under the roof. The major issue was that these birds had lice and the mothers and girls were suffering from itchy skin.
Both of the problems were on the same side of the house, therefore we could deal with them at the same time. Since we were at it, we thought, let’s put up a new roof over the adjoining kitchen because the old one was made of asbestos. Last January the wooden façade was replaced, the roof closed off with a ceiling so that birds no longer can nest there and the new roof with ceiling in the kitchen were completed. The façade and the roof over the kitchen are insulated which will shield against the heat.
The appearance is beautiful but we need to wait till the rain season in May to verify that all is watertight.
We are grateful that this big project was sponsored otherwise we would not have been able to do the renovation.
Some of the girls’ beds were very old. The iron base which had become rather weak was repaired and strengthened regularly. We chose to continue to do this, because the funds we received were necessary for more important matters, such as food and clothing. To our surprise one day we were contacted by a donor who wanted to give money for new beds. And to think that we had never spoken about this situation to anyone. Of course we gladly accepted the offer. A few years ago we had received new mattresses so we were bound to a specific size. As it seems this was very advantageous otherwise we would have had to buy bigger beds which would have greatly crowded the bedrooms. In the past all the beds were different. Now all the girls have the same beds, creating a beautiful harmony in the bedrooms. To top it off, the girls are tremendously happy! Thanks for this fabulous donation!!
Water - a basic need
A human being can’t survive without water. We need it for a lot of things. But most of the time, we only realize this when we run out of it. For all our houses on each compounds, we drilled a well and installed a water tank with a filter to supply the houses with clean water. This water is used for cooking, washing clothes, showering, flushing the toilet, cleaning, and so on. However, by the end of 2021, the water filter on one compound was so corroded that we had to buy a new filter immediately. Despite the fact that we reserve funds for unforeseen expenditures this repair was a big blow to our budget. It was impossible to notice the corrosion until it had reached the outside of the filter. Now a new stainless steel filter has been installed, and with gratitude we can say that somebody donated the necessary funds to cover all the costs.
The wall and ceiling fans of our houses had been repaired several times, but their life span had really come to an end. They were broken and needed to be replaced. Because of the hot climate in Thailand, the girls can’t do their homework or sleep without fans. They need the wind to cool down. We are very glad to say that we have received a donation to buy new fans. It is so nice to be able to give the girls a good night’s sleep and to enable them to do their homework properly. All the girls want to thank you very much!
Yep, you read it right, plural. In total we are in need for three new fridges, one per family. In one of the houses, the fridge door doesn’t close properly anymore, which makes it impossible to keep the heat out of the fridge. Not ideal as you can imagine. The other two fridges are so old that they waste a lot of electricity.
For the mothers it’s a daily question: “How can we prevent the food from going bad in this hot climate?”
We hope you can help us by donating towards our ‘refrigerator fund’, so that we can continue to offer the girls fresh food.
UPDATE: The past few months we have been able to buy three new fridges. To be honest: we have even been able to buy a fourth fridge for the young women who live independently. We are very grateful for all the donors that have supported this project. Thank you very much that you have made it possible to replace these very old fridges by new ones!
Now that the girls are getting older, more and more are able to drive the ‘motorcycle’. It’s just a small one, just a bit bigger than a moped, but it gives them the independence they need. A few of the girls study at colleges or universities and thus don’t follow the same schedule as the younger ones. That makes it quite challenging to have to bring and pick them up from school. There are also girls who play sports after school. They too need a ‘motorcycle’ in order to get back home since there is no good public transport in place.
Three out of the six motorcycles we currently own are very old and unreliable. We worry one of the girls might get stranded somewhere halfway and that they end up all alone. That – together with the fact that the need for motorcycle’s has grown now that the girls get older – really made us think it’s time to buy two extra motorcycles. It would really help us to solve these problems.
UPDATE: We have received donations for two motorcycles; great! We have taken steps to buy them right away and we have been able to buy two bikes by now. It feels like such a relief that we can let the girls go out on the road with reliable motorcycles. We are very thankful!
Last spring we wrote the following:
“Imagine this: you are just enjoying your favorite tv-show when suddenly you hear a loud BANG and the tv shuts off. Quite a shock isn’t it? That’s what recently happened to the girls and staff. When the staff took a peek to see what was going on, it seemed that the television had exploded! Needless to say, it was quite an old television.
Currently it’s summer holiday for the girls. With the pandemic still going on, the girls love to watch movies together. Now they can only watch videos on the laptop from one of the mothers but that screen is very small and unclear. A big disappointment for the girls as you can imagine.
We would love to be able to buy a new television and be safe from future explosions. Another house has a television just as old, so we would really feel more at ease replacing that one as well. Two new tv’s cost 280,- US Dollars. Will you help us provide safe devices for the girls?”
In August we received the fabulous news that funds for the televisions had been transferred. The girls were incredibly thankful as you might imagine. It is a pleasure to see the girls enjoying programs on a large and very clear screen. We wish to express our gratitude to the sponsor again.
Last April we posted a short message in which we shared the situation in our kitchen dining rooms with you. We used to only have plastic stools to sit on whilst eating. These particular stools don’t last very long in the warm, Thai climate. Quite often the seats would crack (which could cause your skin to get stuck in between, yikes!) The stools were also not suitable for slightly heavier people. Stainless steel stools, on the other hand, last a long time, cannot crack, they are strong enough to support both children and heavier people and they are also comfortable. We are delighted to share with you that quickly after posting our request, we received a message; someone kindly sponsored our new stools! They are being used with great gratitude. Thank you so much!
Even faster than the speed of sound came the provision for two new trampolines!
We were just about to leave for a short holiday trip with the girls, when the government announced that the Corona rules had changed. Due to the rising number of patients, our trip had to be cancelled and we were also not allowed to organise activities at home with our big group.
Honestly, we didn’t quite know what to do. The girls have their summer break, but now they couldn’t leave home. It really made us rethink and challenged us to come up with fun activities at home. The donation for the trampolines came just at the right time! Thank you so much, you truly brought so much joy! If only you could have seen the girl’s faces! Amazing!
Yes! We have received a donation for a new laundry machine! We are so thankful! In 2019 we wrote that one of our laundry machines was too old to be repaired and really needed replacement. Though the girls wash their own clothes by hand, we allow them to use the spin dryer so that their laundry dries a bit quicker. We also wash the bedding and towels of the entire family home in this machine, so you can imagine how happy we were when the old wreck could be replaced by a sturdy new machine! Thanks so much to she sponsor who provided this for us.
In order to give the girls a good education an prepare them for the rest of their lives, we make use of computers. Of course, computers tend to get slower over time which usually means they need to be updated. A simple update can speed up a computer and generally makes it lasts for years longer. Yet, even then, sometimes a complete replacement is needed. It’s important to us, to use solely legal programs and software for the computers. And of course we also need printers for the offices and the girls’ homework. All in all, we need approximately 1300 USD a year to make everything run smoothly.
Last October, we received a gift of 1200 USD from a Dutch foundation. That allowed us to buy two new computers and to invest in life-lengthening updates for our current ones. The money came in at exactly the right time; the problems we encountered with the computers we had were not able to be fixed in any other way. We are so grateful! Thanks to this gift, the girls and staff can continue their work and studies.
This month two of our young adult women will go study at the university. One of them will study logistics and the other will study nursing. Neither of them knew how they were going to be able to do this without their own laptop, they were quite worried about this. It was amazing when, a little while ago, we got a donation to buy two new laptops, one for each of them. I wish you could have seen the joy on their faces when we told them they didn’t have to worry. The laptops have been purchased and set up for them with all the software they will need.
On behalf of the two young ladies we want to thank the sponsor from the bottom of our hearts for this generous donation.
To sleep well you need a mattress and preferably a good one. If the mattresses are old and worn out then getting a restful night’s sleep is difficult. We needed new mattresses for all the beds in Baan Phak Phing, about 38 in total, so everyone can sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed.
It all began with a donation from a church in New Zealand about halfway through 2019, which allowed us to buy 9 mattresses. We had the girls draw straws to determine who would get a new mattress first. At the beginning of 2020 we had 4 volunteers help us with building a carport and repainting the playground for which they’d raised support themselves. They brought more money than was needed for the projects and they decided to spend the rest on new mattresses. This allowed us to buy 9 more which were handed out by once again drawing straws. During this all the disappointment was clearly visible on some of the girls’ faces who didn’t get a new mattress. The team felt bad that they couldn’t give everyone a new mattress and decided to raise more funds once they got back home. A lot of their friends and family were keen to help out and their home church also eagerly joined in to see this project completed. And complete it they did, they raised enough money to buy everyone a new mattress. They even had enough money left over that we were able to buy everyone a new set of sheets and a new pillow. It was amazing to see how happy everyone is with their new mattress, sheets, and pillow and we can rest easy knowing they can all get a good night’s sleep. We are so thankful for the sponsors in the Netherlands and New Zealand.
In September of 2018 we had finally received enough money to purchase a new truck. Which we promptly did and had a local garage put a back-cover with benches in the back so we can transport a lot of kids. We are extremely grateful that we were able to get rid of our old truck and replace it with a new, safer truck. We want to thank all the sponsors who made donations to this project.
The kitchen project is still an ongoing project. We have already been able to do a lot in 2 of the kitchens and we wanted to make sure we kept you up to date. In one of the kitchens the wooden cupboard doors were rotten all the way through causing the kitchen to look shabby and be unhygienic. We have now replaced the wood with aluminum and its looks nice and is easy to keep clean.
Another kitchen needed new countertops. The old ones had broken tiles that were quite sharp and dangerous. It was also very unhygienic because food would get stuck in the cracks.
In the third kitchen we have recently been able to replace the old asbestos roof and are currently working on replacing the drainage system. When that is done we can start working on replacing the counters and the floor. We are getting it done a bit at a time.
All in all a lot has already improved and because we now have all the necessary finances we can continue the work.
We want to thank everyone who donated towards this project!
These days more and more schools, especially in more advanced education, are starting to require that schoolwork and homework are done on a computer. The best thing to do in that case is buy a laptop. They are portable which means you can take them with you to school to use in class to take notes and you can take it back home to do homework. Sometimes projects have to be completed with videos and information. Not too long ago we received donations that enabled us to buy 2 laptops and after installing the necessary software we gave them to the girls that needed them. You should’ve seen how happy they were. It really is a big blessing and we want to thank you for your help in providing the necessary tools for the girls to have a quality education.
New coat of paint
This is a big job that isn’t going to be finished quickly but over the past year we have been able to make some great progress and we are now about half-way. Because it is a much-needed paint job you can really see the look of the buildings improve as we make progress. We have now received enough donations to pay for the entire paint-job. We are incredibly thankful for all the donations we have received for this project. We are happy to be able to make the houses that the girls live in look nice and maintain them well. This allows them to live in a place they can truly call home.
We are extremely grateful that we were able to replace our old water filters. We were getting worried about our water filters because they were old to the point that they could’ve broken at any time. They were rusty beyond repair, with little holes appearing throughout the structure. Most of the small holes we were able to fix by welding them shut but the holes kept getting bigger. It was only a matter of time until they would’ve broken down completely. The water company that originally supplied our water system had been warning us to replace it for some time now but in order to do that you need finances. In the past 6 months we received all the necessary finances from several different sponsors allowing us to replace our old water filters and put them on a new concrete floor and under a new roof to protect everything from the elements.
We want to thank everyone who donated towards replacing our water filters!
In November of 2017 we were able to purchase three new motorcycles after we received a huge donation for this project. The girls are really happy that they can now go to school by themselves on motorcycles that actually work. Previously we had two very old motorcycles that barely worked and the girls would often be stranded next to the highway with a motorcycle that had broken down. If, as a young lady, your motorcycle breaks down in the middle of the night you are not a happy camper. Another reason for getting more new motorcycles was that we had gotten to the point where we had more girls that had gotten their motorcycle driver’s license and they all had different school schedules. We are truly thankful for the donations towards the three new motorcycles.