Daoroong 'Joojee' Rodsamnam, 49, from Bangkok, has been project manager for the Life Home Project Foundation, a shelter for HIV-positive mothers and their children, for seven years. Here, she talks about HIV in Phuket, the goals and challenges of the Foundation and what motivated her to work there.
PHUKET: Phuket is always in the top-five provinces in Thailand in terms of numbers of people with HIV and AIDS. People come and go on the island, which makes it hard to control the disease.
The main goals of our foundation are to provide help to HIV-affected mothers and their children, destigmatize HIV through educational outreach programs, and teach people about safe sex.
The biggest challenge we face is finding funding to support the women and children who live in our house, the children in the 170 families we serve across the island, and our educational outreach programs.
Our house can accommodate 40 people. Right now we have 22 children and 10 women staying here. The children are either HIV-affected or orphans of people with AIDS who passed away.
Children can live in the house until age 18. Normally, women can live here for a maximum of six months, but in some cases, if they have nowhere to go or can't live by themselves, they stay longer.
Although we provide housing, the best situation is for HIV-affected people to live with their families in their own neighborhoods or villages, and have as normal a life as possible.
Click here to access the full article.