SOMMAI CHAIMEE, Thailand
This sweet little boy became part of my family in November, 1998. He was five years old and in need of a sponsor. I was not sure if I was going to sponsor another child since the last one I did had run away from home when he turned 13 and I was a little “gun shy”.
I must say that CCF was very up-front about the latter incident. They didn’t try to hide the fact that it hadn’t worked as planned and said that as hard as they try it doesn‘t always work out.
Now I was presented with Sommai and how could I say “No”. Just one look at that face with the soulful eyes and I was hooked. And now he is almost 14. We correspond at least 3 times a year and I also get progress reports.
What I like about the CCF approach is that it is a complete project concentrating on the province of Surin in Northern Thailand. My child is Sommai; but there are over 1300 children receiving assistance in the “Land Settlement of Surin”. All the activities are aimed at developing a better quality of life for the families and the community.
It feels good to know that my meager monthly contribution ($25) helped to fund an irrigation system which made it possible for Sommai and his family to grow much of their own food. It also goes toward his education and that includes instruction in health and sanitation.
They have a “Happy Saturday Program” once a month where all the families gather to interchange experiences and to write to their sponsors with the aid of translators. It touches my heart to receive his letters and to see how he has grown. He tells me that school is hard ... “I will try to do my best at school. I want to get higher education but I am not very good at it, but I will try so that you will be proud of me.”
Sommai’s birthday is June 18th…the same date as my Mother’s was! I send an extra $25 for him then to use as he chooses. It always amazes me what that small amount of money can buy. A typical thank you note will tell me that he gave $5 to his mother and father, that he put $15 in to a savings account and that he bought a soccer ball for himself and fresh fruit and candy for his brother and sister.
He also told me, in his latest letter, that his mother had saved up enough to buy a cow. (His parents are gone for weeks at a time working in a nearby city and he stays with his Grandmother.) Now they have fresh milk and barter with their neighbors who have a rice field.
A simple life...but enhanced immeasurably by CCF. I am glad I can be a small part of it.