Life Home Project Thailand
Ninette Murk, the founder and director of DAA, is in Phuket, Thailand visiting an interesting and inspirational project called the ‘Life Home Project'.
The Life Home Project (LHP) was set up in 2001 by Jose Luis Gay, a Spanish volunteer with previous experience with underprivileged children in Phuket. He was soon joined by two other volunteers, Hélène Fallon-Wood (the honorary consul for Ireland in Thailand), who has the lead responsibility for community relations and fundraising and Kathy Mantei, a wellknown artist in Asia and the USA, who was the inspiration and guidance for the Art workshop and helped the mothers develop new projects. Another valued LHP member is Daorong ‘Joojee' Rodsomnam, who takes care for all matters at hand on a nearly daily basis. Life Home Project began as a small shelter in May 2001 offering help to HIV positive women and children.
They quickly outgrew that small, rented shelter and opened a shelter home outside of Phuket town in september 2009. This shelter provides HIV+ women and children with a safe place to stay. The women also receive training courses at the shelter- especially important for young women, who otherwise face the risk of ending up in the sex industry. In many countries, including Thailand, seropositive families experience discrimination and social stigma as a result of their condition and this leads to feelings of isolation and worthlessness. It's especially sad as these women unknowingly got infected by their husbands, who also visited seropositive prostitutes ‘on the side'. The women -who were not aware of the fact that they were seropositive- in turn infected the babies they were carrying and when the truth came out, were expelled from their families.
The aim of the Life Home Project is to provide a safe accommodation for HIV positive people, it provides basic needs of food and medication that is required for them to support and to regain a sense of self worth, self esteem and where possible, the ability to earn their own income. They also raise HIV/AIDS awareness in the slums of Phuket with the aim to put a stop to the rise of HIV infections there. DAA is currently looking into the possibilities of establishing a partnership with this magnificent project and to help this organisation in any way they can. They're also planning a HIV/AIDS awareness online campaign aimed at Thai youth.
To get more information on the Life Home Project click HERE.
Picture of the prototype of our first new Hmong hilltribe bag made by the women of the Life Home Project in Phuket, featuring both their and our textile labels.
Ninette Murk with Hélène Fallon-Wood, Honorary Consul for Ireland in Phuket and driving force behind the fundraisers for the Life Home Project- she's a real dynamo!