Saengsawan (Light of Heaven) Orphanage in Nakhon Sawan was established as a private charity in 1965. The small orphanage cares for about 60 children aged from a few months to about 17 years old. Some of the teenagers have lived at Saengsawan all their lives, having been abandoned on its steps when they were only a few days old.
We’ve been helping to support Saengsawan since 1995. We’ve given washing machines, cookers, fridges, water filters and coolers and other necessary equipment. We’ve also carried out repairs to the buildings, including new electrical wiring and refurbishing the kitchen and dining room. But SET mainly tries to bring a little joy into the children’s lives.
The children are well looked after but the orphanage doesn’t have the funds to do much more than offer basic care. The children have little in their lives to look forward to – except their SET-sponsored outings. We take them twice a year to a water adventure park in Nakhon Sawan, where they can spend the day splashing about and playing on the park’s huge variety of floating obstacle courses and bouncy castles. A day at the park for 45-50 children costs around 12,000 Baht – including lunch – so besides being great fun, these outings are also very economical. If we have the funds, we sponsor many other fun activities for them as well.
SET also guarantees a vocational college scholarship to any Saengsawan orphan who can pass the entrance examination. Although the orphanage can support its children through junior high school, it has insufficient funds to take them any further. Most of the children are aged under ten but there are always several older children too. Over the years, dozens have gone on to study at vocational colleges with SET scholarships, learning practical subjects such as dressmaking, arc welding, mechanics, accounting, retail and computer skills. A few have even gone on to university to study for Bachelor degrees.
The director of Saengsawan has said: “A lot of people like to give clothes and toys to the orphanage. We’re grateful but we already have more than enough. We’re very fortunate to have SET as a sponsor because the trustees understand what we need on a practical and long-term basis, to help us give an overall better quality of care to the children. SET understands the long-term needs of the children so they can achieve better lives and futures for themselves”.