what we do
For Life’s Mission
For Life exists to bring life and lasting change to disabled children in Thailand. We work with our partner charity Christian Care Foundation for Children with Disabilities (CCD) in Thailand to transform the lives of over 600 disabled children, many of whom are abandoned and stigmatised because of their disabilities. Our key objectives are:
1. To provide financial aid for the disabled and abandoned children in South East Asia by raising funds for CCD.
2. To raise awareness for the plight of disabled children in Thailand and to educate the general public in the UK about disability in Thailand, and disability rights.
3. To screen and train volunteers to go to work with the children in Thailand.
How we do this
CCD and For Life achieve these objectives in the following ways:
1. We Run Day Care centres in the government institutions of Pakkred, Nonthaburi. In these instituations there are hundreds of children who have been abandoned due to poverty, cultural intolerance, neglect and lack of education. The scene on the wards of these institutions is one of despair. These children are living in utter poverty and depravity and are suffering the consequences of severe neglect and social institutionalisation. Each of the ‘wards’ has just 2-3 care-givers who only have enough time to feed, change nappies and give quick showers to the dozens of children in their charge. As a result the children are severely malnourished and exist without stimulation, education, healthcare or hope. We run day care centres in 4 of these homes, which are places of love, fun, stimulation and education. Each one of our centres is bright, colourful, full of games and excitement, but also places where the children can receive basic medical care, hygiene training, physiotherapy and occupational therapy according to their needs. We work with children with a massive range of disabilities from minor disabilities such as cleft pallets and missing limbs, to severe Cerebral Palsey or Dystonia, right through to Autism and other behavioural disabilities.
2. Rainbow House – we have purpose-built a specialist residential home for up to 50 children with disabilities. We seek to reunite them with their families and, where this is not possible, help prepare them for adoption to enable them to have a second chance in life.
3. Community-Based Rehabilitation – we work in some of the poorer provinces of Thailand with families of disabled children. We provide financial help, access to free physiotherapy, occupational therapy and specialist advice at our centres (now 4 in total), as well as doing home visits and parent empowerment seminars. We now also work in schools raising the general awareness of disability and helping to integrate the children from our centres into mainstream classrooms.
4. We are also developing vocational training for our teenagers and young adults to increase their independence, employability, and chances of integrating into society. CCD has plans to build a new vocational training centre and independent living home opposite Rainbow House, and have already bought the land to do this. In the meanwhile, we run several assisted living homes in rented houses for our young adults including Vision House. Here our teenagers and young adults can learn vital life skills such as cooking, budgeting, home skills, how to travel round and gain independence in wider society. CCD have also facilitated several advertising campaigns designed to reduce stigma surrounding disability and empower disabled people in communities.
Statement of Faith
For Life is a Christian organisation which seeks to reflect the love of God to everyone we work with and serve. We believe that human beings are created in the image of God and therefore, that every person has worth regardless of their physocal. mental or emotional state. Through our work we aim to proclaim the gospel by promoting justice and the love of Christ Jesus, and serving the needy with compassion.
How we began
For Life was started in May 2004 by James & Esther Treasure, and Lydia & Henry George. After several visits to the orphanages in Thailand, they were moved to do something to help their situation. Here’s a brief look at For Life’s work over the past decade.
Oct 2003 – Lydia Nash wins £16,000 on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ and gives it to CCD in Thailand to help them finish building Rainbow House.
Dec 2003 – Sky News fly Lydia out to Thailand to film a documentary about the work of CCD.
Jan 2004 – Documentary is aired. Approximately £30,000 more is donated by members of the public to CCD as a result of Sky News and other newspaper articles.
Feb 2004 – Starfish Trust donate £100,000 to CCD to buy the land which is now called Lydia Garden.
Mar 2004 – Rainbow House is opened.
May 2004 – For Life begins with trustees James and Esther Treasure, Henry George and Lydia Nash (now George!).
Aug 2004 – For Life sign a partnership agreement with CCD to represent them here in the UK, providing funds, raising awareness and training volunteers.
Nov 2004 – For Life begins starts screening and training volunteers to work in the projects on behalf of CCD.
Mar 2005 – Total raised since Oct 2003 reaches a quarter of million pounds.
Since 2005 For Life has gradually grown and now sends approximately £100,000 per year to support CCD projects. We also screen and train about 80 volunteers a year to serve the children in Thailand.