This is Araan’s Story
Araan Kuataan is 19 years old and was born in Nongkai, a rural province in northeast Thailand that borders Laos. His parents were educated and were the bread winners for the family. They had just opened a shop in the city and traveled every week to the country to see their son who stayed with his grandparents. When Araan was 2 years old his parents were on their way to see him and were in a deadly crash that left him an orphan. His grandparents took him in and raised him. When he was 9 years old his grandfather died which left his elderly grandmother to take care of him. Like most country Thai, the grandmother worked her body to death and she could not work enough to pay for his education.
Araan first lived in at a Welfare School in Nongkai but transferred to Khon Kaen Education Welfare School in the 8th grade. Every summer he would go home to help his grandmother by working at a local store in his village. His grandmother is now 69 years old and is taking care of other grandchildren and is not able to help Araan financially with her government income of $50.00 every three months.
Araan has had a difficult life that most of us can not even imagine. He moved to a boarding school that would be closed down for health reasons in America. There are no rooms for the students and the dormitory is one big room with bunk beds back to back. The bunk beds have a 1 inch mattress filled with straw for the kids. Every dorm room has at least 50 students and some don’t have enough beds, so the children sleep on the floor. The school constantly has insufficient water problems, thus making them bathe in rain water. The school provides a free education, but discipline can be brutal because they use bamboo sticks to hit and discipline the children. The food is clean but most of us would turn our heads if we were asked to eat it. These children never chose this life but they do the best they can with what they are given. They study in 100 degree rooms with no fans so they can have a middle and high school education.
Araan is in now in his first semester of one of the major universities in Thailand that started in June of this year. He has excelled in his chosen major as an English language major. Already he has been moved to a more advance program at another university because of his outstanding English proficiency.
He has provided leadership in the “We Can Club” as well as translating Thai to English for several training documents used by Sustainable Hope International. His advanced training and desire to excel has already made a valuable contribution to our program and the disadvantage youth of Thailand.