This is Kaew’s Story
Doungdao Dangsala (Kaew) was born near Bangkok, Thailand. Her mother gave birth to her only 16-months after giving birth to her sister, Ging, but her parents could not afford to care for both children. When Kaew was only two years old, she was sent to live with her grandparents in northeast Thailand – seven hours away from her parents and sister. Kaew stayed with her grandparents for four years. When she was six years old, she left her grandparents’ home and returned to live with her parents.
When Kaew was eight years old, her father was in a horrible motorcycle accident. Kaew’s father was treated at a hospital for his accident wounds but returned home with tuberculosis. Kaew and her sister were left to take care of their father, while their mother worked double shifts to try to keep the family financially afloat.
Kaew’s dad only lived for around three months before he passed away. Kaew’s mother, who was still in her twenties with two young children, could not afford to raise her daughters on her own, so she was forced to send her girls to live with her parents. Kaew’s grandparents did their best to take care of her and her sister, but they often could not afford to provide basic necessities, including three meals a day, for the girls.
The sisters were desperate to improve their lives. Kaew’s sister, Ging, learned of a boarding school that offered a free education, food, books and uniforms. The girls felt it might provide a better situation and enrolled in the school.
After a few years at the boarding school, the sisters met Bekah Douglass, an instructor for Sustainable Hope International. Bekah was a Peace Corps Volunteer at the time. Kaew joined Bekah’s We Can Club, because she was interested in learning English.
Although life was improving for Kaew, she still struggled to buy basic necessities like soap and toothpaste, and she was very worried about overcoming the obstacles of poverty. One day on the way to the city market, Kaew said to her English instructor, Bekah, “I am scared because I have no future.” Bekah immediately responded, “I will find a way to help!”
Bekah kept her word and did find a way to help Kaew. Bekah encouraged Kaew to apply for a Sustainable Hope International University Scholarship. Sustainable Hope International approved Kaew’s application. Kaew was ecstatic when she learned that she would be able to attend university.
With the help of Sustainable Hope International, Kaew is now in her second year at a Rajamangala University of Technology Phra Nakhom in Bangkok. She is studying hotel management, culinary arts and restaurant management and is excelling in school.
Kaew is also excelling in her personal life. She recently published East Meets West: Doungdao’s Thai Cookbook. Kaew wrote the cookbook to help pay for her university education and to help other children like her to achieve their goals! You can purchase your copy of Kaew’s book through our website.