Thai Garden Resort hosts Abundant Life orphans

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The Thai Garden Resort played host to 32 “orphans” and guardians from Bang Saen’s Abundant Life Home, giving the children a weekend of five-star treatment.

Orphanage director Karen Sanchez led the May 10 trip, supported by General Manager Rene Pisters, Manager Daniel Becker and hotel staffers, who welcomed the children with gifts upon arrival.

It didn’t take long for the kids to spot the Thai Garden’s huge swimming pool, however, and they were splashing around in no time, their guardians and staffers joining in.

The children also had their pick of the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner each of the three days and enjoyed sleeping in the big comfy beds.

Karen Sanchez (left) enjoys lunch together with Hotel Manager Daniel Becker (2ndleft), General Manager Rene Pisters (2nd right) and “mother” Lek (right).Karen Sanchez (left) enjoys lunch together with Hotel Manager Daniel Becker (2ndleft), General Manager Rene Pisters (2nd right) and “mother” Lek (right).

The visit was the fifth time the hotel has hosted the Abundant Life Home, which American Sanchez – an adopted child herself – started in 2006, fulfilling a dream she had since childhood.

She came to Thailand to work with the Team 2000 charity and, while here, met an HIV-positive young orphan. After talking with her for a long time, Sanchez knew what she wanted to achieve: to give children who became orphans because of AIDS a home again.

The children enjoy playing in the big pool.The children enjoy playing in the big pool.

Currently, there are four houses at Abundant Life, each one attended by a “mother” who cares for the kids. The children get a family atmosphere, medical care and an education. Last year saw five young men leave the home and secure jobs, including a musician with the W.W.A.M. band.

Sanchez noted that not all the children are true orphans of AIDS. Some are “prison orphans” who stay at Abundant Life until their incarcerated parents are released. The other children will stay at the home until they complete their educations and start working for themselves.