About a month ago, I started visiting the Hand to Hand foundation in Pattaya and had one of my very first experiences with underprivileged children. As a high school student at a prestigious international school, with a roof over my head, loving parents, countless friends, and food constantly on the dinner table, I had yet to consider and empathize with other who had a life outside my own. The foundation positively impacts people’s lives by donating food to poor slum areas, providing a free pre-school for those who cannot afford to attend school or have proper documentation, and sponsoring children so they could be sent to local Thai school. The majority of the children’s parents are construction workers or garbage collectors who work in the burning heat all day while their starving children stay home to look after their unsecured shelters.
Hand to Hand embraces these children with open arms and takes care of them during the day as a way to protect them from any dangers of the slums, fill their hungry stomachs, and give them a taste of what education is like. It is devastating that all over the world the cries for help from children at risk like these go unheard. I believe that volunteering to help out at Hand to Hand is my first step to accumulating small changes to create bigger ones.
Whether you donate a 20 baht bill, or visit the children at the foundation, it all counts as acts of love that can bring happiness into these kid’s lives. As long as the care we give them is real, ever lasting, and consistent, it will help to stop the cycle of child exploitation and make a profound difference on the lives of Pattaya’s children. You can contact the Hand to Hand at, http://www.handtohandpattaya.com