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Learning About the Quality of Life

Thailand, October 2015

Janjira balances family, friends and finals.

Janjira, nicknamed Jan, is a sixth grader at a small community school in Ban Srang Pone village in Thailand. Every day, she walks nearly half a mile to school where she enjoys studying mathematics. Last semester she did well on her exams resulting in a gpa of 3.25.

Living with her grandmother, mother, two younger sisters (ages 8 and 3), and stepfather, Jan is happy to lend her assistance whenever possible. Her parents work very hard as farmers cultivating rice and cassava plants. During the week, Jan is responsible for taking care of both younger sisters, and preparing meals so her parents can eat upon their return home from the farm. On weekends and school holidays, Jan helps her parents tend to their rice and cassava plants.

For the last four years, as a beneficiary of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation Thailand child sponsorship program, Jan has been able to pursue her education with a smile on her face. Even at her young age, she understands the educational assistance she receives has helped ease the financial burden her parents struggle to provide. Although her classes have become more difficult, Jan is diligent about her work and is also a good athlete.

While in the fourth grade, she competed in a sporting event and won awards at the district level. She was overjoyed and so proud of herself. Jan is admired by her peers and loved by her teachers as she often goes out of her way to help clean and organize the classroom. Jan’s stepfather tries to lead by example, and despite the challenges of providing for his family as a farmer, he also makes time to volunteer at a district hospital two days a week. When time permits, Jan goes along with her father when he makes home visits and offers counsel to hiv/aids affected patients. She looks forward to helping him and other volunteers who organize an annual camp for children with hiv/aids infected family members. While teaching life skills and hiv/aids prevention awareness through interactive games, Jan enjoys bringing a smile to the faces of the camp participants.

The positive impact of Jan’s participation in the Pearl S. Buck Foundation Thailand sponsorship program is quite evident as she lights up a room with her bright smile. Her ability to balance all of the activities she enjoys while helping at home and studying hard will surely serve her well into her future. Her family extends their sincere appreciation to her sponsor and the Pearl S. Buck Foundation Thailand staff and volunteers who give moral support and encouragement to the family on a regular basis.

(left to right) Jan helps with casava plant harvest which her parents will then sell.
At home she prepares food and cares for her little sister.  Pearl S. Buck International Child Sponsorship Success Story