Living for Hope, Preparing for Success
Thailand, July 2016
Napalai, nicknamed Jing-reed,has endured many heartbreaksand challenges; yet this 18-year-old is determined never to give up on her goals.
When Jing-reed was just a toddler, her seven-year-old sister died from HIV infection. Jing-reed’s mother, battling the same disease, nearly succumbed to grief and fear for her own life and her younger daughter’s future. Lucky for the family, Pearl S. Buck Foundation staff and volunteers in Thailand stepped in to provide encouragement, psycho-social and lifestyle support, home-based care and healthcare advice. Jing-reed’s mother gained knowledge and hope—and taught Jing-reed resilience, telling her “Life is fighting, living for hope.”
Jing-reed absorbed the lessons her mother taught her growing up. She was one of the top three students in her class. During school holidays, Jing-reed raised and sold cassava to help her parents earn additional family income. After completing ninth grade, Jing-reed and four friends moved away to continue studying in vocational school.Jing-reed had never been away from home before, and her mother worried. But Jing-reed was determined to become an accountant.
Studying accounting is difficult and Jing-reed’s friends all dropped out and returned home. Only Jing-reed remained focused on her goal of a better future. While still in school, she took a part-time job in a restaurant to reduce the expenses for her parents. She learned to organize her studying and working time, living differently from her classmates who browsed department stores after school. Instead, Jing-reed hurried to get to work on time and then returned to her studies after work.
All this time, Jing-reed was motivated by her mother’s love and the generous support and caring encouragement from her Pearl S. Buck Child Sponsor. As a Sponsored Child since 2008, Jing-reed received home visits, counseling and tutoring. She gained knowledge and life experience skills from Sponsorship Program activities.
Without the support from her Sponsor Don, Jing-reed believes she might have dropped out of school like her friends. Instead, she is moving forward with optimism. With a determined heart, Jing-reed recently passed all her third-year vocational courses, despite working many hours each week.
Recently, Jing-reed’s father became ill and she has decided to return home to help care for him. Jing-reed will work in a factory full-time and attend weekend classes. She wants to support herself while studying, so she is not a burden on her parents.
Jing-reed is confident she will reach the brighter future her mother envisions. She attributes her discipline to her mother’s love and good teachings; and especially the loving care, encouragement, and educational assistance provided by her generous Sponsor. Thanks to Pearl S. Buck International and her caring Sponsor, Jing-reed says she will never give up on her goals.