Apiradee is one of six children. When she was younger, her family lived in a small hut with a leaved roof in Thailand because her parents earned very little income. Her parents had to grow enough rice to feed the family for a whole year. If the crop yield fell short, they had to buy rice. Her father went to work in the plantation regularly. When the fields didn’t require much work, he went to work in the village or searched for wild things such as bamboo shoots and vegetables that he could sell to earn additional income. With six young children all one year apart in age, her mother had little time to help her father work in the field.
Her life changed dramatically when she was helped through the generous support of a Pearl S. Buck International Sponsor. She now receives home visits, educational advice, school supplies, school uniforms, bags, shoes and socks, as well as warm-up suits. These items are essential for her to be successful in school and are a great motivation for her to excel.
As a sixth grader, she is a confident student who studies diligently. Apiradee is active in school activities and is grateful for the education she is receiving with the help of her Child Sponsors. She credits that education with giving her the opportunity to be successful now and in the future.
She finds joy in the letters and photos she receives frequently from her Sponsor. The correspondence furthers her education and expands her world as she sees beautiful photos of places and various kinds of animals that she had never seen before.
When she participated in a lesson on how to grow organic vegetables for eating at home, she shared her knowledge with her parents and they now grow vegetables without harmful chemicals such as pumpkins, peas, Chinese cabbage, and tomatoes. They also raise pigs and chicken for the family’s meals too.
Last year, Apiradee requested to withdraw $333 from a special cash gift fund she received from her sponsors to grow two types of corn crops. One
field yields fresh corn and the other dried corn. The price of corn has risen in the last year and the family earned $835 after deducting all the related costs to plant the crops. They estimate that the earnings from this recent harvest of dried corn will earn them $500.
When Apiradee and her older siblings are not studying, they help her parents in the plantations during school holidays, public holidays, and weekends. Their living conditions have greatly improved since they began selling corn crops. The family now has a wooden house with a strong tile roof to withstand the weather.
Apiradee can now pursue her studies without the burden of worrying about having to drop out of school. She has more self-esteem knowing that she is equipped with the same school supplies and uniforms as her friends. Her free time is spent playing sports and exercising using the equipment that was provided through the support of Pearl S. Buck International donors.
Apiradee also has peace of mind knowing that the special cash gift from her Sponsors grows in her savings account so she can reap a great education, just like the crop that yields a future for her family.