THE FOUNDATION FOR THE WELFARE OF THE CRIPPLED UNDER PATRONAGE OF HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCESS MOTHER.
The Foundation for the Welfare for The Crippled in Thailand is a non profit organisation established in 1954.The Foundation was originally set up to support the young victims of a polio outbreak which swept Thailand in the early 50’s.
With a widespread inoculation programme making polio a thing of the past, the Foundations efforts today are principally concentrated on helping children suffering from cerebral palsy, spina- bifida and congenital deformities, which perhaps present a greater challenge to both sufferers, care givers and the families involved.
In recent years more and more Thai people have taken an interest in helping the handicapped, with growing numbers of university students visiting the Foundation’s facilities.
Since its start, it has provided help for countless numbers of handicapped people, providing them with treatment, welfare and education. The Foundation’s policy has helped them, help themselves, to face up to their handicaps, enabling them to become less dependent on their families and Society for support, gaining self confidence, leading more meaningful lives and becoming useful members of society.
The help extends not only to treatment, but to education, welfare and job placement.
The Foundation is an attractive building with many good facilities, thanks to the generosity of many companies, charities and individuals. A minimum of 18 Million baht is required annually to run it effectively and it still needs continuous private support to carry on doing its good work. It has a modest annual allocation of 150,000 baht from The Government and thereby relies on private support.
The school provides 24-hour and 7-day care, accommodation and meals to over 300 handicapped children. It gives rehabilitation and regular physical therapy to help the children.
Children aged 3 to 18 are educated in line with the standard curriculum of the Ministry of Education from kindergarten to Grade 9 as well as special classes for mentally handicapped children.
Students are especially encouraged to participate in music, sports and various extra-curricular activities which also helps to give them more confidence.
Students are encouraged to learn basic vocational skills which will enable them to earn a living and help themselves after they leave the school. These include computer programming, hairdressing and basic cooking.
Support and follow-up on the welfare of present and former students through home visits, procurement of wheelchairs and other mobility aids, as well as academic scholarships.
The Foundation has up to date facilities and professional staff to give treatment to the pupils during the school day.
The students meals are prepared by a team of cooks who prepare a healthy range of meals to give the kids good nutritional food.
The one thing which impresses when you see the kids, is that even with their disabilities they can still smile and get on with their education and enjoy life to the full.
There are normally up to 300 children at the school at any one time who are taken care of in a healthy clean facility with first aid medical care always available.
Therapy sessions which are important for improving mobility and confidence are scheduled within the student'92s educational program each day.
Qualified teaching staff are employed to ensure the educational prospectus follows the requirements of the government\'92s school program.
Useful new skills are taught to the students to give them an interest and pride in what they are doing. Hairdressing, cooking, computer skills and arts and crafts are the main activities taught.
Caring for the students doesn\'92t end when they leave school. A continuing interest is maintained to make sure the students are making the progress expected.
Some Foundation Successes
Meet some of the school’s former pupils who have, despite their handicaps, achieved high levels in life that even some able-bodied individuals would not be able to reach. Here are a few successful alumni: graduates who are able to support themselves and go on in life to excellence, including Paralympic medalists, top academic professionals, and business owners.
"We cannot choose how we are born, but we can choose to do courageous things and to achieve great feats. I would like to thank the Srisangwal School for educating me and teaching me a wide range of crucial skills that has enabled me to succeed and become the person I am today."
"I always try my best and put in my greatest efforts in my Paralympic races. For my family and for the Thai people."
"The goal isn’t just to win the race, but also to win against my own misfortunes and hardships. That is what I am truly proud of. The Foundation cared for me since my early days – both physically and mentally – enabling me to dream, to face my challenges, and to stretch myself to where I am today."
"We should not ask for sympathy; rather, we must work hard to excel and gain acceptance."
"The Foundation made me realize that I am not alone, that there are other people who suffer much more than myself. I became stronger and more persevering."
"Now that I am quite successful, I want to support others as well … I want the next generation of disabled children to receive the educational opportunities I received at Srisangwal School."