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  • Writer's pictureEssie

A Loving Granny, Some Pigs, & a Kinship Care Safety-Net

Grandma Na-ye's life has been a testament of resilience, determination and unwavering love since she became the sole carer for her much-loved grandson, Nhan.

Grandma Na-ye and her grandson, Nhan, with their new pigs

In a small bamboo hut in a quiet village of northern Thailand, lives 60-year-old grandmother, Na-ye, and her 10-year-old grandson, Nhan. Nhan's father is in prison and his mother sadly left when he was just a small child. Grandma Na-ye courageously took on the sole responsibility of raising and caring for Nhan. Na-ye was grappling with her own health issues, and in addition to this, was also struggling to make ends meet.

Every year, during the rainy season, Na-ye's small bamboo house with a flimsy iron roof floods. This creates anxiety for her and Nhan as their bedding continually gets wet, making it impossible for them to sleep well. Their small bamboo home also lacks a toilet and bathroom and they must continually ask their neighbour if they can use theirs, making life even more challenging!

The weight of responsibilities, physical challenges, emotional stress, and a financial lack pressed heavily on Na-ye's shoulders. She tried every possible way to make a living and would take on any job available to her by cutting grass with a machete, picking longans (fruit), cutting shellfish, or going to the forest to forage for things to sell. Her one goal was to be able to provide for her grandson but life was becoming more and more of a struggle. Na-ye became weary but was determined to find a way to ensure her grandson had food to eat, received an education, and would grow up to be a good person.

As a teenager, Na-ye had experience raising pigs on a farm. She desired to raise pigs to provide for her family one day but lacked the income to get started and so this just remained a distant dream for her. However, after BSF heard about her situation and learned that she was trying to provide a loving kinship care family for her grandson but was struggling to do so, they invited her to join a BSF 18-month family strengthening program.

After receiving guidance on how to participate in the program, Na-ye was overjoyed and could finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. Grandma Na-ye and Nhan joined the BSF program and this opportunity became the catalyst for a transformative journey that would alter the course of her and her grandson's life.

After some discussion, BSF soon realised where Na-ye's passions lay. Together, they planned to provide her with training and the resources she needed to establish her own successful pig farm. This would provide Na-ye with a more reliable and steady income to support the family needs, assist with Nhan's education, and make improvements to their home.

After training on managing money and setting up a small business, BSF provided Na-ye with four piglets, a pigpen, pig food, and deworming medicine supplies. Na-ye is now successfully running her much loved pig farm and feels immense happiness and fulfilment. She believes that she is now securing a better future for her and her grandson; and this opportunity will lead her family to a better life!

Along with helping Na-ye build a more financially sustainable family, BSF also provides her family with health care, family fun days, educational assistance and care-giver trainings. Na-ye expressed thanks for what she has learned during one of her training days:

"I have never had the chance to attend a life-skills training before. I attended the BSF training sessions on 'What is family?’ It made me realize and understand what a family is truly all about. It taught me how I can make my family happier, and how I can apply this in my everyday life. I was so deeply impressed by the training, particularly as I have learnt about the importance of encouraging each other in the family. This helped me realize that my grandson needs love and warmth from me and has made me pay close attention to his feelings, and not just his physical needs."

The BSF Family Fun Day event at the Chiang Mai Night Safari was the first time that Na-ye and Nhan had ever gone out somewhere fun together. When Na-ye and her grandson got to spend time with other families in the BSF program, this encouraged her not to give up on life, and to know that she is not alone. Experiencing the love of a community coming together to uplift each other is something she will hold forever in her heart!

Na-ye said, "From the first day I started taking care of my grandson until now (at 10 years old), we never had the opportunity to go out and enjoy a nice meal together anywhere. Thank you BSF for giving me the chance to experience such warmth and love. Thank you for supporting me to establish my own pig farm, for taking me for a health check-up and for giving me knowledge to establish a better way of life for my family through the BSF trainings. I am very happy, and my grandson is much happier and more content too."


BSF is a partner for project J1079 & J1102 with Australian NGO, Global Development Group (ABN 57 102 400 993). Donations to BSF through Global Development Group are tax deductible in Australia, NZ, and the USA.

Building Strong Families Foundation or มูลนิธิสร้างครอบครัวเข้มแข็ง is a registered foundation in Thailand (ชม770), approved by the Ministry of Interior.


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