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  • Writer's pictureEssie

A Mother's Dream Comes True

Thailand is a beautiful country, full of rich culture and friendly people! But life isn't all smooth sailing for everybody in the Land of Smiles. For Ong and Lek, life seemed like a constant uphill battle and a daily grind, however, things have started to change for this hard-working couple.

Ong and Lek were struggling to provide for the needs of their three children. Ong worked as a construction worker with a low and unstable income. His earnings were insufficient to care for the whole family. Lek sadly lost her job working in a restaurant during the pandemic and feared for her children’s future.

But their life started to look up when Building Strong Families (BSF) learnt of their situation and invited them to join an 18-month family strengthening program in Ton Pao, Thailand.

Ong (left) and Lek (right) with their new cart and goods provided by BSF

Lek desperately wanted to help her husband ease the family's financial burden. She had always dreamt of having her own shop to sell food but lacked the capital and equipment to get started. At the time, her dream seemed like it may never come true.

After joining the BSF program, Lek and Ong were provided with training on managing money and assisted to develop a business plan to increase their family income. After much discussion and research, Lek's dream came true when she was supported by BSF with a food trolley, equipment and raw materials to start a new grill shop called ‘Chum Cham Mala’.

Lek was so encouraged and overcome with gratitude. She could finally see a way forward. Her hopes and dreams of a better life for her family were becoming a reality. Lek was also excited to be assisting Ong in creating a more financially sustainable family for their children. There was a new glow and radiance about her that her family had not seen for many years.

Lek's New Grill Shop - Chum Cham Mala

Participating in the BSF program has made Lek's long-time dream of owning her own shop become a reality. Lek is grateful to BSF for supporting her to set up the business, for the financial training, and for the various activities and developmental skills provided to assist her in taking better care of her family. The additional income earned from the food stall has been such a blessing to Ong and Lek and they no longer struggle to make ends meet.

Having their own business has lightened the load and enabled Lek to be able to take better care of her family. She is now the mother she always wanted to be and has seen relationships improve within her family. The children even enjoy helping their mother in the shop on their return from school. And with some of the extra income they earn, Lek intends to further develop and expand the store to create even more stability for the family.

Ong, Lek and kids during BSF family activities

Ong and Lek’s story is a testament to the power of hard work and determination, and how a little helping hand and encouragement can go a long way to fulfilling a mother's dream. It is a reminder that even in the face of adversity, there is always hope.

Lek and her children building bonds and enjoying some 'togetherness' on a BSF Family Fun Day

With a huge smile, Lek expressed her immense gratitude and said, “I have such a warm feeling in my heart. Deepest thanks to BSF for allowing us to be a part of this program. We have been greatly impacted and you have helped us build a better future for ourselves and our children. Thank-you for giving us the knowledge and skills required to help our family achieve our dreams. Never before have we felt such love and compassion.”


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.


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