Reflections from a Remarkable Journey with BSF
On BSF Graduation Camp, after 18-months in a family-strengthening program, Thum (Thailand) gladly shared, "I am now completely free from smoking and have been able to save money for my family that would normally have been spent on cigarettes." Chandra (Nepal) said, "BSF saw our need and assisted with the education of my children. They now have the opportunity to pursue their education and are doing extremely well."
We are so excited to celebrate with 57 graduates (16 families) who attended Graduation Camps in June 2023 and shared similar stories of joy and appreciation. They successfully completed 18-month BSF Family Strengthening Programs in Chhampi (Nepal), and Padead (Thailand). These times of celebration and reflection at the end of a program remind us of the incredible potential that can be unlocked when families are empowered and loved.
In late 2021, sixteen under-privileged families from Nepal and Thailand were invited to join BSF family-strengthening programs in Chhampi and Padaed. Many lacked access to quality education for their children, were struggling in poverty, and had limited opportunities due to their social and economic situations. If a recruiting orphanage came knocking on their door, many of these families, with best intentions, may have been at risk of relinquishing their children due to the hardships they faced.
Therefore, these sixteen families were overjoyed to receive the opportunity to join a BSF family-strengthening program in January 2022, and develop holistically to become more sustainable. One of BSF's core initiatives involved training these families and empowering them to realize their dreams and aspirations. These training sessions included topics on effective parenting techniques, fostering a positive environment at home, family health and hygiene, managing money and debt, building awareness of existing support services, and identifying and using their own strengths and giftings to create a better future for the family.
Another core program element involved helping these 16 families generate more income to become financially sustainable and support the needs of their children for the long term. These families also took part in Family Fun Day outings to relax and strengthen relationships within their family. They also received educational assistance for their children, health and hygiene support, and were monitored and visited regularly by their program coordinator.
In June 2023, it was time for celebration! The families excitedly joined together on two BSF Graduation Camps to reflect and share their experiences after 18-months in the program. They reminisced about the various Training Days and Family Fun Days, recognizing the immeasurable value these initiatives have brought to their lives. Parents and caregivers highlighted how the BSF programs have not only supported their children's education but also provided them with valuable life lessons and parenting tools. Income Generation Assistance was also a highlight for many families as most are now earning 30% or more than before they started the program and putting this back into keeping their children in a stronger loving family.
And the gratitude from families extended beyond the tangible support they received; it also encompassed the emotional impact of knowing that someone believed in them, someone took time to love and care about them, someone who has a heart to help transform lives, one child, and one family at a time.
Families on Camp from Chhampi, Nepal
Chandra said, "My family was struggling economically before we met the BSF team. I was employed in a hotel but due to the Covid Pandemic I lost my job. I couldn't afford my children's education and it became increasingly hard to manage and support my family's needs. BSF saw our need and assisted with the education of my children. They now have the opportunity to pursue their education and are doing extremely well. Through the various training sessions provided by BSF, we gained a greater knowledge on aspects of family, health and hygiene. BSF helped to develop and promote our new business and we are now running our own restaurant. Our family is living all together under the one roof. I will always be appreciative to BSF for supporting us."
Sabitri enjoyed the camp and said, "I am so happy to be together with other BSF families and the team for two days to discuss and celebrate all the successes of our time during the program. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to visit new places together that we had not seen before."
Families on Camp from Padead, Thailand
Thum shared, "BSF has not just helped me to earn more income but has also given me the skills I required and a better knowledge on how to raise my three children. Furthermore, I received health check-ups and health training which has assisted me to quit smoking which I had struggled to achieve in the past. I am now completely free from smoking and have been able to save money for my family that would normally have been spent on cigarettes. BSF also made available to us several opportunities where we as a family could spend more quality time together. We gained a greater understanding of how to keep our family together with a new-found love and appreciation for each other through fun activities and training given throughout the past 18-months. BSF truly played a big part in establishing our stronger family unit."
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.