“My father came to visit me often. At the beginning, he spoke very little. He has always been a man of few words. After the incident, he spoke even less. But after Dad attended the “Warm, Loving Family” camp, we talked with each other more. We hung out, watched a movie, ate and laughed together. He became more relaxed and started to talk more.

UNFPA Thailand Country Office presses priority on youth leadership in demanding their sexual and reproductive health and rights to be protected and their accessibility to such services with special focus on the problem of teenage pregnancy. In 2014, UNFPA has awarded the grants to 15 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

The purpose of these grants is for capacity development activities that will enable the CSOs to function as the supporter of future youth-led initiatives on the prevention of teenage pregnancy and/or the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.

 

 

บ้านพัก 1

Redefining ‘Love’

by Amy (pseudonym)

 

How It Happened…

“I used to think that love is about getting male attention, about men doing things to please you, praising you or admiring you. These things made me feel worthy. At that time, most of my close friends had a boyfriend. So, I wanted to be like them and have a guy by my side. After school, I had to go to the market to sell food from my cart. This guy was a customer. Sometimes, he drove in his motorbike and stopped by just to chat with me.

If Only I Could Turn Back the Time…

“If only I could go back in time, I wouldn’t have gone out with anyone without telling my father. Now I understood why my Dad didn’t want me to go anywhere after I finished selling food. He wanted me to return home right away and do my homework. He didn’t have time to keep watch on me because he had to go and sell food at another place, which was open at night, and wouldn’t normally get home until 1 a.m.

“When I knew I had a baby, I was stressed out. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to raise him because I was still a child myself. At the same time, I didn’t want abortion because I had heard people say that if a member of any family takes an abortion, that family would have difficulty earning a living. I kept the baby because I didn’t want to make it harder for Dad to earn money. I also didn’t want to kill the baby because he didn’t do anything wrong. Most of all, I didn’t want to feel any more guilty than I already did. I thought that at some point in the future, if I couldn’t afford to raise the baby, I still had the option to give him to an orphanage. But for now, I want to raise my baby myself.

The Man Who’s Always There for Me

“When I was close to delivering the baby, my Dad came to spend a night at the hospital to be my by side. When I saw my baby for the first time, I was over the moon. I’ve always loved playing with small children, and this one is mine. I’ve loved him from the moment I saw him. At that same moment, I realized just how much Dad has always loved me. He has helped me with everything – taking me to the doctor, paying the medical bills, buying baby stuff, bringing me my favorite food, visiting me almost every day at the Emergency Home even though it is quite a distance away from our house and he has to go back to work at the food shop. After delivery, I continued to stay at the Emergency Home along with my baby because I didn’t want embarrass Dad. Here, I met several women who went through a similar ordeal that forced them to be a young mother. It’s good to have friends who understood your pains. I felt I wasn’t alone. We talked and consoled each other.

“My father came to visit me often. At the beginning, he spoke very little. He has always been a man of few words. After the incident, he spoke even less. But after Dad attended the “Warm, Loving Family” camp, we talked with each other more. We hung out, watched a movie, ate and laughed together. He became more relaxed and started to talk more.

A Big Lesson

“In the past, I was afraid to talk with Dad. He speaks little but when he does, he can scare me with his tone of voice and his hot temper. These days, I let Dad know before I go anywhere. If he doesn’t let me go, I don’t go. Since the incident, I became more cautious. I no longer trust people easily. I no longer commute home alone late at night. Now, I know it is Dad who loves me the most [my mother and my father split since I was a baby, and I’ve lived with Dad ever since]. No matter, how many wrongs I have committed, he still loves me and always forgives me. He has told me ‘I will protect my daughter and my grandson forever.’

Redefining ‘Love’

“My idea about love has changed. To me, love means taking good care of your family, forgiving yourself and others who have wronged you. The project staff advised me to look into the future instead of keeping myself in the past. My baby inspires me to have a better future, and I’m going back to school soon. When I grow up, I want to be a nurse who helps deliver babies. If this is not possible, I will open a food shop instead. And, when my son grows up, I want him to be ordained as a Buddhist monk for some time so that he gets to study Dhamma and be good citizen. I will raise him to be a good man so that he will not turn out to be someone who harms women. Now, I’ve realized that no one can give me worthiness. It has to come from me – from my attempts to make myself worthy.”

 

 

PROJECT: Conducted by the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Soamsawali, the “Group Empowerment for Teen Moms” project provides material and psychological support for teen moms so that they return to their families and society with hope and a sense of normalcy, and so that they are less likely to give their babies to orphanages.

Activities:

·         Workshops in which teen moms learn how to look after babies and their own health.

·         Occupational training in which teen moms learn how to bake, cook, make dolls, sew clothes, and create artificial flowers.

·         Recreational activities to help teen moms relax and get to know each other more.

·         The “Buddy” activity in which teen moms pair up with a house mate of their choice so as to look after each other throughout their stay at the Association’s Emergency Home.

·         The “Warm, Loving Family” camp in which teen moms and their parents go out, dine, play games, watch a movie, and laugh together to melt emotional distances.

·         Workshops in which parents learn how to communicate to their daughters in a way that promotes love, understanding and healing so that they ultimately become each other’s best friends.

·         The “Art as Therapy” activity in which teen moms use clay to mold their dream families and express their feelings through drawings and writngs.

 

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