Background

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Visiting people in the communities was the first step in developing Home of the Open Heart. When Penny first moved to Chiang Rai with her family, she often visited families affected by HIV/AIDS. From there, the people she was visiting would often ask her to go with them to visit someone else. Some of the early fruits of these community visits was a fish pond and duck farm as income-generation projects and construction of a home for a single mother with triplets. 

Duck farming is another project we have been able to implement that supplemented support for a grandmother who was willing to care for her 2 granddaughters after their mother and father had both died of AIDS. This enables us at Home of the Open Heart to keep the number of children and women in our home lower and empowers the Thai community to care for their own extended family.

Integrating Back to Birth Families

Several of our children who have lived with us for many years have found themselves in a position where one parent who was previously most unwell due to HIV, in more recent years has improved greatly in their health, once they have begun on the ARV medication and therefore they have become physically stronger. With this health gave renewed hope to be a parent again, so several of our children have been able to integrate back into their community. We continue to partner with and support these families in practical, and financial ways. We are privileged to be able to continue the link between our big family and theirs. We recognise there is a strong bond that does not need to be severed.