BaanGerda is a small community 230 km north of Bangkok, where 85 HIV infected and affected orphans live and receive medical treatment in family houses under the care of foster parents. It is a project of the Children’s Rights Foundation, a Bangkok-based non profit organization.
Children orphaned by AIDS who are HIV positive often end up in the most pitiful situation imaginable. They are less likely than others to find shelter in their extended families, and can be outcasts in their own communities. Most state orphanages and other charitable institutions have not responded to their needs for life-saving drugs, for the love and care of a family structure, and for education.
In the beginning, we aimed simply to ease the suffering of kids with AIDS in whatever life remained to them – in other words, we were a hospice operation. As better medicine became available, however, and as the organization gained more financial support from donors, it became possible for BaanGerda to provide long-term care. Little did we imagine that one day we would admit children in an advanced stage of AIDS and that we would be able to nurse them back to health.
BaanGerda is the only organization in Thailand that provides family-style homes for orphans, as well as comprehensive HIV care. We believe this structure plays a great role in the recovery and continued health of our children. They all attend school or kindergarten, while their foster parents take care of housekeeping and handicraft production.