Taweewan Soelseina, °1985
Taweewan also received aid from the first year in secondary school in 1997. In this way, she belongs to the first generation of students with a Belgian sponsor.
At the time, she lived with her parents in the village of Ban Fang, about 35 km from Nongkhai city. Her parents were rice farmers without land of their own. Outside the rice season her father worked as casual building labourer.
Taweewan was an exemplary student who scored highly. After 6 years of secondary school, she took up university studies in commerce and accounting in Udon Thani. After 4 years, she obtained her bachelor's degree and started working in a company in Bangkok. She is currently working in a large metal company in Cha Soeng Sao (120 km east of Bangkok) as a bookkeeper in the purchasing department, where she earns 13,000 Baht as basic monthly income.
Taweewan was one of the first in her village to obtain a university degree. She was a role model for others as a result of which meanwhile several village children have obtained a degree. She is now married and has a son. In turn, she paid the studying expenses of her younger sister who also obtained a bachelor's degree. Together they make sure that their parents can enjoy a carefree old age and their children are given every opportunity to study.
Natawalee Udonsatit, °1987
Natawalee's living conditions were appalling. She lived with her mother, her partly paralysed father and a dying grandfather in a shack in the east side of Nongkhai city. Mother was the sole breadwinner who tried to earn some money with a food stall.
Natawalee attended the first year of secondary school in Hat Kam, near Nongkhai city. Good sponsors were found in Belgium and they supported her until the end of her university studies. After the first year, the situation changed: grandfather was deceased and her parents moved to a small house outside the city. The authorities and the Good Shepherd Sisters placed Natawalee in a state-run boarding school for orphans and children without shelter in Pon Pisai, 40 km from Nongkhai. Fortunately, this school offered good supervision. Natawalee felt very much at home and achieved very good results. Then she started studying law at the Nongkhai branch of Konkaen University. She obtained her degree after 5 years.
After her studies she first worked in the office of the Good Shepherd Sisters and then found a job as chief accountant in a timber business in Nongkhai. She earns at least 20,000 Baht per month. The little house of her parents was renovated with the money she earned. In 2012, Natawalee was invited by her sponsors to Belgium where she spent an unforgettable holiday. She is married and has a son of 3 months. Their future is one without major financial worries.
Prapat Unarat, °1988
Prapat lived with her parents in the village of Ban Muai, 20 km from Nongkhai. The father worked as a janitor and night watchman in a factory in Chonburi and visits home only three times a year. The mother is a housewife and is still taking care of a little niece.
Starting from the first year of secondary school Prapat received aid from Belgian sponsors. Prapat was a very quiet girl but a genius in mathematics and also very good in other subjects. Thanks to her generous sponsor she was able to study bookkeeping and business management at Maha Sarakham University. After 4 years, she obtained her bachelor's degree and since then has been working as secretary in the main town Prathat Pan Puang where she used to attend school.
She is married and has a son of 9 months. Together with her husband they built a new house in which her mother and little niece are also living. She now lets her niece study, for the time being secondary education.
Napaporn Srisura, °1992
Napaporn lives with her parents in the village of Na Chan, 8 km from Nongkhai. During the day, her father works in a sawmill and there he also is night watchman. Her mother works as a weaver in the training centre of the Good Shepherd Sisters.
From the first year in secondary school to the end of her university studies, she received support from Belgian sponsors. She went to secondary school in Nongkhai and achieved average results. Nevertheless, she first thought university would still be a bit too ambitious and therefore she studied accounting for two years. Because of her good results, she still decide to give it a go at university. She studied bookkeeping and business management for three years at Rajabat University in Udon Thani and obtained her bachelor's degree.
She has just graduated and is looking for a job. She has been offered a job with the Toyota garage in Nongkhai, first on trial with a view to a permanent contract. She is still waiting for the reply on some applications. The legal minimum wage for a bachelor is 15,000 Baht per month. This amount is also paid in greater Bangkok, but accommodation and living costs are also higher and do not outweigh a job close to home in a familiar environment for 10,000 Bath per month.