Baan Sabaay is an emergency shelter for HIV/AIDS clients in Chiang Mai who find themselves in times of crisis.

Monday, March 3, 2014

East Taieri Church visit to Baan Sabaay

Baan Sabaay Horticultural Project
By Rev. Dr. Saad Chaiwan,

There are some activities carried out at Baan Sabaay for the physical and spiritual well-being of people living with HIV.  This paper, however, is a reflection from Mrs. Jaruwan Wutti, Vice Director of the AIDS Ministry of the Church of Christ in Thailand, on a recent visit of a small group from East Taieri Church Mosgiel New Zealand.  The aim is to train the strong and healthy guests in horticultural skills, and provide a source of food for them while increasing the Ministry economic efficiency.  Baan Sabaay generally does not have sufficient income to cover all its running costs.  The personnel therefore, have to find ways of motivating Baan Sabaay to become economically stable.  It is felt that one of the effective measures in increasing the income of Baan Sabaay, is through its horticultural and agricultural projects, such as raising chickens and fish and growing vegetables.  Since the people living on site are mostly healthy enough, they could undoubtedly be responsible for the operation.

The CAM Ministry personnel, therefore have promoted  an organic vegetable project.  This is totally free from using chemical elements and pesticides through the growing and harvesting processes.  These days, people are aware of the need to have a healthy lifestyle, finding the best ways for themselves, through exercise, daily activities, and importantly a safe diet.  However, society is seemingly more fragmented than it used to be.  Homes and families now tend to be passive consumers, rather than taking an active role as producers, as their forefathers did. 

Currently to be efficient enough to supply market demands some producers choose to fast track the process of production and manufacturing through unnatural means to shorten the growing periods.  Ino order to ensure the crops are resistant to diseases, insects and pests, they have to use insecticides and pesticides.  Even during delivery, the fresh products require preservatives.  All these unnatural products have undoubtedly become hazardous to the consumers and the environment.

Thus Baan Sabaay, with the help of the New Zealand church has made every effort to grow organic or chemical-free vegetables the whole year round.  While organically grown vegetables may not look as nice to the eye as general vegetables sold in the market, the freshness and nutrients are incomparably better than non organic vegetables.

All products of Baan Sabaay have either been used in its kitchen or sold to the Christian personnel in the Christian institutions and departments, especially at the 75th Anniversary Building of the Church of Christ in Thailand, Chiang Mai.  Part of the profits, are ploughed back into Baan Sabaay to offset expenses, and part is used for further investment and growth.  This income generating project will give both Baan Sabaay and the people living on site a measure of economic independence (where possible) and renewed hope in life.  In short, the vegetable's nutritional value is high and the people living with HIV are encouraged not only to use them for their meals, but also to sell them to support the existence of Baan Sabaay.

On behalf of the CAM staff, we would like to express our profound appreciation  and heartfelt thanks to the New Zealanders and their personnel for their support and gracious help.  Without their kind assistance this horticultural project would not have been possible.

May God bless them with  temporal and spiritual blessings.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The aging population in Thailand

By Dr. Saad Chaiwan

Before talking about using Baan Sabaay, offered by Mrs. Jaruwan Wutti, as a meeting and recreation center for the aging people.  It might be more appropriate to render a little bit about the aging situation in Thailand; so that one would appreciate how necessary it is to care for the elderly people not only in Thailand but also all over the world.

1. Personality traits of the Elderly

Generally speaking, aging people all over the world meant lack of employment, inadequate economic support, social isolation, and serious material deprivation.  They are formally retired from their full time work at the age of 60.  A sixty year old person today is physically and emotionally more like the 50 year old of a generation ago.

The Old as Wise

Most aging people are wise.  They have potential.  The aging persons not only know themselves well, but they know what human life is all about and what makes people tick.  Aging people discover their direction in the midst of ambivalence.  They know how to differentiate between the substantive and inconsiderable matters.  They know what is important and knows how to compromise.  Lived experience has given them vast knowledge and wisdom to discern what is good or evil.   That is why some of these elderly people have been chosen as private counselors and court counselors since the ancient history of many countries including Israel and the Middle East.  These people are counted among the wise as skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding, learning and competent to serve in the King's palace.

The Old as a Learner

Some aging people in Thailand try to keep up with advanced science and technology by returning to the classroom and entering the studio, computer lab  and their own workshops.  They are taking new risks and reaping rewards.
For example, Mr. Kamol Boonprom, former director of Chiang Mai International School, was retired at 60 many years ago.  He entered the computer lab at a vocational school in Chiang Mai.  He inspired many people of his aging peers to  return to the classroom and reinvent their lives.  These people really challenge many aging people in keeping up themselves to the advanced society.

The Old as Health Pioneer

Most aging persons have a better education and wrapped up with knowledge, wisdom and experience.  In this case I would like to share with everyone about my experience of taking health care of the prostate cancer, which I have inevitably become both a patient and a healer as well.
In 1999, after retirement from Payap University, I was informed by the doctor of the largest government hospital in Chiang Mai, Thailand, that I had prostate cancer, and that it was nearly in the final stage.  I was shocked when I heard about it.  The doctor outlined three options for treatment which I might choose: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  In fact, if we have surgical treatment, the others usually follow.

In the natural health care, one must pay due attention seriously to eating a vegetarian diet.  From my research and experience there is evidence that plenty of fruits and vegetables have cancer curing and cancer preventative properties.  Especially the brassica vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli and kale contain anti-carcinogenic compounds, which prompt or stimulate cancer cells to die off.  The vegetables have strong purifying effects on the tissues and blood.  Eating them regularly greatly reduces overall toxicity and eliminates the body's need for cancer cells.