The Foundation for the Welfare for The Crippled in Thailand is a non profit organisation established in 1954.
The Foundation was originally set up to support the young victims of a polio outbreak which swept Thailand in the early 50’s.
With a widespread inoculation programme making polio a thing of the past, The Foundations efforts today are principally concentrated on helping children suffering from cerebral palsy, spina bifida and congenital deformities, which perhaps present a greater challenge to both sufferers, care givers and the families involved.
In recent years more and more Thai people have taken an interest in helping the handicapped, with growing numbers of university students visiting the Foundation’s facilities.
Since its start, it has provided help for countless numbers of handicapped people, providing them with treatment, welfare and education. The Foundation’s policy has helped them, help themselves, to face up to their handicaps, enabling them to become less dependent on their families and Society for support, gaining self confidence, leading more meaningful lives and becoming useful members of society.
The help extends not only to treatment, but to education, welfare and job placement.
The Foundation is an attractive building with many good facilities, thanks to the generosity of many companies, charities and individuals.
A minimum of 18 Million baht is required annually to run it effectively and it still needs continuous private support to carry on doing its good work.
It has a modest annual allocation of 150,000 baht from The Government and thereby relies on private support.
This provides physical and psychological therapies, including hydrotherapy and occupational therapy. The centre also provides equipment to help the disabled such as wheelchairs, crutches and walking aids.
Follow up health and social services are also operated from the centre.
Medical care is provided at various Bangkok hospitals under the supervision of qualified doctors who also visit The Foundation to give treatment and the children are able to stay here whilst awaiting treatment or convalescing after operations. The centre staff comprises of House Mistress, physiotherapists, nurses, welfare workers and voluntary helpers.
In 1961 The Foundation set up a school called The Handicapped Children’s teaching School. In 1965 it was re-named Sri Sang Wal School after H.R.H. The Princess Mother graciously allowed the school to use her name. The school caters for handicapped boys and girls between the ages of 4 to 18 years from all over Thailand.
The school is run under the auspices of The Ministry of Education of Thailand and educational grades start from kindergarten to grade 9.
In 2000 the school accepted 230 students, 150 of them living in, and the remainder attending on a daily basis, brought to the school by their parents.
Studies take place between 8:30AM and 3:30PM allowing time for therapy and treatment.
Special classes are also arranged for children with cerebral palsy.
The small sized management team takes care of the day to day administration of the facilities including transportation of the children, receiving donations recruiting staff etc.
They report to a board of directors who are all un-paid volunteers.
As already stated above The Foundation relies on private funding to cover its ever increasing yearly expenditure.
Financial help or help in kind is always welcome at The Foundation.
Activities organized for the children include cooking, dressmaking, gardening, swimming, horse riding, football, basketball, table tennis, and badminton as well as educational trips, religious activities, and scouting. The children also have the opportunity to participate in sports competitions arranged by the government and private sector each year.
Believe it or not, the kids are pretty active despite their handicaps and really don’t give up.