APSW and the Creating a Loving Bond Project
The Story of Nu
Nu, aged 16, lived with her mother and stepfather in the Northeast. One day, during the weekend, she went out to the field to help her stepfather with the cattle. While she was sitting resting outside the hut, the stepfather pushed her inside and raped her.He threatened to kill her if she told anyone. Nu was afraid and kept silent. She was repeatedly raped during the month that followed until her mother noticed that Nu missed her period. Her mother pressed her to tell the truth. Upon knowing, Nu’s mother could not accept it and pressed charges against her husband. Nu was later referred to the Emergency Home of APSW. While providing the initial assistance and rehabilitation to Nu, APSW also worked with another NGO on the court case for Nu and her mother. The stepfather was finally sentenced to 19 years’ jail term for committing rape against a minor. Serving the penalty now is his story which ends his chapter of sexual offence. But for Nu, what he did to her left a big consequence in her life. Shattered from being pregnant out of being raped and having to leave school because of pregnancy was the last thing that Nu ever dreamed of. It is just the beginning of the big task ahead, a single teen mother.
With the collaboration between the World Childhood Foundation and the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women, … hopes have replaced despair and fear, repairing broken dreams of many teenagers in Thailand and Nu is one of them.
It is through Childhood supported project, many teenagers confronting unwanted pregnancy are empowered to start a new meaningful life. Their crisis has been taken care of by the Emergency Home of the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women (APSW) under Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Soamsawali.
Prior to the launching of the Childhood supported project in 2006, the rate of teen mothers abandoning their baby was rather high. Among 150 cases that sought help from APSW each year, about 25 -30 percent did not want to raise their own baby. It was quite alarming if such a high percentage of the babies born had to end up in an orphanage.
This particular project on Creating the Loving Bond aims at reducing the number of babies sent to the orphanage. It facilitates a meaningful relationship between mother and child particularly when the mothers are very young and have faced unwanted pregnancy problems. The program aims at reducing the chance that babies are sent to the orphanage, that is, at discouraging child abandonment. The effort here is to build up strong relationship as early as possible and creates environment in such a way that the confidence of these young mothers is gradually built up until they are firm in their decision to take care of their own baby. APSW also encourages the family to give a helping hand. The project has turned around many teenagers to a new meaningful life. Most have chosen to remain at the Emergency Home to continue their schooling through non-formal education program while taking care of their baby. Comprehensive services are offered including vocational skills training to prepare them economically. Despite the very young age of the mother, they are grateful for the opportunity given to them.
“I was so lucky to have been referred to the Emergency Home. Otherwise, I will not be able to live with my little girl. It is this Childhood-supported project that gives us a new life… I will soon complete high school after having been enrolled in the non formal education program for the past two years. It has not been that easy to take care of my baby at the same time. But I feel much more empowered and I am sure that I can be a good single mum. I will move on and get the hairdressing job which is my dream ” : a comment from Nu who is now 18years old.