Photo Voice Project, a collaboration between the Norwegian Women
and Family Association, features 20 photographs taken by 20 members
of the Emergency Home as part of the Association for the Promotion
of the Status of Women in Thailand. The 20 participants, women
and young girls, ages 12 to 39, have confronted abuses and violence
and are currently receiving care and rehabilitation from the Emergency
The theme for the Photo Voice Project was “A Better Tomorrow.”
Before taking photographs to visually represent their views on
what a better tomorrow would look like, the participants took
part in a positive thinking session to generate ideas and explore
their creativity. Each participant was then asked to give a voice
to her photo by writing a description of the image and how it
related to the project’s overall theme.
For the young girls and women who participated, the exercise stimulated
their artistic talents, strengthened their concentration, and
enabled them an outlet to communicate with the world.
The Long Road A road can be compared to our lives. We have to walk until we
reach our destiny. Sometimes, even when we get there, we still
want to walk further; we’re not ready to stop. Seeing the
long road ahead makes us feel that we need to travel far for our
own future. Whenever we want to do something, we need to aim high
to accomplish it at the highest level.
(Fon), age 15
Fon comes from a violent family. Her mother works long hours as
a house maid and cannot take care of her. Fon has come under the
care of the Emergency Home and is now attending a non-formal education
program to complete the primary school level.
Palm Trees in the Morning When I look at these trees, I feel l need to have a stronger fighting
spirit. Before the trees could grow this big, they had to fight
against the sun, wind, and rain. They could not escape as they
are trees. But for us, we can escape. When it rains or is hot,
we move to the shade to get away; thus, I would like to be like
these trees. If we can overcome all the obstacles, we will be
joyful like the trees after the rain. If we fight, we will wither
like a dying tree.
(Nuey), age 17
Nuey’s hometown is in Nakornsrithammarat. Her parents traveled
for work, so she lived with her grandparents. Nuey had a problem
studying while she was in grade 8, resulting in her delay in applying
for grade 9. Intending to continue her study, she sought help
and was referred to the Emergency Home.
A Different and Beautiful Life Although flowers are different in their types and colors, they
are beautiful because they are unique. A bouquet need not contain
one type of flower, a variety of blossoms enhances the beauty.
This is similar to life. We do not need to be the same. Although
we may be brought up in the same surroundings, each of us is not
able to lead the same kind of life. This makes each of us distinct,
outstanding, and beautiful in his or her own way.
(Ann), age 16
Ann was physically and verbally abused by both her father and
mother. After separating from the father, Ann went to live with
her mother; however, she still felt abused because her mother
had difficulty controlling her anger and listening. Additionally,
Ann also felt that her mother favored her son. After living at
the Emergency Home, Ann is learning to better cope and is now
studying in grade 11.
Bird of Paradise The color of this flower reminds me of the Buddharaksa flower
for the forthcoming Father’s Day. Thinking about that, I
feel both sad and happy because my father makes me stay here.
This flower is called bird of paradise. It is a comparison with
other kinds of birds in the sky. The sky covers our earth. When
there are angels in the sky, the sky can be compared to heaven.
This flower inspires me to be a good girl. Those who do good will
be born a bird or an angel in heaven.
(Pancake), age 12
Pancake’s father gambles, is addicted to drugs and
alcohol, and is physically abusive to her and her mother. Because
of this, her mother decided to seek help from the Emergency Home.
After 11 days, her father came and begged them to go back home,
promising that he would give up drugs and abuse. But after returning,
the father did not change, so the mother brought Pancake back
to the Emergency Home. Pancake continues with schooling while
her brother undergoes rehabilitation for emotional control. Her
mother undertakes the hairdressing course provide by the Emergency
Puppy Love Whenever I see this puppy, I think of my childhood. Now things
have changed. Now I think of my son’s future. I want him
to be like this puppy with the big wonderful eyes. As for me,
sometimes I feel happy, but at times there are problems. But upon
thinking of my son, I realize that I have to be strong for him.
I will make sure that he is going to be better than me. He counts
on me to take care of him whether in good or bad times.
(Yui), age 18
After her mother passed away, Yui lived with her father and stepmother.
She was not on good terms with the stepmother who physically abused
her, so Yui’s sister took her in. During the school term,
however, Yui returned home and had a boyfriend. One day, he took
Yui to his house. Drunk, he harassed Yui and raped her. In the
morning, he took Yui home and said that he would be responsible.
Yui did not tell anyone and went back to school. In the second
semester, Yui realized she was pregnant. After completing the
semester, Yui’s sister took her to the Emergency Home.
6.Perspective The market, to some people, may not have anything interesting
to see. Merchants sell meat, pork, chicken, and vegetables. But
if we look around another corner, we can find buckets full of
flowers, and not too far from those, garlands. Looking at this
scene positively, it is unique that something as unsightly as
raw meat can be placed quite near beautiful things such as flowers.
How pleasant the sight is does not depend on how things are arranged
but from what angle we choose to look at them.
(Mint), age 17
Mint has been with the Emergency Home since she was seven years
old because of family violence. Initially the mother, an alcoholic,
was sent for rehabilitation. After getting better, she checked
out of the Emergency Home leaving Mint under the organization’s
care. Unfortunately, the mother remarried and went back to drinking.
Sometimes, when she would come to visit Mint, she’d be drunk
and have bruises. Today, Mint is in grade 11; her mother is at
a shelter in Cholburi province.
Buddha and The Flowers Buddha teaches us to be good people. I remember when *Khun Yai
took me to the temple. I feel happy when I visit the temple. When
I’m there, I think of the Buddha’s teachings: be good,
speak well, do no wrong, do not kill animals. I will be a good
person, complete my study and apply the Buddha’s teachings
to do good things to myself and the people around me.
Abandoned by her mother at the police station when she was about
2 years old, the police referred Fa to the Emergency Home. Without
any identity, the Emergency Home went through the legal process
to have her named. It also sought a court order to be her guardian.
Today, Fa is in grade 5 and is under the care of the Emergency
8. For Physical and Mental Health I like badminton as it is an easy sports which suits every age
group and person. We can play it everyday. I enjoy it because
it releases my stress. I forget everything and concentrate only
on the shuttlecock. Whenever I am angry at somebody, I think of
that person’s head as the shuttlecock. When I hit it, my
anger is gone. It releases my tension and does not hurt anyone.
If we cannot control our emotions when we are angry, everything
can be destroyed. With rage, good relationship with friends might
be gone in a second; therefore, we should not let our emotions
After completing her primary education, Bee was brought from Buriam
province to work in Bangkok. Being paid 2000 bhat, she was a domestic
worker from four o’clock in the morning until midnight.
When she could not finish the work on time, she was slapped or
hit by a chair, belt or pipe. These wounds still scar her body.
Bee was also forced to work despite being sick. After a year,
the employer put her on a train and sent her home without giving
her any money. Seeing her daughter, Bee’s mother decided
to press charges against the employer. The case is currently in
The Girl and The Flower A child is like a white cloth which can be painted in any color.
Flowers are different because they are colorful by nature and
do not need any cosmetic make-up. They are for decoration, whether
they are in the gardens or in the vase. We can mix the colors
and types as we like. Nature creates children to be with beautiful
things. These flowers are awaiting children to come and appreciate
them. Children who are close to nature are more gentle and joyful,
traits they will carry with them as they grown up.
Since Orn was very young, her father wanted her to be good at
school like Orn’s older brother. When she would fail to
meet his expectations, her father would beat her. He would also
abuse Orn and her mother when he was drunk. Consequently, she
left home to stay with her relatives. Orn’s father came
to ask them to return but Orn did not want to, so her brother
brought her to the Emergency Home.
10. Foreign Language, Foreign Lives When I was a teenager, I had a foreign friend. He was a very good
person, teaching me English, computers, and just giving me good
advice. He showed me a video of his country with mountains, rivers
and his friends. He asked me to visit his country. I regret missing
that opportunity, but I’m still glad that I knew him. I’ll
never forget about him and will always think of him whenever I
see foreigners. If I have the chance, I would like to study language
to be able to communicate. Although I have not contacted him,
he will be in my memory forever.
Coming from a poor family, Jee started working after completing
primary school. Meeting a friend who was a sex worker, Jee decided
to work in this field. She rented a house in the Patpong area
and stayed with her friend. During this time, and for the four
years following, Jee used drugs. Eventually falling ill, she went
to the hospital and found out that she was HIV positive. She went
back to work at the same place, only now as a waitress. Still
on drugs, however, she was caught by the police. After she successfully
completed drug rehabilitation, she was referred to the Emergency
11. Writing on Grass…Dreams
Against The Wind I dream of being a writer. I
know well that I may not be famous. I will be like a small wild
flower which may not be beautiful or have a good fragrance but
will stretch up against wind and rain. It can be on its own and
is proud of being just a small wild flower. Our life springs up
from the earth. At present, when technological advancement mixes
well with nature, we see airplanes flying like birds and spaceships
going out into space like stars. But I choose to be close to the
basics, working on earth and nature, looking at the changes from
the ground, following them at my own pace, not too fast and not
too aggressively. I will use appropriate technology and live with
it happily. I will learn from the technology and the things before
me knowing that I am not able to learn everything.
Design was adopted when she was one month old. Her adopted mother
bought her from Design’s natural mother for 1200 baht. Despite
being brought up well, her health was not good and she often felt
sick. Nevertheless, Design went to school on her own until grade
7. About that time, however, her health began to rapidly deteriorate,
and it was determined that she was HIV positive. Lacking knowledge
about HIV/AIDS, the family rejected her and sent her to the Emergency
12. Dharma: The Teachings of Buddha I
want to have a house with all of my children present. All of them
can study whatever they like. I want to have a hairdressing salon
of my own so that I can be economically stable. Everyday when
I wake up, I will cook for my children, bathe them, and send them
to school. In the afternoon I will pick them up from school. On
Saturday, I will take the children to the temple to study Dharma.
Sunday will be the children’s day; I will take them to the
public park, zoo, entertainment places, and shops, depending on
the opportunities. When my children have jobs and are able to
look after themselves, I would like to go back to my hometown
and apply natural farming techniques in following with Dharma
practice. I have become strong because of Dharma. If we can help
others to overcome suffering, we feel happy.
Ning is from Rajburi. She married at 18 and has three children.
She and her husband came to Bangkok to work. Her husband became
a taxi driver while Ning sewed and provided ironing services,
but it was not a stable income. Ning’s husband started to
gamble, as well as abuse drugs and alcohol. When stressed, he
would physically abuse Ning and the children. She pressed charges
many times. The last time Ning was badly wounded, but no one helped.
Finally, a police officer saw her and advised her to go to the
13. Grounded With Nature Rocks look so sturdy. They last for a long time and can face winds,
rain and all kinds of weather. Together with the plants that cover
them, they provide nice cool shade. Beneath them, you can only
feel comfort and tranquility which can be easily found but is
When Poupee was seven years old, her father died and her mother
disappeared. Poupee and her sister went to live with their aunt
and her husband. When she was in grade 6, Poupee met a man who
rented a house nearby. She fell in love with him even thought
she knew he had a family. Upon realizing that Poupee was pregnant,
her aunt pressed charges against the man and brought Poupee to
the Emergency Home. After the delivery, Poupee will put the baby
up for adoption and will return to school.
Foundations for LifeHaving previously been a construction
worker, I have a picture in my mind of the men and women who helped
to finish the jobs we worked on by putting all of the instruments
in place. Cooperation is essential in this job, starting from
the foundation, casting the column and beams, casting concrete
on the upper floor, and extending the columns. It is a job that
requires effort and carefulness. We need to do our best because
if the house we build does not have a good structure, those who
live in it may be in danger and get hurt. If the house collapses,
whatever we built was a waste. We have to be very careful and
do our best.
Toy was 14 when she came to Bangkok and became a domestic worker.
When her mother got sick, however, Toy returned home and married,
though it was not long before they were separated. After her mother
died, Toy returned to Bangkok to become a construction worker
and married again. Her husband drank heavily and often abused
her. One day when her husband went out to drink, a mechanic working
in the vicinity broke into the house and raped her. When Toy’s
husband returned, he was furious and beat her. She pressed charges
against him and came to the Emergency Home.
15. Flight to Freedom I wish to be like these
two birds. With wings, we can fly to wherever we want to go with
full freedom. Nobody can stop us. If I can fly like a bird, I
will fly to my destiny for myself and for my child. Together,
we will stand on firm ground and fight hardships. I will fight
for myself and for my child.
Nat lived with her father and her stepmother who were cooks
in a restaurant. One day an employee broke into Nat’s room
and tried to rape her, but she screamed and he fled. When Nat
told her family what happened, nobody believed her. Later, the
same man climbed in her room and raped her. This time Nat did
not tell anyone about the incident until she discovered she was
pregnant. Her father pressed charges and brought her to the Emergency
Home. Nat’s son is now eight months old. She is enrolled
in the Non Formal Education Program for the upper secondary level.
The Giving Tree These two trees are like my life. I love trees. I love their sturdiness,
durability and resilience. In times when there is no storm or
rain, the trees are ready to provide us shade. When there are
storms, the trees are ready to face the winds. In my life, I have
to be a tough person even though I face many problems. But I must
survive so I can be the shade for my children. Through my strength
and perseverance, I can be their role model so that they will
follow in my footsteps.
While working at a restaurant in Pattaya, Kate met her husband.
After living together for about three months, he started going
out and using drugs. After she gave birth to their second child,
he stopped going out but still abused drugs. He started having
rashes and became weak but refused to have a blood test. After
falling sick herself, Kate was tested for HIV/AIDS. She knew she
She resigned from her job and went to see her sister. But when
her brother-in-law realized she was HIV positive Kate felt ashamed,
so she decided to seek shelter at the Emergency Home.
Knowledge is Power Books represent my goals in life. I am currently studying and
love reading. I read all kinds of books as I think the more you
read the more you know. My education is also important to the
future of my 11-year-old son who is my beloved. I want him to
be good at school and have a bright future.
Coming from a poor family, Noon came to work in Bangkok when she
was 20. There, she met a man, got married and moved to her husband’s
house in Lampang. After having one child, her husband fell ill,
and she discovered that he had HIV/AIDS. After he passed away,
Noon took her child to her mother’s house and asked if she
would take care of him while she returned to Bangkok for work.
Six months later, however, Noon’s health deteriorated, so
she was forced to return home. But when her mother and relatives
discovered that she was HIV positive, they rejected her. Noon
then came to the Emergency Home.
The Beauty of Nature Nature scenery reminds me
of the days when I lived at home. We would often visit one of
the waterfalls. There were woods and animals; it was beautiful.
If we cannot appreciate natural beauty, then we lack vitality.
Therefore, we should help to preserve the beauty of nature.
Pan lived with her mother. When she was in grade 9, she went to
watch TV at a relative’s house. One day while the children
were playing in front of the house, Pan was raped by her uncle.
He threatened her not to tell anyone. This happened repeatedly.
Pan’s teacher soon noticed she was pregnant and asked her
about it. She took Pan to the police station to press charges
and then to the Emergency Home.
19. Forever Blooming This
forever-blooming flower can be utilized in many ways. For example,
it is often used to decorate the krathong, a flower arrangement
used in many important ceremonies. These flowers are easily found
and have beautiful colors that last a long time. In comparing
this flower with my life, it makes me think about perseverance.
Like this flower, we need to be joyful and fresh all the time
so as to live to the fullest.
Mild lived with her mother and stepfather. She worked long hours
in the field herding cattle. One day she went out alone to the
fields with her stepfather. He raped Mild and threatened her not
to tell anyone. Her mother noticed and took her to the Embassy
and then to the Emergency Home.
20. Standing Strong The large Bho tree is a firmly-rooted
tree that provides shade. In comparing it to our lives, it is
stable and strong and cannot flee its problems. We too must build
a stable life with things such as a happy family, a permanent
job, and the ability to solve problems effectively. Like this
tree, we all have to fight and not give up whenever we face problems.
Pang, age 16
Pang’s father is an employee in one of the universities
in Kalasin and her mother is a domestic worker. From Monday through
Friday, Pang stayed with her father in the staff quarters. Saturday
and Sunday her father returned home leaving Pang alone. One Saturday
after special tutoring, Pang returned home for a nap but did not
lock the door. A friend broke in and raped her, doing so repeatedly
for the next two months. Pang never told anyone until she missed
her period. At that time, she confided in her mother who took
her to press charges and brought her to the Emergency Home.