I’ve had a great time the past few weekends visiting families we’re helping and unlatching myself from the busy-ness of my daily work and social life.

On one of the recent trips, I was interviewed by AsiaLIFE Magazine for their next issue about the plight of refugees in Bangkok and how I began working with these invisible communities. We also talked about the challenges of raising money and awareness for families whose harrowing stories you can’t share openly.

They had seen a feature story on In Search of Sanuk’s work in Bangkok Airway’s inflight magazine and decided to follow me on a visit to a family’s home.

That day we visited a family recently sponsored and receiving $200 a month from one of you. The regular support has created many positive changes in the lives of this family since their arrival to Bangkok. Most importantly, financial means to get them out of their over crowded, flood susceptible, and hard to find room where they were often mistreated by their landlord and neighborhoods.


They now live in a safer place and have been bringing other families in need to our attention. As a result, we’ve already had a chance to provide clothing and food to a woman nearby who had recently given birth.

The family has their gratitude on full display when we arrive. All smiles, quickly revealing how proud they were to have us coming to wish one of their daughters well on her birthday.

Birthday photo by Nick McGrath

It’s not long before they reveal their make-shift birthday cake, lighting the candles and asking for a blessing for the birthday girl.

I wished for her, on your behalf, that she would one day run toward her dreams. Her dreams to study in a real school and  her dreams of a new life for her family; one where they don’t live in fear of tomorrow.

Their tiny cake made of convenience store sweet buns, probably isn’t the usual aesthetic coming to mind when you think of a birthday. But there without the luxury of clichés which have come to override so many of our traditions, this little girl clinched on to the hope for a brighter future— largely because of you.


Photo courtesy of Nick McGrath Photography.