Throughout Thai history, the elderly have been regarded as a pillar of the community. But times change, and now, the elderly are often treated as a burden to society, thrown away, forgotten. Ruth Center won’t forget them. Begun in 2008, Ruth Center’s heart goal is to work with slum communities in Bangkok’s Prawet District to improve the quality of life for the elderly and seek long term solutions to their care. In Prawet District alone, there are 14,000 elderly, many destitute, lonely, without family or anyone to help them. Of these 14,000, less than 200 are receiving a monthly pension of 500 baht from the government. People like 75 year old Mother Mee* (not real name) are missing out.
With her husband dead, and abandoned by her only daughter, Mother Mee doesn’t have anyone to lean on. Tears are a part of almost every day. Though born in Thailand, she doesn’t have an ID Card so she can’t even get the Government $1 Health Care Card. She lives in a roofless jumble of boards and sticks in a slum. One day she picked up plastic someone threw away and used that for her roof, but her little hovel still had no walls. For a bed, she sleeps on a board with one thin old blanket to keep warm. When rain come, she always gets wet. Sometimes snakes and centipedes come to her shack thinking it is their home too. To earn enough money for a little food, Mother Mee forces her aching 75 year old body out on the roads and footpaths, looking for garbage she can resell. Some days she has food. Some days she doesn’t. Mother Mee knows what hunger feels like. It is her daily companion, along with her tears.
That’s when Ruth Center found her.
Working with the slum community Mother Mee lived in, Ruth Center’s caring staff, along with a team of volunteers, built a basic shelter for Mother Mee. (see right) It’s the first time in years Mother Mee has felt cared for, loved, not alone. Ruth Center is providing basic food for her, and helping her to get a government ID card. Ruth Center can’t everyone, but they help the next one, and the next one, and the next one. Because that’s what L.I.F.E. is all about.
Construction and care for the elderly people.
P.O. Box 4
If you wish to support this ministry through tax deductible donations in Canada, please send cheques payable to "YWAM" to:
"YWAM Project Funding Office, PO Box 57100, Vancouver, BC V5K 1Z0, Canada".
Please do not write anything else on the check but include a separate note indicating that your donation is for "Ruth Center".