Reaching out to families of Laotian prisoners in Thailand

Over six days, the team visited 22 families as well as two ex-prisoners who were released last year.

Thailand
September 29 2014, 5:00 PM
Reaching out to families of Laotian prisoners in Thailand
Jesuit prison ministry team during the visit.

Members of the Prison Ministry team of Jesuit Foundation in Thailand recently made a trip to Laos to visit the families of Laotian prisoners in Thailand and share news of the prisoners. 

Over six days, the team visited 22 families as well as two ex-prisoners who were released last year.

“We received a very warm welcome from the families,” said Kep Vilaiwan, one of the five prison ministry team members who went to Laos.  “This event built up our relationship with the prisoners’ families, making us feel as if we are part of their families, and can be the link to their loved ones.

"Each family has different difficulties. The messages brought from us produced tears, smiles, hope, happiness, sadness, gratitude, and even surprise! Whatever news we brought was welcomed with thanks."

In her report on the trip, Kep provides an account of the team’s visit to several families.  One of these is Tasaporn (Anna), a girl whose parents are serving life sentences in prison in Thailand.

"Anna, their youngest daughter, read the letter we brought from her father with tears. Her father taught her in the letter… ‘see my life as your lesson and don’t do anything like me, the mistake I have done shall not happen to you’."

Anna is studying in the College for Business Administration, said Kep. She works very hard to be able to continue her studies. She takes care of her niece, who is her elder brother’s daughter; sews children’s clothes for sale; and works as a salesgirl at the shopping centre on weekends. 

The prison ministry team had their collaborator find out more information about Anna’s studies.

“We found that she is quite a good student, works hard and tries her best to study. Our support will help her and her family a lot. After our trip we found there is a little money left from the budget we planned, so we send $ 1,000 to our collaborator to support Anna to help for her study this year."

Source: sjapc