Now in his teenage years, Andrew hails from Amphoe Pai, who joined us in July 2015. This young man has been through a lot in his early years of life and yet despite all the hardships he has faced, he still is able to display such a bright disposition and possesses such a positive outlook on his life.
When we first met Andrew in his village, it was a heart-wrenching sight; a young child, abandoned and left all alone in a house without parental care and food. Andrew’s father had passed away from HIV and Tuberculosis 2 weeks prior to our arrival. The village church pastor had sought help from Tasnee to take Andrew under her care, as he was all alone and in dire need of proper care. Andrew’s biological parents divorced when he was very young and he was left under the care of his father. His biological mother moved on and remarried several times and denies any responsibility in taking care of him. His father had contracted HIV and shortly was also infected with Tuberculosis-making him very ill and weak. Upon knowledge of her husband's illnesses, the stepmother decided to play an inactive role in Andrew’s life, and left the two of them in order to escape her husband's illness as she saw it as a burden. This left Andrew to take on the role of being his father’s main caregiver, ensuring that his father had water and food. As Andrew had to take care of his dying father, the boy was unable to attend school regularly.
After the departure of his father, Andrew was left un-cared for, his older siblings has all moved out of the village, some working and some studying. His biological mother and stepfather are not interested in raising and caring for him. He was left neglected and abandoned. Andrew knows that his biological mother does not want him in her life, but he is very mature and does not let that hinder him from enjoying life and affect his love for her.
Andrew is a special boy, he was born with a slight deformation, as a result of his mother's substance abuse when she was pregnant with him. Nonetheless, Andrew has no obvious differences from the other children. He runs, jumps, play football, and is well capable of using his hands to hold things, write, and draw. He is a strong individual. His soul possesses the willingness to be bold and to press on. His cheerfulness also enables him to be have such a positive outlook on life, despite his difficult past. Andrew is a very smart, hardworking, and polite boy. He loves going to school and is in middle school now, and participates enthusiastically in all his class activities. He may be born different, but he is made wonderfully and beautifully different; inside and out.