About Safe Haven
*Text from Safe Haven's website: safehavenorphanage.org
Safe Haven Orphanage is located on the Thailand/Burma border. It's a home that provides disadvantaged children (many of whom are Karen refugees from Burma) with proper nurture, nutrition, shelter, clothing, medical care, and education.
In 1987 Mrs. Tasanee Keereepraneed received a frantic message from a local villager in Tha Song Yang, Thailand that a little girl had lost her mother during birth. In Karen culture this is interpreted as a bad omen, and the child is often killed. Having lost her own father at a young age and her children also having lost their father when Tasanee's husband was murdered, Tasanee decided that she, if anyone should be the person responsible for caring for the orphaned children of the Karen.
One by one they came. Children with nowhere else to go were given to Tasanee to raise. She and her brother converted their childhood home into an open space able to accommodate up to twenty five children. Starting with whatever funds were available, she built the foundation of what has become the first Safe Haven Orphanage. Relying on her personal funds and the donations of the people in the nearby city of Mae Sot, she was able to expand and take on yet more children. She now has over 60 children under her care.
The children range from as young as 1 month old, to over 20 years old. The majority of the children reside in Ban Tha Song Yang (Mae Tawo), where the local school is so overcrowded and under-funded that it finishes at grade nine. To finish high school and begin college, the children must come down to Mae Sot to finish their studies.
The children learn responsibility from a young age, they are expected to do homework and chores before being able to play with their brothers and sisters. They eat, work, study and play together, this infuses them with the sense of family that they desperately need. Most of the kids were orphaned by the Military government currently in power in Burma.
To steer the kids away from lives controlled by anger and revenge they rely on the kids to foster a sense of love and commitment within themselves. With anger in their hearts they would be doomed to the same fate as many of their brethren, hopelessly lost in a war they cannot win. Only through education and integration do they expect change for the kids and the Karen people as a whole.
What We're Doing to Help
In late 2012, a team from Relevant traveled to the Thai-Burma border to survey the situation and see where we could make a specific impact. There is no shortage of needs, but we felt like investing in the lives of Karen orphans was the best place to start. A second team from Relevant spent time at Safe Haven in late 2013 and returned with a plan.
So, in April 2014 we launched Relevant's annual Safe Haven Sponsorship program. In short, this gives everybody at Relevant a chance to make an impact by financially and prayerfully supporting the children and caregivers at Safe Haven. For just $20 a month, we can provide food, milk, school uniforms, shoes, medical care, and education for a child. The donations we receive will be pooled together and sent over for the orphanage leadership to use at their discretion. Such a small investment on all of our parts can create an incredible impact in Thailand.
The sponsorship sign up period is now closed but if you would like to financially give to Safe Haven please contact our Director of Impact Ministries, Cory Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.