Suranyu Kraiharn (nickname “Namphu”) is a 12 year-old boy in the sixth grade at Banbu school in Nakhonratchasrima province, located in northeastern region of Thailand.
He has been raised up with hardship and could not afford any basic needs that other children at the same age are righted to received.
Namphu lives with his handicapped father in a place they call their house. It is actually an old shed, outside of the main town.
| Their house is made of old building materials, simply a room with a roof, four walls and wood floor, with none of the comforts of a home. When it rains heavily, both Namphu and his father have to walk about one kilometer to a nearby temple in order to stay dry.|
Namphu’s father had an accident. As the result, his right leg was amputated before Namphu was born. Namphu has never met his mother. There is no picture of her. His father had prosthesis and was able to do some labor work in an iron factory. But a couple of years ago, his prosthesis broke into two pieces because of overuse. He has tried to get it fixed at the district hospital a couple times, but it costs too much to travel there. Eventually, Namphu’s father had to quit his job at the iron factory. Now he sometimes gets hired to prepare bread for fish food. He makes 30-40 Baht a day, but he isn’t hired every day.
Above: Saranyu Kraiharn or "Namphu" and his 38-year father
Buttom: Inside of the runied house where Namphu stays with his fater
Every day, Namphu gets up very early in the morning to ask the monks for some left over food. He brings the food back home for his father and for his lunch at school. He then has to walk 4 kilometers to his school. If his father made some money from work the day before, he gives Namphu 10 Baht. When Namphu gets the money, he deposits 5 Baht to the school bank. He doesn’t buy candy or small toys like other children can. He is often made fun of by the other children because he is so poor. His father teaches him not to be bothered by that. He tells Namphu that he has nothing to be ashamed of. He teaches Namphu to study hard, to finish school, and to find a good job.
Surroundings of Namphu's house and his father's broken prosthesis.
When school is over, Namphu has to hurry home and finish his homework before it gets dark. He has to use candle light to read books, because he doesn’t have electricity at his house. After he finishes his homework, Namphu goes to the canal behind the house to get some water for drinking and bathing. The water is stagnant, and not healthy, but it is their only source.
Some evenings, the food that Namphu got from the temple in the morning, gets spoiled. The father and son have to get through the night without anything to eat. Sometimes, if they are lucky, other people might share some food with them.
Photo of Namphu in Thai student uniform that enclosed together with his scholarship application subitted to EDF
Even though Namphu has many challenges in his life, he is quite a good student. His GPA is more than 3.0 every semester. He likes science. His dream is to be an engineer so he can supports his father. Next year, he will be going to junior high school, and that is the reason that Namphu has applied for scholarship from EDF.
Namphu knows that there are many students who do not have any opportunity and need financial assistance like him. He is glad to be a representative for those children to tell their life stories. There are many children who live in remote areas and have very little opportunity. Education can improve their future. These children usually disappear from the education system. They are at risk of becoming child laborers or victims of human trafficking. Without a boost, they are stuck in the poverty cycle forever. They are born in poor families where there is no money for basic needs, food, transportation, electricity, or money for a simple snack at school. These children are hoping for an opportunity to change their lives forever.