In the middle of a rice field, in the hills of northern Thailand, there is a place of healing, joy and the sound of children’s laughter, there is a place of life and hope.
Nikki’s Place/ Agape Home is a non-profit orphanage for babies and children who were born HIV positive or are living with AIDS. It was started in 1996 through the vision of a Canadian couple named Roy and Avis Rideout. Thavey Cordoba, Director of Communications here at Giesler LLC, is one of the daughters of Roy and Avis Rideout.
It all began with a little girl named Nikki who was born with the HIV virus and left to die as a newborn in the local hospital in Chiang Mai. At the age of two the Rideouts adopted her, and their burden grew into a home for this neglected segment of Thai society.
The Agape home children receive unconditional love and plenty of hugs. In addition to that important TLC, the children are given excellent medical care including the ARV drug. The results are truly astounding. Children who were formally given up for dead and failing to thrive are now going to school and living longer productive lives.
Agape home also provides early education through a preschool program on campus. After that, the children attend a public high school just like any other healthy child. The Agape Home is adamant that every child is given the opportunity for a good education, including attending university or college, if they are able, upon graduation.
Agape Home currently has over 100+ babies and children with several new building projects underway; one of which includes a 20-room dormitory. Agape Home depends entirely on sponsorships and donations. Unfortunately, COVID has stifled progress on this and many other endeavors, with the necessary financial support not available at this time.
The vision at Agape is BIG, and we would venture to say here at Giesler that the good they are doing is even greater. If you would like to know more about The Agape Home and how you can be a part of this inspiring vision, please visit their webpage and follow them on Facebook. Also be sure to check out their incredible program called Project Lek and Jarawee Village.
We leave you with a challenge from Avis herself from the ‘Women social entrepreneurs who are changing the world’ series, “Agape home today is a big place, and yes I had to work hard, I need to raise money, and I’m still doing it today, but the real question is what legacy are we leaving behind….. it’s not about how much work I do, or the ‘good’ I do,..…but what are we leaving behind? Every person is an individual, every person is valuable, and every person should have an opportunity.”
Sources: http://www.nikkisplace.org https://www.facebook.com/nikkisplaceagapehome/photos/?ref=page_internal https://youtu.be/IAoENDMDl5w