Rachanee Sereechaithaweepong (Took), regional human resource officer
I started working with JRS in 1990 as an administrator at Soi Luecha. At that time, JRS was still working in the Cambodian border camps.

From time to time staff and volunteers would stay as our guests. I learnt a lot during this time and got to know many Father’s and volunteers. I would always ask myself, wow can I support them? 

There is one experience that it always in my mind.  One day, Fr Pierre Ceyrac, SJ, who worked in the Site Two camp, came to our office with a Vietnamese lady.  She was sick with cancer. He took her to the Chulalongkorn Hospital and then came to stay at our guest house.
He talked to me and requested my assistance. The Vietnamese lady’s name was Thong Dong May. She needed to stay in Bangkok as she had to visit the hospital many times. Fr Pierre asked me to take her to the hospital and help translate as she spoke very little Thai. In the beginning I was unaware of what her illness was. 

I learnt that she needed chemotherapy. 

She spent some time in the hospital and would then rest at our office and wait for Fr Pierre to take her back to the camp to see her family. She had one daughter but I can’t remember her age. This continued for some time. Her health improved and she returned to the camp. I then heard that she was unwell again. Again, Fr Pierre brought her to Bangkok and the doctor repeated the chemotherapy. This time it was more serious as she could not eat and was very weak. I would always see her at the house and chat to her whilst she rested.

She would always talk about her family and children; she missed them a lot. Sometimes she would bleed from her nose. Once I sent her to the hospital and the doctor said they couldn’t help her anymore and sent her home. I contacted Fr Pierre and told him about this.  He came immediately to collect her so she could stay with her family.  

I then heard from Fr Pierre that she had passed away peacefully.  

This was the first time that I had to take care of a sick person. I didn’t believe I could do this but found inspiration from my belief that we must support both the poor and one another. 

Rachanee Sereechaithaweepong (Took), Regional Human Resource Officer

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