Former sponsored child becomes construction technician

When Tula Plegsai was growing up in rural Thailand, he dreamed of building a strong home for his family. World Vision child sponsorship helped him gain the education to pursue a construction technician career.

By Somluck Khamsaen and Kristy J. O’Hara
Published September 10, 2013 at 02:45pm PDT

In the village where Tula Plegsai grew up in rural Thailand, rows of small, elevated wooden houses line a narrow dirt road for as far as the eye can see.

As a child, Tula wanted to provide the comfort of a stronger home for his family.

“I dreamed of [being] a home builder,” he says. “I wanted to create a comfortable home for my parents.”

Tula’s parents worked a corn field, reared animals, and often sought income as day laborers around Sanmakleua, a small village in northwestern Thailand. Their earnings went to buy food, and they struggled to pay bills or school fees for Tula and his three siblings. They didn’t have much, but even as a child he could appreciate the value of having a loving family.

“It was such a good experience being in a family where you’re living in peace, although we were living in poverty,” he says.

A change

When he was 12, Tula became a World Vision sponsored child. In addition to receiving financial help throughout his middle school and high school years, he also got assistance with tangible needs.

“I am physically a big person,” he says. “It was hard to find second-hand clothes that fit me. If I bought them, they would be expensive. World Vision helped by giving me a uniform, bags, books, sweaters, and school fees as I studied in high school.”

Tula’s sponsor often wrote and encouraged him. “It motivated me to complete my studies and not give up easily,” says Tula.

Pursuing dreams

Following his childhood dream to build a home for his parents, he chose to study construction in college.

“I want to build a building with security standards, so anyone can use it in happiness,” he says.

After graduating from Lampang University, Tula got a job as a technician overseeing construction. He loves his job and hopes to someday own his own construction company and continue his education by studying construction law.

Tula is also grateful to World Vision and his sponsor for helping him reach this point.

Sponsorship through World Vision “is like a gift to underprivileged children,” says Tula. “I think education can provide better opportunities. Then there are more possibilities for them to grow up to be good adults.”

Learn more

World Vision child sponsorship applies a holistic approach to fighting poverty, providing benefits both to an individual child and his or her entire family and community. World Vision team members meet with members of the community to determine the greatest needs — like food security, clean water, access to medical care and education, economic development, and more.

Over time, World Vision equips the community to become self-sufficient and able to meet its own challenges. The long-term goal is freedom from poverty, both for individuals and for the community as a whole. As their basic needs are met, children like Tula have a chance to pursue their dreams and their God-given talents.

Read a blog post about World Vision’s approach to community development and how child sponsorship is the foundation.

Get involved

Thank God that Tula has a chance to follow his dream. Pray that his work would be a blessing to many others.

Sponsor a child today in a country of your choice. Your support can help a child in need grow up to be a healthy, productive adult. You’ll also have a unique opportunity to build a special relationship with him or her along the way.