I'm concerned about some info in Thanapat's letter

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The project worker who composed Thanapat's latest letter mentioned a couple of things that are concerning. In it he says this: "He is studying at a Border Patrol Police School on a mountain." On a mountain - that's cute! I Googled that and it's quite interesting actually but it's what he says next that alarms me: "The teachers cannot teach the students very well." That's bad enough but he doesn't elucidate at all. I really hate to broach this subject in a letter to the boy. The worker then goes on to say: "He is very small but his friends are bigger than him." Again, I don't want to chance giving this little feller a complex about his size by saying too much before I know more. He didn't say if the boy is being bullied or such, or whether he's related any problems caused him due to his stature. Can I query the worker about this in letters intended for Thanapat? I could use some advice. I'll add a pic of the letter. 
Best Regards in Christ
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mark bowen

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Jennifer

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Another sponsor here --- another possible interpretation based on the sentence before is that he has started school earlier than some of the other children. I hope you can get some clarity on these! It's a sweet letter otherwise!
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Mark, I appreciate your care and concern for Thanapat. His school and training is likely similar to boy scouts here in the US - it may have it's roots in the military but may be geared towards educating and empowering youth. I will say that the area where Thanapat lives, among the Karen in northern Thailand, is a very mountainous and wooded area. There are many mountains nearby. The staff may also be relating the reason why he went to the Boarder Patrol school. In other words, maybe they do not have good regular schools in the area and this was the best school for him with better teachers. The Border Patrol is supported by the Thai royal family so I imagine that they may have better resources than other schools. Here in the US, many people go to Catholic schools for similar reasons. Jennifer may be right that he started school early or maybe he is a smaller size due to malnutrition earlier in life. That said, the tutor does not mention any bullying and I wouldn't read too much into that or necessarily ask about his size. I would maybe ask in a letter for more information about the school he is going to and what the tutor meant when he said that the teachers cannot teach well if you are interested in learning more. 
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mark bowen

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Thanks for your reply Susan, I'm praying about all of these things.  
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mark bowen

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I write a letter. I wait for a letter. I wait for a letter.
On 7-13-17 I received a reply dated 6-07-17 from the compassion worker, Siriphat Luekor, on behalf of Thanapat. Today, 8-02-17, I got a letter dated 6 July 2017 from Mrs. Siriphat Luekor and though its composition isn't identical the format is; It's virtually identical.

She writes in both letters that Thanapat is pleased with the 3,174 baht I sent for his birthday. She says he was bought a toy car, shoes, a bag and a cap. The rest of the money will be saved for snacks at school. She is apparently unaware that I know that 3,174 baht, the equivalent of 2-3 months of his father's wages, will buy much more than that. Much more. 
I'm adding screenshots of the letters and you can divine the reason for my consternation yourself.
Sincerely
Mark Bowen
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Mark, I sincerely apologize for the consternation in regards to these letters that are supposedly thanking you for a very generous gift. I agree with you that everything having to do with these two letters is very strange. It definitely sounds like there is some confusion at his center in regards to Thanapat's letters. I noticed that both of these letters were labeled as "Beneficiary Initiated Letter" which is why they are missing our normal label at the top which is supposed to ensure that thank you letters are processed correctly. The fact that these two letters were written by different staff members and are virtually identical concerns me. In addition, neither of these letters include a photo and you had sent more than $60. If they were in fact for the gifts mentioned, a photo should have been attached. To be honest, I am not sure exactly why this happened and I assure you I will get to the bottom of it and make sure that you receive what you are entitled to receive as a valued donor. I have sent an inquiry to request an explanation form Thanapat's center and I will follow up with you just as soon as I hear back from Thailand in the coming weeks. Thank you for your patience as we work on getting you the answers that you deserve. 
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Mark, as I looked into this further, I noticed that we sent an inquiry in early July requesting this thank you letter. That might explain the basic stationary used as they would have been trying to send the letter as soon as possible. Also, if the staff were already working on a thank you letter when they were told they needed a letter immediately that would explain their confusion and duplicate letters. According to the inquiry response, the letter dated 6/7/2017 (or July 6, 2017 as they list the day first) is intended to be the thank you letter for this gift. A photo is attached at the very bottom (I apologize as I did not see the photo before). The photo shows Thanapat with many toys - a large truck and several smaller ones in addition to the shoes, bag, cap, and snacks. I believe that explains more where the gift money has gone. That said, please let me know if this explanation is sufficient for you and I will follow up with Thailand as needed.
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mark bowen

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THANKS FOR YOUR REPLY Susan. I assumed both letters were written by the same person who, for some reason, spelled her name differently because the names seemed too similar to be two separate people. ?? Both letters did have a photo of Thanapat - the same photo and I was extremely moved (as I am now just thinking of it) seeing him looking (as I imagine) very happy.
As to the money, I assumed that the itemization and explanation of the expenditures was incomplete merely because she reasoned that I wouldn't know the difference and thus saved herself the bother of more details. I know that the few items that were bought for him didn't put much of a dent into the Tb 3000 and . . . I assumed the details that were skipped would have been that the remaining funds would be used for family necessities.
I am puzzled. I received the first gift acknowledgement letter shortly after contacting you about it. I suppose it's possible that they had already mailed a letter when they got your enquiry and so mailed another while forgetting that one had already been sent. Odd that the wording is nearly identical. It kinda makes it difficult to give them and that branch of the Compassion organization the benefit of the doubt.

I have had no concerns that the money has possibly been the victim of any misappropriation but clarity and accuracy are important I think.

Blessings in Christ.
(Edited)
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Mark, I understand from your posts that you are very skeptical of this center. That said, I want to be sure that I am fully addressing all of your concerns. I believe what you are asking for and expecting is an itemized report of what was purchased. Am I understanding you correctly? Or what would ideally need to happen for us to earn back your trust at this point?
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mark bowen

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Susan, I don't know that I'm very skeptical but it seems that some degree of skepticism is beginning to develop. I understand about human nature and our inherent frailties so the last thing I want is to be hard on them with unreasonable demands; I want the best for all involved in this project. What I don't want is to create an adversarial atmosphere with the workers at the center.

I know that, over time, performing the same routine over and over can result in an indifferent attitude towards a previously held commitment to a conscientiously motivated duty. I'm pretty sure these workers have voluntarily given their time out of a love for Christ and I appreciate their sacrifice, but as you know, "a job worth doing is worth doing well." 

The fact that they continually need reminded to perform the necessary details of their chosen service shows that there's a problem that hasn't been resolved yet.

I don't know what the answer is and maybe I expect too much; sometimes I do expect others to perform at a higher standard than they are able to attain. Above all, I pray that everyone involved will be highly scrupulous, honest and forthcoming about the monies spent in addition to reporting all of the pertinent facts related to my sponsored children's communications. 

P.S. Soon I'll be requesting an enquiry into Tutor's gift acknowledgement letter for the family gift I sent in February. In his latest letter his helper made mention of his and my mutual birthdays and wished me a happy one. She thanked me for his promised birthday gift, which I sent last month, but didn't say that he'd actually received it.

She praised my letter writing style, (I was very flattered) and thanked me profusely for my efforts. I was also concerned that she mentioned Tutor's father and grandmother, because in the introductory info I got when I sponsored him it said that he lived with his mom and dad and they both tried to remain employed. Then, in his form letter, he said he wanted to someday meet his mother, and me :(

That revelation threw me for a loop as I was aware that Thanapat's mother had passed and he was being raised by his dad and grandma. So now I have to try to get to the bottom of this.

Thanks for your time Susan
Blessings
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Good afternoon Mark, 

I am so sorry to see that you have had such conflicting feelings regarding all that is happening with Thanapat. It seems to me that through the conversation that you and Susan have had, at this point there is not much more you would like us to do, rather you would like to see how well your next thank you letter is written, and how full the explanation is. If I am wrong in assuming this please let us know and we will surely work toward resolving this further!

However, I do agree with you that we have inconsistent/ contradictory information about Thanapats mother. As I also see in one of his letters that he said he likes to go fishing with his mother. Because of this, I am sending an inquiry to see when she passed away and see if we can get any additional details. Often times we do have a translation issue, as they may mean grandmother or step mother, but regardless we do want to clarify for you! Please know we will get this information to you as soon as possible, but an inquiry does typically take roughly 45 days. 

Have a wonderful evening! 
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mark bowen

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Thank you for your reply Shannon. What a chore it is click click clickin' through all them letters, there needs to be a more user-friendly format, I'm worn out waiting on Generating Previews. I confess I missed that about Thanapat liking to fish with his mother. His introductory pamphlet said that he is being raised by his dad and grandma; his mom's passed on. SO, if he has a step-mom shouldn't I be privy to that detail? 

Now about Tutor: his introductory pamphlet said that he is being raised by his mom and dad, though in his latest form letter he indicated that he would like to meet his mother, and me, one day. In the same letter the helper thanked me for my concern for Tutor's father and grandmother. Surely they know what a grandmother is. 

I am merely doing my best here and I pray that's the case with all others involved. I don't have any
remedies to suggest. I just want the glitches and misunderstandings to cease.

Blessings Shannon
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Good morning Mark, 

Sometimes family dynamics do change and we are not notified. Also, even if Thanapats father began dating someone, the translator may use the term mom. I have found that these terms are used much more loosely than in the US. However, I did send that inquiry so we will have answers soon! :)

Secondly, I do apologize. I did not catch in your previous response that we had switched to Tutor. I do also agree with you that this information  on his account is contradictory. I have also sent an inquiry on this for you as well. 

We truly thank you for caring enough to notice these things. You are a blessings to these kiddos and we are thankful to have you as part of our Compassion family! We will get these answers to you as soon as possible! 
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mark bowen

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Thank you for your attention Shannon. I appreciate the efforts that you and the rest of the Compassion team make to these issues go more smoothly.
Blessings.

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