In April 2010 we lost our only child, our daughter Sophie. She had just turned 24 on the 5th of February, and had finished her university studies with honor the year before. Sophie wanted to discover the world and went to work as a hostess in Egypt. She died there in a car crash on April 22nd. Our world and life without Sophie will never be the same.
And since that day, we have had the strong desire to have something tangible as Sophie’s legacy, yet we did not know what to do or how to begin.
Sophie is godmother of the third and youngest son (Julien, °2003) of our best friends Pierre and Jodie who live abroad. Pierre is French, and we’ve known each other since the early 80’s when we worked together for 3 years in Thailand. We are also godfather and godmother of their 2 other sons. They are family to us.
In the summer of 2011, during a visit to Pierre’s 95 year old mother, she had a request. Since the time of our stay in Thailand 30+ years ago, Pierre’s mother donated each year a sum of money to the Father Ray Foundation in Pattaya, but given her age, she was looking for someone to carry on the flame.
We accepted the commitment with pleasure.
Father Ray helps abandoned, disabled and orphaned children, among others, by ensuring their basic education. After some correspondence with the foundation, initially about the continuation of that sponsorship, our commitment evolved rapidly into a more elaborate idea, which finally led to the creation of The Sophie Daems Scholarship Program, a project under the wings of Father Ray and in collaboration with AMIE Belgium.
Talented children under Father Ray’s care don’t always have the possibility to pursue higher education. Sophie’s scholarship program’s purpose is to finance these studies (vocational training and university), so that the children can get a better diploma and a better chance to secure good jobs. Their higher education will also create more opportunities for a higher standard of living and brighter future.
We would like the fund to grow even further, through donations and sponsorships, so that an increasing number of children can benefit from this initiative.
We commit ourselves to this, by actively working on this program together with AMIE and the Father Ray Foundation.
It is our tribute to Sophie. In this way we hope to keep her name and spirit alive.
Jan & Anne-Marie