Renoo’s Ranch — AIDS was always something that happened to someone else. This year, it happened to someone in Renoo’s family – a 16-year-old granddaughter in Thailand who was infected after a sexual encounter. She also became pregnant. In Thailand, religion still plays a major role in people’s lives – especially if they are Muslim. A good Islamic girl does not have sex before marriage; even worse, she does not contact AIDS. But, says Tom Mudpongtua, “Last year, in the south of Thailand, a young girl got in a serious accident and had to have a blood transfusion. The blood was contaminated and she got AIDS. After going to the doctor, no one would talk to her, even her family. She killed herself.” Mudpongtua is the father of the 16-year-old and executive director of Renoo’s Ranch, named after his mother, who donated the 35 acres of land 100 miles southeast of Bangkok, where young girls can go to reclaim their lives and build hope for the future. Renoo is also the mother of Asian Heritage Society founder Rosalynn Carmen. There is no education about AIDS in Thailand, neither from the government or religion. “But you can’t hide the fact that more and more kids are becoming infected,” said Mudpongtua. “And with global travel expanding, there will be more – in Asia, in the U.S., in the world.  For Muslim girls right now, who are infected, there is no hope. This is our glimmer.” To support Renoo’s Ranch