My name is Vanessa Leone Goosen, a South African born 18 December 1972.
I am so happy that you have come to my campaign which is updated through letters I send to friends and visits I receive from supporters.
12 long years have passed since my arrest at the Bangkok Airport [17 April 1994] for possession of 2.7 kg heroin. I am serving a life sentence.
Here in Lard Yao Women's Prison, I pray for a chance to have my freedom, my life, restored. I ask myself everyday, will I survive? I think often of my daughter Felicia, whom I gave birth to behind these bars, October 31, 1994 and who is now being raised by my best friend Melanie, back home in South Africa. I have missed much of her life and can only hope to have a chance, not to miss the rest of it.
I have submitted an appeal for Clemency in 2006 to His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej and I hope with all my heart that it will be successful.
At all times, I have tried to make the most of my situation here and improve myself so that someday, when I have the chance to begin my life again, I will be able to contribute in a meaningful way. I have learned to speak Thai and become computer literate in prison and have even been awarded three bars for good behaviour by the prison authorities. I have developed business skills and enrolled in various educational programs that have been offered to me. Life is not easy here, but I have tried to always make the most of any opportunities to better myself.
As a mother, I have been able to assist other mothers here and their newly born babies. Sadly, some of those are born with AIDS, tuberculosis and Drug addiction. This is so very tragic and has opened my eyes to things I never gave much thought to before. Now that I am older, I more aware and understand and support anti-drugs campaigns. We need to make sure our youth are informed and make the right choices in life.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me just a little. I hope you might write to me sometime and I'll do my very best to reply. I would appreciate any support you might give as I continue this journey towards, what I hope to be, my freedom.