When we first met a poor ten-year-old girl named Oraya, we didn’t know she was exceptional. She didn’t appear much different from the countless bedraggled street kids we meet every day. Oraya came from a broken home, and ended up in the care of an Aunt, a street food vendor, who could not afford to keep her niece in school.
Oraya wanted nothing more than the chance to go to school, make friends, and play with other kids her age.
There’s nothing unusual about poor kids wanting to go to school. Pretty much all of them do.
We enrolled Oraya in our education sponsorship program so she could complete first grade, and hoped that, with tutoring and outreach at Mercy Centre, she would stay in school, maybe even thrive.
Please join us for a Gala Dinner
to celebrate the 88th birthday of
His Majesty The King of Thailand
Monday - December 7, 2015
Grand Hyatt Hotel
123 Collins Street
3 Course Dinner with beer, wines and soft drinks
Khun Ging Muenpair
Khun Dew The Star 5
Melbourne Jazz Ensemble with guest vocalists
Auctions - prizes include:
Two return tickets to Thailand with Thai Airways
Two return tickets to Thailand with Singapore Airlines
Two return tickets to Thailand with Jet Star
Tickets - $110 per person
Dr. Simon 0402 288 229
Khun Boston 0413 367 909
Khun Dum 0425 848 302
Khun Amy 0416 845 070
All profits to be donated to TIWA and the Human Development Foundation-Mercy Centre in Klong Toey, Bangkok
A poor five-year-old Cambodian girl named Panda says in perfect Thai: “This morning I studied English. Now I am solving multiplication problems. I love coming to school! My teacher, Kru Rat, teaches me new things every day."
Welcome to our special school for children living in the Sukhumvit Soi 24 construction workers camp. While their parents are working in nearby construction sites, these children attend our humble, one-room school, on-site in the workers camp. Most of these children are Cambodian and lack the Thai identity papers required to attend regular public schools.
They rarely leave the camp. But going to school opens up their eyes and takes them beyond their narrow universe. And it gives them the experience and joy of learning in a safe place where kids, no matter how poor or what their circumstance, can just be kids.
Their teacher, Kru Rat, has seen over one hundred children come and go during her three years at the school. She tells us, “My students are quick and clever learners. Like every child, they deserve the chance to go to school. Besides, living in a worker camp can be harsh and dangerous. When they can read, write, and understand the Thai language, they will be better able to look after and protect themselves.”
Currently we operate six construction camp schools throughout the city. Photos by Diane Durongpisitkul.