The Janusz Korczak School of SE Asia serves the orphans and street children of Thailand who have no place to go to school and no place to learn and play with other school children.

Janusz Korczak was a Polish-Jewish educator and pediatrician who introduced progressive orphanages into Poland, trained teachers in what is now called moral education, and pioneered the legal rights of children everywhere. During the Nazi occupation of Poland, his Jewish orphanage was removed to the Warsaw Ghetto. Korczak refused an offer of help for his own safety. Months later, he and his children walked together in quiet dignity to the train bound for Treblinka, where they perished.

This school is dedicated to the memory of Janusz Korczak and to the children in his care who perished during World War II.


  • To educate street children
  • To give illiterate adults the opportunity to learn to read and write
  • To give all children in our care the opportunity to explore the arts – music, dance, drawing and woodworking.

The Need:
In the past we have had extreme difficulties in educating certain groups of slum children. One group includes older children from the streets who are far behind their peers and have little or no confidence in their intellectual skills

Another group, representing the most academically motivated poor children, has few opportunities to advance within the formal Thai education system.

In addition, for various reasons, including physical and emotional disabilities, many of our own children at Mercy Centre, as well as numerous neighborhood children, cannot attend formal government schools.

Established in 2004, our Janusz Korczak School addresses each of these groups.

In 2006, we expanded the schools mission into the arts and music for all our Mercy Centre children.

In 2007, the school’s mission expanded further to include literacy courses as well as primary and secondary school equivalency training for adults in the slums who never had the chance to attend or complete basic school.


  1. Students enrolled in our literacy program receive individualized instruction with emphasis on basic Thai reading and writing skills, math, history, home economics and physical education in preparation for entry into government primary and secondary schools.
  2. The curriculum for exceptional academic students is English-based, accelerated, and personalized to prepare them for college and university.
  3. Mercy Centre children of all ages attend after-school and weekend arts and computer classes.
  4. After-work evening and weekend adult classes, focusing on preparation for primary and secondary school equivalency exams, are open to all our staff and neighbors.

Success Story:
Sunisa joined our Mercy family as a young teenager. Raised in a poor hill tribe village, she had never gone to school and could speak only her local hill tribe language. She entered our Janusz Korczak School and began an informal primary school education. After two years, we were able to place Sunisa in a local high school. Today she is completing a vocational college degree in accounting.

Related Mercy Centre Education Programs:

Education Sponsorships

Mercy Kindergartens

Special Southern Projects

Related Mercy Centre Child Protection Programs:

Mercy Homes and Shelters

Anti-Trafficking and Legal Aid Centre

Related Photo Galleries:

Thanksgiving Day for Our Teachers 2010, Part 1

Thanksgiving Day for Our Teachers 2010, Part 2

Thanksgiving Day - 2009

Related Articles by Father Joe

Almost Sweet Sixteen (2005)