It’s early afternoon as I write you – a day much like any other day at Mercy.
Our kids are all in school. Our patients are gossiping and laughing in the garden behind our hospice. Members of our slum women’s credit union come and go, depositing ten or twenty baht in their savings accounts and sharing news of their family with our social workers.
It’s sometimes difficult to put a precise measure on what happens here day-to-day. There are so many moments that don’t fall neatly into a statistic.
But the statistics we keep at Mercy Centre are meaningful, and I wish to share a few of them with you on this beautiful day:
2011 Statistics – The Scope of Mercy Outreach:
Children Receiving Assistance:
Mercy Centre Children: 237
Kindergarten Students 2,493
Education Sponsorships/Bangkok 621
Education Sponsorships/Sea Gypsies 387
Legal Aid Cases 1,177
Janusz Korcak School Students 32
Koh Lao students 50
HIV/AIDS Homecare 59
International College Students 12
AIDS Education and Outreach 1,505
Obtaining Birth/Identify Documents 125
Street children we protect daily 221
Adults and Families Receiving Assistance:
Credit Union Members 802
Hospice patients 123
HIV/AIDS Homecare Patients 365
AIDS Outreach at Government Hospitals 3,534
Koah Lao Sea Gypsy Project/Families 268
Janusz Korczak School/Adult Students 73
Elderly and indigent 103
New Homes and Repairs 13
One more statistic (I’ve saved the best for last): Twenty-four Mercy children were able to return home last year to live with their families.
From the first day a child joins our Mercy family, we begin to look for the child’s real family and explore ways to bring the child home.
Sometimes it takes years to reunite a family with a Mercy child, but we never give up. One 16-year-old Mercy boy named Boat thought he had no family at all. This week, for the first time, he met his Auntie and a half-sister. His story is so complicated it would take hundreds of pages to explain, but the most important point is this, as Boat himself explains: “I never thought I was anybody. I didn’t even have identity papers. Now I know who I am. I am somebody!”
Thank you, everyone, for your support. Please do visit our Mercy Centre. You are all a part of our Mercy family.
Usanee Janngeon and the Mercy Teams