Wednesday, 31 December 2008 01:51

Ancient traditions assume the Magi travelled on camels, and maybe ... just maybe ... if they passed through Thailand on their way ... they switched to elephants or even ox carts

Those in power write the history; those who suffer write the songs, and they who give the orders are never those who die.

But once it was different, and so it is every Christmas.

At that first Christmas midnight, angels in the high heavens sang for joy over Bethlehem - a blessed joy that carried over the Judean hills and around the world, and has continued to do so every year on this day, for 2,008 years now.

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Monday, 17 November 2008 08:13

By Father Frank Mann
[as published in The Queens Gazette]

There is an extraordinary spirituality that shines throughout the story of Father Joseph Maier. His heroic struggles offering trailblazing hope and promise are remarkably astonishing. A uniquely fearless man, sporting unwavering courage, Father Joe is likewise one of those certain few who just might be worthy of being bestowed the title "prophet". His unshakable faith both uplifts and inspires, transforming darkness into light in so many unimaginable ways.

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Thursday, 06 November 2008 12:12

In the end, Miss Sao, now 15 years old, came across Bangkok town with us to try to find out who her parents were so she could get her I.D. papers. We had the firepower with us - a Klong Toey plainclothes lad, and another from Special Branch - just in case. Plus her beloved substitute mum, Teacher, the one who had smuggled her out of the slum that rainy midnight eight years before. Tippy-toed past the rented shack where Miss Sao lived with her auntie, granny and grandfather - the sex abuser - to escape to safety and freedom.

Teacher had bought a bottle of foreign whiskey (with a higher alcohol content) for Sao's grand father. It was a high risk move, because liquored up was when he looked for his grand daughter, to come sit on his lap. But it worked. He passed out: totally hammered. She hadn't been back in all that time. Didn't dare. We didn't dare.

 

But justice comes in strange packages. Grandfather died, despised and unwanted after three years in a prison cell. The only ones still living in the rented shack were her dad's younger brother and his wife, the auntie who slapped her to stop her crying when grandfather hollered for her to come and give him a hug. Grandmother too had since died. Sao didn't know anything about her mum and dad, not even their names. Was always told they were useless and better off dead. So eventually, she stopped asking.

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Saturday, 25 October 2008 08:32

Written by Earle Hitchner, in Echo Lifestyle

A standing ovation greeted Father Joseph Maier when he walked onto the stage at Manhattan’s Symphony Space about midway through a special benefit concert on Sunday night, Oct. 12. “Father Joe: Slum Priest,” an eight-minute segment on him and his great work at Bangkok’s Mercy Centre, had just been shown from PBS-TV’s “Religion and Ethics Newsseekly” series on a large stage screen.

On at least two occasions the audience applauded statements he made in the segment about the need for a Catholic priest to be where Jesus would be, with the poorest of the poor in Bangkok, and how he would probably be thrown out of the United States because of the direct, effective manner in which he was fulfilling his religious vows and vocation.

“I hope you don’t believe any of that,” Father Joe said to the crowd from the stage after the PBS-TV segment was shown…

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Thursday, 23 October 2008 08:50
From Al Jazeera
Thursday, 02 October 2008 08:08
1.    What is the name of the event?
Walk for Education.

2.    Where will it be held?
Lumpini Park, Bangkok.

3.    When is the date and time of the event?
Sunday, October 26th, 2008.  Start 6.00 am, finish 11.00 am.

4.    Who is the organizer?
OutLaurs PR & Event Management on behalf of Human Development Foundation-Mercy Centre.

5.    What is Mercy Centre?
The HDF-Mercy Centre, a nondenominational community-based field organization, was founded in 1972 by Father Joe Maier and Sister Maria Chantavoradom to help strengthen the poorest communities and protect their children. Its Mercy Centre includes four homes and shelters for orphans; an adult AIDS hospice; a home for children and mothers living with HIV/AIDS; the largest of its Mercy preschools; and the administration center of HDF’s many community services.

Today the foundation cares for over 200 children in its homes and shelters, operates 30 preschools, and has long standing programs in place in the areas of education, child-protection, HIV/AIDS, and community services.

6.    Who is Father Joe?
The Director and Co-founder of the Human Development Foundation, Father Joseph Maier, a US-born Catholic Priest, settled in Thailand in the early ‘70s.  He holds advanced degrees in Theological Studies and Urban Planning as well as honorary doctoral degrees in Social Administration from Thammasart University in Thailand and Acadia University in Canada. He has received many honors for his work at the Human Development Foundation. In 2004, Her Majesty the Queen of Thailand presented Father Joe with a lifetime achievement award for his work in the field of protection of mothers and children.

7.    What is the purpose of this event?
To support the  HDF’s Education Programs, which include:
•    30 Slum Preschools in Bangkok (over 4,000 poor children enrolled)
•    Over 1,000 Educational Sponsorships for the Poorest Children through high school and as far as their education can take them.
•    The Janusz Korczak School of SE Asia for street children
•    The Mokan (ethnic Sea Gypsy) Pioneer Education Program

8.    Is this the first “Walk for Education”?
This will be the very first, and we believe it will grow in strength and numbers as an annual event.

9.    Who are the participants?
Mercy Centre’s staff and children… corporate sponsors and their staff… local and international schools and their students… the general public… all are invited to participate.

10.    What activities will be on hand along the route?
Festivities and entertainment will be happening non stop, including performances by HDF children, win-win games, magic shows show in a children’s area with giant board games and jig-saw puzzles, lucky draws, a music-dance corner, food stalls, even a children’s mini-soccer pitch.


11.    Will there be refreshments, and extra facilities along the walk?
Yes, the participants can enjoy “pit stops” along the route with entertainment at most every turn in the road. Security will be on hand to ensure everyone’s safety.

12.    How far is the walk?
The circuit is approximately 2 km. Most participants will walk a single circuit of 2 km. Some groups, however, may be sponsored on the basis of number of kilometers walked. These groups are welcome to walk as many circuits as they wish before the closing time at 11:00am.
.
13.    Where is the starting point and the finishing point?
The starting point is the Lan Tawanyim at 6.00 am.
The finishing point is Lan Kijakam Banteong.

14.    What kind of souvenirs will participants receive?
Everyone who joins the walk will receive a “goodie-bag” full of gifts from event sponsors, along with a certificate of participation.

15.    How can I participate in this event?
Please contact OutLaurs PR, Khun Tom/Khun Rin/Khun Fang, Tel. 02-636-2610-2.
or at Mercy Centre : Khun Eat/Khun Yod, Tel. 02-671-5313 Ext. 262

16.    How can I or my company become a sponsor?
For more information, please contact OutLaurs PR, Khun Tom/Khun Rin/Khun Fang, Tel. 02-636-2610-2. or at Mercy Centre : Khun Eat/Khun Yod, Tel. 02-671-5313 Ext. 262

17.    How can I make donations to Mercy Centre?
There will be donation boxes available at the event. If you cannot attend but wish to make a donation, there will be sales of tickets for individuals at the Emporium. Tickets will also be available at the registration during the event.
For direct donation, here are details for bank transfer:
1. Standard Chartered Bank
Saving Account
Sathorn Branch
AC Name: Human Development Foundation
AC # 001-002-95-193

or

2. SCB Bank
Saving Account
AC Name: Human Development Centre
Thonglor Branch
AC# 042-2-42893-1

For donation receipts, please contact Khun Yod/ Khun Ning at Human Development Foundation, Tel. 02-671-5313 ext. 262.

18.    Who can I contact to ask for more information on this event?
OutLaurs PR & Event Management, Khun Tom/Khun Rin/Khun Fang, Tel. 02-636-2610-2.
Human Development Foundation-Mercy Centre, Khun Yod/ Khun Ning, Tel. 02-671-5313 ext. 262.

19.    What should I do if I get lost at the event?
The most convenient meeting point is Lan Tawan Yim and Lan Kijakam Banteong (starting & finishing point).  Also, along the route will be rest stops every 150 m. (approx.) with a staff to assist participants if they need directions or help of any kind.

20.    Where can I have breakfast or lunch?
There will be free snacks and drinks available at the starting and finishing points.

21.    Where can I find the restrooms?
Participants can find mobile restrooms located along the walking route with easily recognizable signage every 150 m. (approx.)

22.    How can my company register for the event?
The company should appoint a designated coordinator who can fill in the proper form with approx. number of staff attending the event and send the form back to Khun Tom/Khun Rin/Khun Fang, Tel. 02-636-2610-2, Fax. 02-636-2613. or at Mercy Centre: Khun Eat/Khun Yod, Tel. 02-671-5313 Ext. 262

At the event, there will be 3 registration areas; school registration area, corporate registration area, and individual registration area. The representative from each participating company can sign in on behalf of their staff.

23. Are participating companies required to make donations?
The participating companies and their staff are encouraged to make donation of any amount (no minimum cost).

24.    Are there printed materials of the event my company can hand out to help promote the event?
Yes, there are posters and leaflets that will be distributed to promote the event.  The companies may request the number of posters and leaflets they need to put up and distribute on their premises and the organizer will deliver to them.

24. How may companies make donations during or after the event?
The companies are advised to designate a coordinator who collects registration forms and donations. A company donation may be made to Mercy Centre within 14 days after the event by contacting Khun Yod/ Khun Ning at Human Development Foundation, Tel. 02-671-5313 ext. 262.
Thursday, 02 October 2008 07:59

1.    What is the name of the event?
Walk for Education.

2.    Where will it be held?

Lumpini Park, Bangkok.

3.    When is the date and time of the event?

Sunday, October 26th, 2008.  Start 6.00 am, finish 11.00 am.

4.    Who is the organizer?

OutLaurs PR & Event Management on behalf of Human Development Foundation-Mercy Centre.

5.    What is Mercy Centre?

The HDF-Mercy Centre, a nondenominational community-based field organization, was founded in 1972 by Father Joe Maier and Sister Maria Chantavoradom to help strengthen the poorest communities and protect their children. Its Mercy Centre includes four homes and shelters for orphans; an adult AIDS hospice; a home for children and mothers living with HIV/AIDS; the largest of its Mercy preschools; and the administration center of HDF’s many community services.

Today the foundation cares for over 200 children in its homes and shelters, operates 30 preschools, and has long standing programs in place in the areas of education, child-protection, HIV/AIDS, and community services.

6.    Who is Father Joe?
The Director and Co-founder of the Human Development Foundation, Father Joseph Maier, a US-born Catholic Priest, settled in Thailand in the early ‘70s.  He holds advanced degrees in Theological Studies and Urban Planning as well as honorary doctoral degrees in Social Administration from Thammasart University in Thailand and Acadia University in Canada. He has received many honors for his work at the Human Development Foundation. In 2004, Her Majesty the Queen of Thailand presented Father Joe with a lifetime achievement award for his work in the field of protection of mothers and children.

7.    What is the purpose of this event?

To support the  HDF’s Education Programs, which include:
•    30 Slum Preschools in Bangkok (over 4,000 poor children enrolled)
•    Over 1,000 Educational Sponsorships for the Poorest Children through high school and as far as their education can take them.
•    The Janusz Korczak School of SE Asia for street children
•    The Mokan (ethnic Sea Gypsy) Pioneer Education Program

8.    Is this the first “Walk for Education”?
This will be the very first, and we believe it will grow in strength and numbers as an annual event.

9.    Who are the participants?
Mercy Centre’s staff and children… corporate sponsors and their staff… local and international schools and their students… the general public… all are invited to participate.

10.    What activities will be on hand along the route?

Festivities and entertainment will be happening non stop, including performances by HDF children, win-win games, magic shows show in a children’s area with giant board games and jig-saw puzzles, lucky draws, a music-dance corner, food stalls, even a children’s mini-soccer pitch.

11.    Will there be refreshments, and extra facilities along the walk?
Yes, the participants can enjoy “pit stops” along the route with entertainment at most every turn in the road. Security will be on hand to ensure everyone’s safety.

12.    How far is the walk?
The circuit is approximately 2 km. Most participants will walk a single circuit of 2 km. Some groups, however, may be sponsored on the basis of number of kilometers walked. These groups are welcome to walk as many circuits as they wish before the closing time at 11:00am.
.
13.    Where is the starting point and the finishing point?

The starting point is the Lan Tawanyim at 6.00 am.
The finishing point is Lan Kijakam Banteong.

14.    What kind of souvenirs will participants receive?

Everyone who joins the walk will receive a “goodie-bag” full of gifts from event sponsors, along with a certificate of participation.

15.    How can I participate in this event?

Please contact OutLaurs PR, Khun Tom/Khun Rin/Khun Fang, Tel. 02-636-2610-2.
or at Mercy Centre : Khun Eat/Khun Yod, Tel. 02-671-5313 Ext. 262

16.    How can I or my company become a sponsor?
For more information, please contact OutLaurs PR, Khun Tom/Khun Rin/Khun Fang, Tel. 02-636-2610-2. Or at Mercy Centre : Khun Eat/Khun Yod,K.Ning Tel. 02-671-5313 Ext. 262

17.    How can I make donations to Mercy Centre?
There will be donation boxes available at the event. If you cannot attend but wish to make a donation, there will be sales of tickets for individuals at the Emporium. Tickets will also be available at the registration during the event.

For direct donation, here are details for bank transfer:
1. Standard Chartered Bank
Saving Account
Sathorn Branch
AC Name: Human Development Foundation
AC # 001-002-95-193

or

2. SCB Bank
Saving Account
AC Name: Human Development Centre
Thonglor Branch
AC# 042-2-42893-1

For donation receipts, please contact Khun Yod/ Khun Ning at Human Development Foundation, Tel. 02-671-5313 ext. 262.

18.    Who can I contact to ask for more information on this event?

OutLaurs PR & Event Management, Khun Tom/Khun Rin/Khun Fang, Tel. 02-636-2610-2.
Human Development Foundation-Mercy Centre, Khun Yod/ Khun Ning, Tel. 02-671-5313 ext. 262.

19.    What should I do if I get lost at the event?
The most convenient meeting point is Lan Tawan Yim and Lan Kijakam Banteong (starting & finishing point).  Also, along the route will be rest stops every 150 m. (approx.) with a staff to assist participants if they need directions or help of any kind.

20.    Where can I have breakfast or lunch?

There will be free snacks and drinks available at the starting and finishing points.

21.    Where can I find the restrooms?
Participants can find mobile restrooms located along the walking route with easily recognizable signage every 150 m. (approx.)

22.    How can schools register for the event?

Schools should appoint a designated school organizer who can fill in the proper form with approx. number of students attending the event and send the form back to Khun Tom/Khun Rin/Khun Fang, Tel. 02-636-2610-2, Fax. 02-636-2613. We recommend distributing a sign-up sheet for students.

At the event, there will be 3 registration areas; school registration area, corporate registration area, and individual registration area. The representative from the each participating school can sign in on behalf of their students.

23.    Are there printed materials of the event the school can hand out to help promote the event?
Yes, there are posters and leaflets that will be distributed to promote the event.  The schools may request the number of posters and leaflets they need to put up and distribute at their schools and the organizer will deliver to them.

24.    Do teachers need to chaperone their students at the event?

It is advised that every school participating in this event send representative(s) to chaperone their students, and to register for the students to prevent confusion.

25.  Are individual students required to make donations?
Students are encouraged to make donation of any amount (no minimum cost).

26. How may schools make donations during or after the event?

Schools will have a designated School Organizer, who will collect registration forms and donations. A school donation may be made to Mercy Centre within 14 days after the event by contacting Khun Yod/ Khun Ning at Human Development Foundation, Tel. 02-671-5313 ext. 262.

Thursday, 02 October 2008 07:49

Please Join Us for the
“Walk for Education”
at Lumpini Park
October 26, 2008
6:00-11:00am

Dear Friends of Mercy Centre,

We wish to invite you to join us - our staff and children - for a very special event, a fun-filled Sunday morning walk in Lumpini Park this coming October 26th.

Friends have organized the event to include plenty of entertainment for all ages, especially children, so please bring your whole family as well as friends, and colleagues. You are all most welcome!

All proceeds from the event will go to strengthen and expand our education programs, which include:
• 30 Mercy Preschools in Bangkok’s Slums
• Over 1,000 Education Sponsorships for the poorest children, including orphaned, abused and abandoned street children and children living with HIV.
• The Janusz Korczak School of SE Asia for street children
• Mokan (ethnic Sea Gypsy) Pioneer Education Project

Ways To Sponsor or Assist the Organizers:
• Cash donation
• Donating your product or Gifts-in-Kind
• Participation as volunteer on the event day
• Providing fundraising support

Several companies and local schools will be walking with us as well.

For more information, please contact: K. Fang or K Rin at OutLaurs Public Relations: 0-2636-2611 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
You can also contact us - K. Prawina or K. Chalermrat at our Mercy Centre: 0-2671-5313; or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

This event is very important to the poor children in our schools and to those who receive our education sponsorships through high school, vocational college and university. We do hope you will join together with all of us to help make the “Walk for Education” a great day for poor children.

If you are a school and wish to participate, please read our FAQ for Schools.

If you wish to be a sponsor, please read our FAQ for Sponsors.

Kind regards,
Usanee Janngeon
Executive Director

P.S. Tickets/registration cards are available at The Emporium Department Store before the event, or in Lumpini Park at the “walk” on October 26.

 

Wednesday, 01 October 2008 12:28
Irish Musicians
Wednesday, 01 October 2008 12:11

BANGKOK, Thailand: When Father Joe got word that George W. Bush was planning to visit the children he cares for in Bangkok's largest slum, the first thing the American priest did was ask them: "Do you want to meet him?"

Rev. Joseph H. Maier, a tough, no-nonsense man who mixes easily with drug pushers, thugs and prostitutes, is hardly known for being deferential — even when it comes to the president of the United States.

George W. Bush

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