What happens to those girls who sell flowers on the streets and in the bars and restaurants in Bangkok? They come and they go. But where do they sleep? Who cares for them? What happens to them when they are too old to be flower girls?
Father Joe wrote a story about one such girl from his Parish in the Slaughterhouse neighborhood - a lady now in her thirties who sold flowers in the Pat Pong sex district beginning at age five. The article, written in 2004, is titled, "When Flower Girls Grow Up," and you can read it here.
Recently a documentary filmmaker, James Linwood, has returned to this story. We want to share with you a short clip (only about one minute long) that James put together about the flower girls of Bangkok. Fr. Joe narrates. You can watch it here.
Formal Launch at The Johnstons Music Festival
Concert Details: www.thejohnstonsmusicfestival.com
Some of our best friends in the world have recently started “The Irish Foundation for Mercy Centre,” a charity based in Dublin that will help raise awareness and increase support for our Mercy Centre in Bangkok.
The Irish chapter is the initiative of musician and Folklorist, Professor Mick Moloney of New York University. Mick Moloney, along with Paul Brady, Michael and Lucy Johnston are the surviving members of Irish Folk Group “The Johnstons,” one of Ireland’s most famous musical families. The other founding member Adrienne Johnston died in 1981. The remaining members will perform a reunion concert in Drogheda on Saturday June 25 at the first annual Johnstons Music Festival.
The June 25 performance will also serve as a celebration of the formal launch of “The Irish Foundation for the Mercy Centre.” Fr. Joe, our Executive Director Ms. Usanee, and Mercy colleagues will be attending the concerts and wish to invite all our friends throughout Ireland to join in the celebration for the best of music, mirth, and craic.
On May 31, 2011 the Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Head of the Embassy of Poland, Dr. Zygmunt Langer visited our Mercy Centre to present gifts to the children and teachers of our Janusz Korczak School. These gifts included several photographs of the life and work of Jansuz Korczak, a hero to the people of Poland and Israel, and to poor children everywhere.
Dr. Janusz Korczak was a Polish-Jewish educator, pediatrician, and orphanage director who introduced progressive orphanages in Poland, trained teachers in what is now called moral education, and pioneered the legal rights of children everywhere. In 1942, when 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.
Our school for street children is dedicated to the memory of Janusz Korczak and to the children in his care who perished during World War II.
The gift of photographs from the Embassy of Poland will become a permanent school exhibit. Photograph above: Korczak’s Orphanage Orchestra, Below: Minister Counsellor Dr. and Mrs. Langer, Fr. Joe, teachers and students. More photos here. Janusz Korczak School of SE Asia - Program Description.