Today is a grand and glorious day. All our children’s dreams come true today: Graduation day for 500 of our kindergarten children. Graduating from kindergarten 3 into the first grade into the normal Thai Government school system. We gather all the ‘graduates’ – dress them in “Graduation Robes” and make this the most memorable day of their lives thus far!!!! And me, I dress in my Ph D Robes - which are ‘savagely awesome’ (to quote Gung Fu Panda #2) - and formally give each child a graduation diploma – signed by me and the local Government head man. All their parents are here and proud as only Klong Toey folks can be proud!!!
In our 40 plus years, counting today and tomorrow’s ceremonies, we have hit the 50,000 mark!!!! That’s right !!! Fifty Thousand children have gone through our slum school system. That “blows me away.” What an honor and privilege to teach slum kids, who without this early schooling would be crippled for life –crrippled meaning. a pretty much illiterate future and sure poverty. We’ve changed all that/ Actually, not us, the children themselves have done it!!!
So today, before all the ceremonies begin – I wanted to share this with you all, and thank you with all my heart – my deepest gratitude for making all of this possible. You, our Mercy Family, are simply stupendous – beyond belief in your goodness to our 50,000 children throughout over 40 years.
Please continue to help – wouldn’t it be fabulous that you help child 50,001!!!!!
Must go … they are calling me “do my bit” - to tell the children: GO TO SCHOOL GO TO SCHOOL AND THAT THEY ARE “MERCY GRADUATES.’
Because... what happens today…. is life changing and has to last for a life time.
Prayers Respectfully Fr. Joe
Photos above and below from today's graduation ceremony. Photo gallery here.