วันอังคาร, 26 พฤษภาคม 2558 06:37

A congressional staff delegation, accompanied by members of Washington D.C.’s Royal Thai Embassy, visited our Mercy Centre yesterday to observe our programs and initiatives in the areas of child protection, anti-trafficking, and sustainable development.  Highlights included a tour of our Janusz Korczak School for street children and our on-premise Mercy Kindergarten, where our students sang their favorite songs and were rewarded for their performance with ice cream on a stick – the perfect snack after their afternoon naps.  Along the way, Fr. Joe and Mercy staff showed our guests why it is an honor and privilege to work together with the poor.

วันจันทร์, 11 พฤษภาคม 2558 02:58

Dear Everybody,

Last week I was walking by our Janusz Korczak School – our informal school for street children – when Kru Pranee, a teacher at Mercy Centre for 38 years, beckoned me inside.

“Father Joe, I’m really proud of one my students, and want you to see why.”

Kru Pranee called out to the student, “Neena, come here a moment, and please tell Father Joe about our Solar System.”

Young Ms. Neena, age 8, a Cambodian girl who attends our Janusz Korczak School because she lacks the documents to attend regular government school, looked a bit nervous and shy. She wasn’t used to being front-and-center stage. The youngest in her class of 32 Korczak students, she’d rarely been called upon to demonstrate her knowledge about anything.

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วันพฤหัสบดี, 23 เมษายน 2558 04:47

Dear Everybody,


It’s an awesome time of the year here in Thailand. Totally awesome.


Flowering trees are in full bloom with every color of the rainbow: so bright and delicate and beautiful, it’s breathtaking. And our kids are taking advantage of every minute of their summer holidays. For at least the next few weeks, they have no mandatory daily duties, no classes to attend, and no obligations apart from looking after themselves and behaving well. They simply get up each morning and try to figure out what they need to do to capture every potential moment of joy during their summer holidays.


The Thai New Year water festival was crazy fun. Imagine: Four full days of splish-splash. Someone gave us a plastic wading pool 24 inches deep and we filled it with the garden hose water. And our five- and six-year olds (especially the girls) were at the top of their splashing game. Best splashers in the whole slum. Stopping only to eat. No, they weren’t forgetting their past pains, but rather embracing the moment. Slum kids who have been hungry on the streets never forget. Even though here at Mercy, there are always double or triple portions, the kids never forget those days when they were hungry.

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วันศุกร์, 10 เมษายน 2558 07:50

We wish our friends from around the world a Happy Thai New Year  filled with blessings, peace, good health and an abundance of joy! Today we invited our elderly neighbors to Mercy Centre for a celebration of Songkran, the Thai New Year. Hundreds upon hundreds of dear, elderly friends joined in the festivities with our Mercy staff and children; and together we danced, feasted, received blessings from our local Monks, and then danced some more. Father Joe also gave blessings to our elderly attendees, gently pouring lustral water on their hands and wishing them a New Year filled with joy. As they do on every Songkran, our neighbors sang the old songs and showed our children the true meaning and joy of a traditional Songkran.

วันจันทร์, 30 มีนาคม 2558 05:13

About two thousand years ago that raggedy handful of Jerusalem street kids saw it all happen.  The bad guys ordered their foreign occupying forces to capture him and execute Blessed Mary’s Son.  But they also made it look legal so these bad guys could get away with it and wouldn’t have to go to prison. Lots of people were shouting to get him up the hill for execution fast. 


The kids whispered among themselves:  “That guy carrying the cross with thorns stuck on his head, wearing the purple cloak is Jesus the Holy One." The scavenger dogs were barking, but strangely not barking at Jesus.

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วันจันทร์, 23 มีนาคม 2558 05:38

Last week we held our liveliest, happiest, and certainly most colorful celebration of the year. Our entire Mercy Centre was festooned with balloons, flowers, toys and stuffed animals. To say it was a joyous day would be an understatement. In fact, it was riotously crazy fun!  It was Graduation Day for the children who attend our 23 preschools spread across Bangkok’s poorest communities. Amid glorious pomp and circumstance, over 500 poor children donned caps and gowns and received their diplomas; and in a rousing speech that brought all the children to their feet with fists in the air and smiles on their faces, Fr. Joe urged our young scholars, no matter what happens in the future, to stay in school! All photos by Ric Gazarian.

วันจันทร์, 23 มีนาคม 2558 05:37

Last week we held our liveliest, happiest, and certainly most colorful celebration of the year. Our entire Mercy Centre was festooned with balloons, flowers, toys and stuffed animals. To say it was a joyous day would be an understatement. In fact, it was riotously crazy fun!  It was Graduation Day for the children who attend our 23 preschools spread across Bangkok’s poorest communities. Amid glorious pomp and circumstance, over 500 poor children donned caps and gowns and received their diplomas; and in a rousing speech that brought all the children to their feet with fists in the air and smiles on their faces, Fr. Joe urged our young scholars, no matter what happens in the future, to stay in school! All photos by Ric Gazarian.

วันพฤหัสบดี, 05 มีนาคม 2558 05:08

Our sister charity Mercy Centre Australia is holding a cocktail reception on March 13 to raise awareness and funding for our Mercy Centre in Bangkok. Usanee Janngeon (director of our HIV/AIDS programs) and Ratana Chanto (Finance and assistant to Fr. Joe) will be on hand. Details: Friday, March 13, 7pm in Bronte, NSW. $40 per head. All funds raised will go directly to help support the Mercy Centre, Thailand. So come join us, have a drink, something to eat & find out more about Mercy Centre. To make a reservation and more details, please contact Lucy Braoudakis: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

วันอังคาร, 03 มีนาคม 2558 05:59

The Irish Ambassador to Thailand HE Brendan Rogers brought the Irish community of Bangkok together last week in an event that recognized and honored Father Joe’s 40 years of community service as co-founder of our Mercy Centre.  It was a beautifully orchestrated informal celebration, (beautiful – both spiritually and musically) hosted by the Dubliner Bar in Bangkok. 

In his speech, Ambassador Rogers spoke of Fr. Joe’s life-long commitment to protecting and educating the poorest, most marginalized Thai children. Pictured above, Fr. Joe, beside Ambassador Rogers, gives thanks to everyone in the community who has supported his foundation over the years.  Photo below: an incredibly gifted ensemble of Irish musicians performed for the event – an ensemble that included Mick Moloney, Terry McBroom, Donie Carroll, and Brian Taheny.

วันจันทร์, 23 กุมภาพันธ์ 2558 03:36

Born in a shack, half-blind and fearless, but there's still honour in a wasteland child.

Published in the Bangkok Post, Sunday Spectrum, Feb. 22, 2015. 

by Father Joe Maier, C.Ss.R.


It’s a story that simply needs to be told. Sai Chon, the half-blind, no-fear, ex-rubbish dump kid. He’s moving up the social ladder. “Shack-born” in a city rubbish dump, where he spent his early years, he's now only a part-time street kid.


He’s done well in life so far. A sixth grade graduate of the Blind School, he can read and write braille, but not brilliantly. He admits to being a bit lazy in lessons, since he can still see partially out of his left eye.


Three months in detention for vagrancy and loitering in a public place (ie, begging) is unfair, he said. He told them he didn’t do anything wrong. But the uniforms wouldn’t listen. To them simply hanging around is vagrancy and that breaks the penal code. They said three months and that was that.

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