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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Ghopai Project speeds ahead

Sattahip students receive sight for sore eyes, thanks to YWCA

Caring for the ‘Child Protection and Development Center’ and the ‘Fight Against Child Exploitation Foundation’

PSC and Jesters raise 0.5M baht for new school canteen

Ghopai Project speeds ahead

Still needs more help

Ingrid Cunliffe
The Pattaya International Ladies Club (PILC) welfare team recently donated 85,000 baht to the Ghopai Early Learning Center in South Pattaya. It was great to see the construction that has taken place and the extra space to accommodate more children is very impressive.

The Pattaya International Ladies Club (PILC) donated 85,000 baht to the Ghopai Early Learning Center in South Pattaya.
PILC will continue to support this wonderful project and are very grateful to Pim and her generous husband for all the work they have put into this project.
The following is an in-depth look, presented by Sukanya “Pim” Seaton, at this worthy cause:
Environment
Ghopai, located on Pattaya Tai Soi 1, is one of the largest housing areas of very low income people in Pattaya with over 400 residents. The families live in small rented single rooms with the family often headed by a female. If employed they normally work in small enterprise like food carts or low paying manual work. There is, as you would expect a high level of crime, alcohol and drugs in the area. Many of the people, particularly the children, do not have paper documentation to access basic government services like health care and school. The children, particularly the young pre-school ones, are mostly left during the day with very limited supervision in this harsh environment.
Concept
The Mercy Center charity organization had been working in the Ghopai area for the last 6-7 years bringing in food, clothing and other donations and many of the abused and abandoned children at their Children’s Shelter come from this area. A program was developed to obtain proper documentation for children 6+ years to attend public school. For pre-school children the concept was to build an early learning center which would give the children a safe and secure environment to learn and have controlled activities. It would have the added benefit of allowing the parent(s) to work.
Project
Sukanya (Pim) Seaton took on the job as project director for Mercy Center. The right to use a small community center at the entrance to the area and some adjacent land was donated by the land owner who is also the Village Head. An open area classroom with 2 toilets, kitchen and secure cabinets was built and equipped and furnished with educational aids.
The early learning center was formally opened in September 2007 by officials from Pattaya and Chonburi who have been very supportive of the concept and operation. The original concept was to have 10-15 children but the demand has been very high and there are currently over 20 which is the maximum the space can accommodate.
Children are accepted after an application and interview process and meetings are held with the parents who generally take a keen interest in the project. The center operates 5 days a week from 8 am to 5 pm. The center is staffed by a full time head teacher, an assistant teacher and a teacher’s helper. Parents are charged 20 baht a day which offsets most of the cost of electricity, water and lunch and snacks. Upon reaching 6+ years the student will be helped to enroll in public school and likely be placed in the scholarship program run by Mercy Center.
Sponsors
Funds to construct, equip and operate the project have come from a variety of small donations and from major sponsor partners with donations of 100,000+ baht:
1) Pattaya Street Kids Organization
2) Pattaya International Ladies Club
3) St Patrick Church, Ireland
4) Mercy Center
5) World Vision
6) PC Classic Organization of Pattaya
7) Giorgia Dal Grosso, London UK
8) Don Ford, UK
Thai Gypsum Company has also donated a significant amount of labor and materials to maintain the building.
The Center has been open for one and a half years and the current space is overused with 40 children in an area designed for 25. There is a waiting list of an additional 40 students who would like to attend but can not be accommodated in the current space.
After some extended talks the owner of the land has agreed to allow us to construct some additional space with some renovations to the existing building which could be used for a 10 year period. The City of Pattaya which owns the building is also a party to this agreement. This proposal is for the funds necessary to construct and equip the additional facilities which will accommodate up to 80 students.
The project still has many needs, and any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Sukanya Seaton, email: [email protected]


Sattahip students receive sight for sore eyes, thanks to YWCA

Sawittree Namwiwatsuk
Thanks to the YWCA Bangkok-Pattaya Chapter, 100 students and teachers from Sattahip area schools will soon be able to see, and subsequently read better.

Students are fitted for a new pair of eyeglasses.
The local YWCA, led by Chairwoman Nittaya Patimasongkroh on July 16 got together with the Beautiful Eyeglasses Store to arrange optometrist exams for the students and teachers there who have problems with their eyes. This was done to offer merit for Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, for the auspicious occasion of her birthday on August 12, which also coincides with National Mother’s Day.
Nittaya said that the YWCA contributed the eyeglasses through their Eye Protection Project. She said that whilst distributing scholarships to underprivileged students through the YWCA’s Warm Family Project, it was discovered that many of the students have problems with their eyesight. Out of concern for the children’s well being, the Association initiated this project to help them have their eyes taken care of correctly.

Nittaya Patimasongkroh from the YWCA and Bernie Tuppin from the Pattaya Sports Club watch closely as student receive eye exams from the Beautiful Eyeglasses Store’s staff.
“Through this project we will distribute eyeglasses to the students from two schools in the Sattahip area; Ban Sattahip and Sattahip Wittayakom schools. Over 100 pairs of eyeglasses will be divided equally between each school,” said Nittaya. The YWCA will donate more if needed.
Nittaya went on to say that after the Beautiful Eyeglasses Store finishes making the eyeglasses for the two schools, the YWCA will distribute them to the students in the Sattahip area, probably around August 12.
This project will be expanded to include other schools in the area, with a goal of up to 3,000 students being fitted for eyeglasses.
The Association plans another donation and dedication ceremony for National Father’s Day this coming December 5.

Students from Ban Sattahip school wait patiently
for their turn to have their eyes checked.

Students and teachers from Ban Sattahip School pose with members
of the YWCA, PSC and staff from the Beautiful Eyeglasses Store.


Caring for the ‘Child Protection and Development Center’ and the ‘Fight Against Child Exploitation Foundation’

Lewis Underwood
If you go past Wat Sutawat in Nong Prue towards the Elephant Kraal, and follow the elephant pictographs until you see a makeshift hand-painted wooden sign that reads: ‘Child Protection and Development Center’ 250 meters on the left, you will eventually be brought to the end of a paved road and to the doorstep of the humble ‘Child Protection and Development Center’ (CPDC), that also supports the ‘Fight Against Child Exploitation Foundation’ (FACE).

The doorstep of the humble ‘Child Protection and Development Center’ (CPDC), which also supports the ‘Fight Against Child Exploitation Foundation’ (FACE).
There on a modest walled-in dirt plot lies an outpost of 4 wooden structures; one to accommodate a young monk, another for 14 boys, yet another for 3 girls and finally one for the 3 staff members. On our last visit they had just started putting on the roof to a wooden sala in the middle of the compound, which will be used for meetings, eating meals and holding classes.
The project director, Noja, previously with the Father Ray Foundation for 16 years that included 2 years at the Drop In Center in Central Pattaya, is now starting his own home for street kids. His initial goal is to provide shelter for errant and abused children and young adults between the ages of 12 and 18. Secondly, to teach them life skills and vocational training so that they have an opportunity to succeed in life.
Speaking of life skills, the 17 kids there have had a quick lesson in carpentry by assisting the staff in the construction of all the buildings present that has also saved the cost of outside labor to get the job done.
The affable Noja has very simple plans and needs for these children: Besides wanting basic foodstuffs, they also ask for cheap commodities and second hand clothing, furnishings, appliances, etc. An example of the thriftiness employed there is that all of the buildings at the center have been constructed using trees from the nearby jungle and cheap wood planks bought locally.
The land they are presently occupying is at their disposal for at least two years. If and when they have to move, all the structures they have built can be readily dissembled, moved and reassembled elsewhere.
Noja also asks for those with a applicable trade to stop by, volunteer some time, and impart their skills to the kids. There are immediate plans for vegetable gardens and animal husbandry on an adjacent plot of land to supplement their diet, so helpers adept in these fields are also sought. Moreover, teachers are also welcomed in their spare time to help the kids learn English.
The Jesters Care for Kids Charity Drive will initially help the CPDC with furnishings and foodstuffs. Ultimately we would like to sponsor promising candidates at the Banglamung Vocational College. The goal at the moment though is to help them get better set up with the basics of shelter, food and with a modicum of comfort. We would like to invite you to join in.
Our involvement with the CPDC has come on the backs of the Pattaya International Ladies Club (PILC), the Pattaya Sports Club (PSC), Sopin Thappajug from the Diana Group and Elfi Seitz from Pattaya Blatt, all of whom were responsible for showing us the way to this center.
We enjoy our open relationship with these like-minded organizations that not only brings more children’s projects to our attention, but also allows us to work together and have a bigger impact on them. Teaming up with PILC and PSC has also allowed us all to take on bigger projects. After all, the goal is to work together so we can maximize the benefits to the needy children.
If you would like to help us continue our work, please visit our website at www. care4kids.info, or email us at [email protected]
Please do not forget that the Jesters Children’s Fair & Family day is on Sunday, September 14th at the Diana Garden Resort Driving Range, North Pattaya. Only 52 days away!

They have started putting on the roof to a wooden sala in the middle of the compound, which will be used for meetings, eating meals and holding classes.


PSC and Jesters raise 0.5M baht for new school canteen

(L to R) Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit, Banchong Kanawatanakul, chairman of the Primary Education Commission of Ban Nongprue School, Bernie Tuppin PSC Charity Chairman, and Lewis “Woody” Underwood, Jesters president, cut the ribbon to officially open the new canteen at Ban Nongprue School.

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
More than half a million baht was raised by Pattaya Sports Club and Jesters Care for Kids to pay for a new canteen for Ban Nongprue School.
The new building, handed over on July 14, replaces the previous facility, which is 40 years old and had deteriorated in addition to being too small for the school’s 500 students.
Banchong Kanawatanakul, chairman of the Primary Education Commission of Ban Nongprue School chaired the handover ceremony, which was also attended by Jesters president Lewis “Woody” Underwood, charity chairman of the PSC Bernie Tuppin, and Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit. There was also a presentation of sports equipment to the school.
The new canteen is located near the old one and cost 550 thousand baht, raised by the two charity organizations. It is open on four sides for good ventilation, has a roof and a concrete floor, 20 tables, ceiling fans, and fluorescence lighting.
Mrs Nualnapa Sonchaikarnkha, director of Ban Nongprue School said that the school is a small-sized one and has been open for 40 years. It teaches children from the age of six years through to primary school class 6. There are 510 students and 15 teachers.
The school is within Chonburi Education Department Zone 3, and even though the Ministry of Education provides a support budget, it is still not enough for the school’s activities.

The strong tables can provide service for a long time whilst the 4 open sides
of the cafeteria allow for good ventilation.

The students say a big thank you to the charity organizations.



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