A large crowd of supporters and friends arrived at the Father Ray Drop-In Center recently to be part of the official opening ceremony of the brand new Half Way House.
The aim of the Half Way House is to offer a home to teenagers who are almost ready to leave the care of the Father Ray Foundation and lead an independent life. Two young men, one fifteen and the other a year older, were the first to move in, and although the new Half Way House is just 100 meters from the Drop-In Center they will have to learn to live independently. Both boys are in vocational school, one training to be a cook, the other an electrician, and once they graduate and start work they will have to pay rent, clean the house, cook their own meals, wash their own clothes and agree to follow the rules of the house.
Mrs. Ulla Obel with younger residents at the Drop-In Center.
They can remain in the Half Way House until they are ready to leave, when they feel confident that they can cope with the outside world.
Construction and furnishing for the Half Way House were paid for by Danish support group ‘Den Dansk Pattaya Fond’, and many of its board members travelled over to Pattaya for the opening ceremony, including Danish singing legend Johnny Reimer, who was making his second visit to the Drop-In Center.
In 2010 Mr. Reimer planted a small tree so he was happy to see that the children have taken good care of it and it now stands almost three meters high.
Former Lady-in waiting to Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II, Mrs. Ulla Obel, also attended the ceremony, as did all the Danish volunteers from the Father Ray Foundation.
During their short time in Pattaya, the board members from Denmark also visited the Father Ray Day Care Center, Children’s Home, Children’s Village and the Vocational School for People with Disabilities, seeing for themselves how the Father Ray Foundation cares for and educates its 850 children and students with disabilities.
Danish singing legend Johnny Reimer visits the brand new Half Way House.
Mrs. Christina Obel plants a tree in front of the new Half Way House.
Johnny Reimer, second left, inspects his tree with Father Peter, left, president of the Father Ray Foundation and Poul Weber, second right, Honorary Icelandic Consul.
The new Half Way House.