Mos was living with his grandparents in a village close to the Thai-Cambodian border when at the age of five years he stepped on a land mine which blew both his legs off. He got used to using an adult size wheelchair, the only one available, and when he started school he wheeled himself five kilometers to school and five kilometers home each day, no matter the weather.
By the age of nine his grandparents were no longer able to take care of him, so they brought him to Pattaya where he found a home at the Father Ray Children’s Home.
Mos, left, on his first day at vocational school.
He made friends, attended school, learned to use prosthetics, became a goalkeeper in the futsal team, played guitar in a band and grew into a teenager. And he also had dreams of returning to his village in Sa Kaeo province, which he did for a while before returning to his home in Pattaya.
Mos is now eighteen years of age and on the morning of Monday 5th November he joined seventy nine other young adults enrolling at the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities here in Pattaya.
While Mos did not have too far to travel, students at the school come from all corners of the country and they all arrive with the hopes and dreams of a better life.
Another new arrival is thirty year old Jim, who gets around on what looks like a go-kart. He lies on a piece of wood and moves the wheels with his feet, steering with two pieces of string. He has tried a wheelchair but finds it too uncomfortable, though by the time he graduates the school may have found a better solution for getting around than what he has now. To enroll at the school he traveled from Chaiyaphum province, accompanied by his family who want the best for their son.
For two years the students will be expected to study hard. The school will provide the education, accommodation, food and medical help, all for free. The school will also find them suitable employment once they graduate.
In the twenty five years since the school was founded by Father Ray Brennan, almost two thousand five hundred students with disabilities have graduated.
In two years time we hope that Mos, Jim and all the other new students will be wearing their graduating gowns, receiving their certificates and going out into the world as equals.
More information can be found at www.fr-ray.org or email [email protected]
Mos shortly after he arrived at the Father Ray Children’s Home in 2005.
It is always easy to find help at the school.
The teachers tied good luck string to the wrists of the students.
Thirty year old Jim wants a better life for himself and his family.