It is just over a year since Khun Aurora, the co-founder and principal Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind, retired and in her place Mr. Chid has been making a lot of changes.
Mr. Chid is a remarkable man. He went blind following an accident at the age of eleven, and then attended his nearest school for blind children in his native Isaan.
Following his graduation from Grade 12 he applied to study sociology at Khon Kaen University, but was refused entry as it was thought that a blind man could not study. So Mr. Chid did something unusual, he called every news media outlet in the local province and then went on hunger strike.
Three days later a very hungry young man was offered a place at the university, which he refused; he did not want to be offered a place, he wanted to sit the entrance exam and prove he was worth offering a place to.
Four years later he graduated and moved to Pattaya where he started teaching and now he wants his students to think more about their future, and to concentrate more on their studies.
Construction on a brand new purpose built library is complete and it is stunning compared to the old library which was just a spare room with lots of books.
But books for blind and visually impaired children are not like the books most of us are used to. They have to be printed on a special type of paper using a Braille printing machine, which, as you can imagine, costs a lot of money.
The school recently held a Buddhist prayer ceremony and welcomed the local community to attend and donate to the Education Fund at the school which will fund a brand new printer, the cost of which is just over six hundred thousand baht.
Nine monks from a local temple prayed and chanted, the children performed, families visited, donors donated and it wouldn’t be Thailand without food which was provided free of charge by many local food vendors.
Not all the money needed was raised on the day, but it is hoped that by the end of the current year the new printer will be printing all the children’s favourite books; you can only imagine how much it will cost to print all seven volumes of the Harry Potter series.