Khao Baisri, Jesters and 3 Sheep

Friday, 14 March 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 11 By  Bernie Tuppin

Jesters Care for Kids Charity Drive 2014

The special school for children with learning difficulties at Khao Baisri bears the name of Khun Boonchoo. This facility began life in a small room attached to a local school in Sattahip. It was here that Boonchoo took responsibility for the teaching and care of a handful of children with autism, Down syndrome and other mental ailments. Back then Jesters Care for Kids were approached for help and happily transformed an old shed into an additional classroom, along with some playground equipment.

News of this special class soon had more parents turning up with their children, but then space was becoming a problem too. Choo, as she is affectionately known, solved that problem by donating one rai of land to the Education Department, so that future donors would have the surety that any buildings erected would be vested in a government authority and not held by her personally.

It is amazing how calm the children seem as they interact with the animals and feed them.It is amazing how calm the children seem as they interact with the animals and feed them.

With this assurance, Jesters Care for Kids and their supporters raised funds to build modern classrooms and toilet facilities on the new land, while other groups built a kitchen and more classrooms. The number of children soon increased and District 12 Education Department in Ban Bueng supplied special teachers and staff.

Since that time, additional land has been donated and many more buildings erected, including dormitories, therapy units, playground areas and even a small shop to sell items made by the children. As each improvement was added, Jesters Care for Kids helped out financially whenever possible, and still continues giving them a monthly contribution to help with the food costs.

Currently, this establishment cares for over seventy children; around forty of whom live on the premises. Many local groups contribute to the running costs to ensure that these special children have a safe environment and the opportunity to advance their quality of living.

On a recent visit, Choo guided me to where workmen were busy fencing in a small area containing a raised shed. When I asked the purpose of this construction, she informed me that it was for three sheep and hoped that Jesters would fund the cost of acquiring them.  It was with some trepidation that I put this request to Jesters committee, but the cost was minimal and it was readily agreed.

I returned a few weeks later and asked how the sheep were settling in.  Again, I was guided to the sheep pen, but this time in the company of the children and their carers. It was already noticeable that the children were excited, but not in an anxious way; more like anticipating a treat of some sort. The sheep were let out into the yard, where the children were waiting. It was then that I noticed how calm the children seemed as they interacted with the animals and fed them. Talking later with Choo and some of the carers, they explained that this was exactly the outcome they had expected and, as a result, the children have this experience each day and the benefits of the children have improved remarkably.

Such a small investment that has provided a huge result is very satisfying. Jesters Care for Kids have been long time supporters of Boonchoo and her incredible efforts to enrich the lives of those less fortunate and will continue to help wherever possible.

For more info about us, please visit www.care4kids.info and www.facebook.com/jesterscare.kids.

Events: Children’s Fair is Sunday, September 7th at Regents (RISP) and GPN is Saturday, September 20th at Amari Orchid Pattaya.

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