Contrary to popular belief, charitable organizations in Thailand do not receive free electricity; they have to pay like everyone else and Pattaya’s largest charitable organization, Father Ray Foundation, each year receives an electric bill that would shock most people.
The Father Ray Foundation has eight different projects located on five separate sites around Pattaya. The main complex on Sukhumvit Road not only houses the headquarters of the Foundation, but also the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities, Father Ray Day Care Center, the Redemptorist Center, the Foundation for People with Disabilities and the newly opened Father Ray Center for Children with Special Needs.
The School for the Blind is in Naklua, the Children’s Home is close to the Pattaya United Stadium, the Children’s Village is out near Lake Mabprachan and the Drop-In Center is on Thepprasit Road.
All these projects use electricity, a lot of it, and the annual electric bill for the whole Foundation is almost six and a half million baht. Yes, you read that right, six and a half million baht per year.
So you can only imagine how happy the management team was when a long time friend of the Foundation announced that he was going to be selling his boat in the South of France, and when he did he would be presenting a large percentage of the money to the charity in Pattaya.
But he insisted that wouldn’t be giving cash, instead he purchased seven hundred solar panels, and as they arrived from China a professional installer arrived from France. It took seven months to install them on the roofs of three buildings at the Father Ray Foundation.
The company which installed the panels has now set up an office here in Pattaya where, according to the director, Thailand is the perfect place to install the panels due to the amount of sunshine each year. In fact so perfect that the panels installed at the Father Ray Foundation will last for twenty five years and save the organization 1,300,000 baht each year, money that can be spent of helping more children in need.