Although the skies were a little cloudy on Sunday, February 3, the sun shone brightly in the hearts of hundreds of children and adults who were gathered at the new building site of the Baan Jin Jai Children’s home. Located at Nong Plalai district, the crowd was there to attend religious ceremonies and be witness to the foundation stone laying ceremony for the new facility.
Ban Jing Jai Foundation Director Piangta Chumnoi spoke to Pattaya Mail about how this all came about, saying, “Since its inception in 1997, the Baan Jing Jai Children’s Home has grown in size and now occupies three old buildings that house over 80 orphaned and abandoned children ranging from 1 to 19 years of age. In late 2010 we decided that we needed a new home and therefore we initiated this project to construct a purpose designed facility to accommodate some 100 plus children of similar age ranges.”
Priests conduct the consecration ceremony as children join in singing hymns.
A building committee was formed, chaired by Hans K. Nyvoll, with members Gudmund Eiksund, Stephen and Lamyai Beard, Jim Farmer, John Haerum, Vutikorn Kamolchote, Ponsawan Kankaew, Jan Olav Åamlid, and Rev. Surakit Kamonrat. Together a concerted effort was launched to raise funds to build the new facility.
The committee discovered a site along route 7 and quickly raised the initial funds to buy the 4.2 rai of land.
Piangta said, “In October 2011, they announced plans to build a new shelter in Nong Plalai. To reach this goal we needed at least 18 million baht in funding.”
In the months following, many fund raising activities were held and together with donations from the public a sum of almost 10 million baht was collected.
Piangta Chumnoi holds the 5 million baht cheque that was presented to her by Trond Tønjum and Jesse Linde of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics.
“But that still left us with a shortfall and we really needed to get the project started as soon as possible,” she added.
That little hiccup was overcome on that Sunday morning, when right after the consecration ceremonies, much to the delight of all in attendance, Trond Tønjum along with Jesse Linde representing staff from Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics in Norway and Sweden presented a cheque of 5 million baht to Piangta to supplement the cost of the building.
Trond said, “Employees of our company are usually looking for charity projects in different parts of the world which they can contribute to. When we heard that this project in Pattaya was in dire need of funds and that that were many Norwegians involved in the fund raising activities, we decided that we too would like to contribute to help the children get a new home.”
Piangta prays intensely as the holy men are about to place the foundation stone.
“This is only the beginning,” said Trond. “We will contribute the same amount again this coming year, if not more!”
The dedication and foundation stone laying ceremonies were conducted by Rev. Surakit Kamonrat, Rev. Jan Olav Johannesen and Rev. Peter Pattarapong Srivorakul, who led the congregation in offering their blessings and good wishes on this auspicious occasion.
The building committee expressed the same feelings of happiness and gratitude and said that the new Baan Jing Jai home should be ready for the kids to move in by the end of 2014.
“What a wonderful Christmas gift this will be for the children. We are so close to making the dream a reality.”
The benevolent benefactors sprinkle flowers of blessing on the foundation stone.
Children are thrilled with the gift of new clothing brought by their benefactors.
Three staunch supporters of Baan Jing Jai (l-r) Stephen Beard, Gudmund Eiksund and William Macy of the Pattaya Sports Club.
The children can look forward to living in their new home very soon.