Education is the key for the present and future

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Jesters Care for Kids Charity Drive 2015 Sponsored by Thunder Oilfield Services (Thailand) Ltd. (TOS)

We believe that all children deserve access to safe shelter, education and special schooling for the disabled in order to better their lives

For the last 18 years our main emphasis, and reason for our very existence, has been providing disadvantaged children with educational opportunities to better their lives and brighten their futures. In order to do this, we offer scholarships for kindergarten, primary, secondary and tertiary levels, including the chance to go to the very top.

Despite the fact that many of the children in question are living under austere conditions and come from broken families, education should still begin at home. The toddler years are formative ones and children need to develop their attentiveness and focus on useful activities as early as possible. The sooner they acquire these skills in life, the easier it will be to transfer into schools.

In 1998, when we adopted our target charity, the Fountain of Life Center run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd Foundation, they had been running an invaluable day-care service for needy children. To this day, besides care and protection, the center provides documentation, or birth certificates, allowing for children’s entrance into schools; rudimentary education in preparation for going to school; necessary medical and dental care, hygiene and maintenance of health; learning social skills and acquiring self-esteem; economics through the production and sales of handicrafts and establishing bank accounts; and, ultimately, scholarships for sustainability in schools.

Last May before the schools reopened, the children and young adults with their parents, or guardians, assembled at the Fountain of Life Center to get an overview about school life, scholarships and the inherent responsibilities. One of the important messages clarified was that this is not just about going to school, but also to stay in school.

There are two main exams in Thai primary and secondary education. The first goal is completing 9th grade (matthayom 3, or junior high equivalent), and the second is 12th grade (matthayom 6, or high school equivalent). This spring we awarded 5 children with scholarships for kindergarten (anubaan), 12 children for primary (prathom), and 13 for secondary (matthayom) for a total of 30 candidates.

(L to R) Sister Joan, Lewis Underwood and Atma, a scholarship recipient for her first year in vocational college, and her mom.(L to R) Sister Joan, Lewis Underwood and Atma, a scholarship recipient for her first year in vocational college, and her mom.

As for those students wanting to take the next step, since 2008, 12 university graduates, who started in the Fountain of Life Center, have already gone to the top. This year we hope the same as their predecessors for the 11 students awarded with scholarships. Five of the candidates entered or continued vocational college and another 6 are in university pursuing their bachelors.

To this day, the Jesters help the Fountain of Life Center with their operational expenses that directly affect the children and the cost for scholarships. Regarding the latter, we have seen more candidates entering the tertiary levels, which is a wonderful trend that we would like to see continue. However, scholarships at this level have become more costly due to tuition hikes and higher living expenses, so your help is welcome.

Scholarship recipients gather for a group photo.Scholarship recipients gather for a group photo.

Fortunately, there is another new trend growing too, where potential donors are coming to visit the center with the purpose to sponsor scholarships for children and young adults to help them up their paths. In fact, just recently, an English gentleman visited the center with the intention to sponsor 3 university students, including a 22-year old nursing student through to her graduation in 2 years’ time. It just doesn’t get better than that.

If you would like to help children and young adults get an education and better their lives, please join us. For more info, go to: www.care4kids.info; or FB Jesters Care for Kids.

Our annual events are already less than 100 days away!

* Children’s Fair is Sunday, September 6th at Regents International School Pattaya

* GPN is Saturday, September 19th at Amari Ocean Pattaya