German and French diplomats joined business leaders from both countries to celebrate the March 22 opening of the Human Help Network Thailand’s newly built Drop-In Center in Pattaya.
German Ambassador H.E. Peter Pruegel and his wife Lucia were joined by Rudolphe Sambou, representing French envoy Gilles Garachon, and Rudolf Hofer, honorary consul for Germany and Austria.
Others in attendance included Joachim Steinbach, chief representative for the Lufthansa Help Alliance; Paul Majeran, managing director Lufthansa Global Business Services Bangkok; Dirk Grossmann, Lufthansa’s general manager for Thailand and the Mekong region; Didier Moly CEO, of Les Amis de L’Orphelinat de Pattaya; Ewald Dietrich, founder and president of the Human Help Network; Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh, and many Rotarians and sponsors from Pattaya.
The ribbon cutting ceremony. (l-r) Dirk Grossmann, Paul Majeran, Didier Moly, Ronakit Ekasingh, H.E. Peter Prügel, Joachim Steinbach und Rodolphe Sambou.
Peter Malhotra, managing director of the Pattaya Mail Media Group, acted as emcee and kept the program informative and meaningful throughout.
Radchada began her address by saying “I was recently invited to join a Nobel Gala Dinner hosted by the Child Rights Foundation in The Hague. Looking at the guests I decided not to hold my prepared speech but asked them right at the beginning: ‘Have you ever talked to a 16 year old girl who has been sexually abused by her own grandfather since she was 7 years old? Have you ever experienced helping children who have witnessed their step father killing their own mother in cold blood? Or have you listened to a 15 year old boy who speaks about his life begging, sniffing glue and being drug and games addicted prior to his arrival at the CPDC?
Benefactors from various walks of life gather for a group photo.
“We thank especially Lufthansa-Help Alliance, Bild Newspaper Germany, Les Amis de L’Orphelinat de Pattaya for their great support on the construction and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany for their support on operation costs for this year.”
“After seven years operating the HHNT, we now can help children under the age of 18 for a maximum of 90 days before we transfer them to other locations,” she told the audience. “Especially migrant children will not be abandoned anymore in camps but get the opportunity to receive necessary health care, life skills development and basic education and save them from various risks and harmful situations.”
Children gather for a group picture in front of their new home.
Dietrich said the new center is part of a four-step child-protection program and will provide leadership by guiding the children in a direction where respect and dignity are possible.
“There are growing numbers of children coming to the center. Some have never been to any school, some experienced a period of difficulty or are in a position of harm from domestic or family violence, sexual exploitation or abuse. All those children will receive initial help, treatment and rehabilitation to evaluate each case carefully and refers them to CPDC or suitable government or private sectors,” he said.
(l-r) Rodney Charman, Elfi Seitz, Rudolf Hofer, Princess Iris von Sachsen, Peter Malhotra and Martin Brands attend the opening ceremony.
“Street children are confronted with issues that no child should experience. This is where our work begins,” Ewald said.
Steinbach said the Lufthansa Help Alliance has supported the Germany-based HHN for 15 years with more than 1 million euros.
“Help Alliance aid has been a strong and reliable partner of HHN’s child-protection program since the beginning. Help Alliance is the core of the Lufthansa group’s corporate social responsibility program and it is based on the dedication and the commitment of our employees,” he said. “With the help of the Help Alliance app. 3.800 homeless children and at risk youth can be helped in and around Pattaya.”
Sambou said the French embassy will continue their help for this good cause. He expressed his hope that the Drop-In Center will grow to help more abused and helpless children.
Sopin Tappajug (centre) congratulates Ratchada on another worthy achievement.
Finally, H.E. Pruegel took the stage and said he was proud of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany for donating 2.4 milion baht recently for the center.
“We definitely will continue to help the Human Help Network Foundation Thailand as we have done already several times for the Child Protection and Development Center. We are very happy to continue doing so and I promise you, me and my wife will come some days to volunteer to work together with the children at the Drop-In Center.”
Children of the center performed a few dances and a show was put on by the dancers of the Alangkarn Theater before the opening ribbon was cut by the entire group of VIPs.
Nittaya Patimasongkroh (left) a staunch supporter of children’s projects congratulates Khun Ratchada.
H.E. Peter Pruegel.
Joachim Steinbach .
Ratchada Chomjinda address the gathering.
The Pattaya community, happy in the thought that they are able to help in one way or another.