During a luncheon to welcome H.E. Thierry Mathou the French Ambassador to Pattaya on July 8, Rolf Ruegg, a member of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya, a staunch supporter of the Anti Human Trafficking and Child Abuse Center (ATCC) dedicated to give the children a better life spoke of the need for a small pickup to use for the transportation of the children to and from school back to the ATCC which is their home.
On hearing his moving plea, business owners and Rotarians in attendance immediately pledged to help raise funds to buy one as soon as possible. It didn’t take very long before Rotary clubs in Pattaya set the wheels in motion, organising fundraisers to meet the target.
Along the way, the Pattaya Sports Club jumped on the band wagon with a contribution of 50,000 baht. Rotary E-Club Dolphin Pattaya International donated 140,000 baht, Rotary Clubs of Pattaya Marina, Eastern Seaboard, Jomtien-Pattaya, Phoenix Pattaya and Pattaya International jointly contributed 250,000 baht, August Restaurant gave 30,000 baht, Swiss Society gave 25,000 baht while the remaining 195,000 baht was donated by a member of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya making a grand total of 690,000 baht for the cost of the brand new pickup truck, new roof and seats including registration and taxes.
On Sunday October 30, members of the generous Rotary clubs and Pattaya Sports Club gathered at the ATCC for the official handover of the new school bus. Present were, Tim Knight president of the Pattaya Sports Club, Chanunda Kongphol, President of the Rotary E-Club Dolphin Pattaya International, Carey Peck, President of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya, Steve Rochester President of the Rotary Club Eastern Seaboard and Tom Keightley, Secretary of the Rotary Club of Pattaya International and their members. Many distinguished Rotarians and guests also attended this auspicious occasion.
They were warmly welcomed by Palisorn Noja (Khru Ja) and Rolf Ruegg together with the children residing at the home. Everyone enjoyed warm fellowship hosted by August restaurant before the official hand over of the precious school bus.
Khru Ja and the children gathered together to thank the benefactors for their benevolence promising to cherish their new school bus and to take very good care of it.
Khru Ja spoke about the ATCC saying, “Our centre provides a safe environment, opportunities to attend school and assistance from counsellors and social workers. Charity organizations provide ongoing scholarships for children taking refuge at the centre.
“Besides that, the ATCC program has been fundamental in the tracking and arrest of dozens of child traffickers and paedophiles.”
Khru Ja said that most people charged in Thailand with child sexual abuse are foreign sex tourists who use agents active in human trafficking. Many appear outwardly to have good jobs and be wealthy, but that only helps their paedophilia.
He said many of the young victims he met are orphans or products of broken homes or were sold into the trade by poor families.
Pattaya Police say that there are about 100,000 child-rights cases in Thailand each year and 90 percent of the suspects were foreigners. Some of those arrested in Pattaya were found to be active in online paedophilia groups which not only passed around photos and videos, but advice on Thai laws and how to avoid Pattaya police, he said.
Khru Ja summarized his plea for help, “The Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Abuse Centre was established in Pattaya in order to deal with problems of human trafficking and child sexual abuse. The main target groups are street kids and children at risk. The centre’s main objectives are assisting these children in obtaining education and life skills that will enable them to return to their families and society. It is important that these children are cared for in a safe environment during this period. Please help us, so we can carry on our work to protect and keep our children safe.”
To know more about ATCC and offer your assistance please call Khru Ja at 0922324924, 0819499349. Email: [email protected] website: www.atcc.or.th