Ban Jing Jai celebrates start of new building Feb. 23


Children, friends and supporters of the Ban Jing Jai orphanage will celebrate breaking ground on its new Nong Plalai facility Feb. 23.

The 3-6 p.m. party will allow people to meet some of the children and the orphanage’s sponsors. There also will be “tile sale” where people can buy a tile, sign it and add it the walls of the new building, which still lacks 40 percent of its funding.

Founded in 1997 and funded entirely on donations, Ban Jing Jai has outgrown the three rented houses it currently uses on Soi Nernplabwan. Built to accommodate no more than 50 people, the homes now hold around 70 teenagers, children, infants and toddlers.

Ban Jing Jai Foundation Managing Director Piangta Chaumnoi and Chairman Hans K. Nyvoll unveiled plans in October 2011 to relocate to a 4.3-rai plot off Highway 7 about a kilometer from the Regent’s School that will offer two, 1,350 sq. meter homes funded through donations and loans.

Each of the houses would be able to accommodate 40 children and teens, as well as 20 infants and toddlers. The designs, drawn up by a sponsoring architectural firm for free, call for nursing, music, art, and recreation rooms, a kitchen, administration office, playground, and garden. Construction costs were initially estimated at 18.5 million baht.

“This will be a home where children can feel safe, have good living conditions and feel the love of the Ban Jing Jai family,” Piangta said.

With some funds in hand, construction crews started dropping piling for the new building in January. All the building plans, drawings, permits and contracting were done last year. If uninterrupted, construction would take 11 months.

Piangta and her team’s strong commitment brings structure, family, schooling, food, activates and love to the children, who, if not for Ban Jing Jai, would have ended up on the streets.