Changing peoples lives

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On the morning of Monday 2nd April sixty young adults arrived in Pattaya from all over the Kingdom.

They had travelled on buses, taxis, trains and in the back of pick-up trucks. One young man was carried by his father, and all were hoping for the same thing; to be interviewed for a place on a course at the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities.

After nine years at school this young lady has no problem filling in the application form.After nine years at school this young lady has no problem filling in the application form.

Since 1984 the school has accepted, taught and successfully graduated more than two thousand five hundred young adults with a disability. The School provides not just an education, but also accommodation, meals, medical assistance and a guarantee that all students will have found suitable employment before they graduate.

While residents of big cities, such as Pattaya and Bangkok, are more accepting of people with disabilities, life in the rural areas can be difficult. Living in small towns and village’s people using a wheelchair, crutches or are missing limbs often find it difficult to find suitable employment.

Families tend to over protect a child with a disability, saying that this is no need to work, and yet all a youngster with a disability wants is to be treated the same as anyone else. They want to work, earn a decent salary, be independent and not become a burden of their families.

In early May a new school year will start, and there will be many new students. On that very first day they will feel nervous, worried and anxious. Many will be away from their families for the first time, and yet for most it will be the start of the best two years of their life.

At the school no one will make fun of their disability or abuse them. They will make friends, their confidence will grow and it is often said they those graduating are not the same people who arrived two years earlier, they have grown so much.

One of sixty young people who arrived at the Vocational School for an interview.One of sixty young people who arrived at the Vocational School for an interview.

This entrance exam could change this young man’s life.This entrance exam could change this young man’s life.