In May 2013, and again six months later in November, a group of young people arrived in Pattaya from all over the country. They came in wheelchairs, leaning on crutches and sticks, many were missing limbs and they all came to Pattaya for one thing, to learn. They were nervous about what was going to happen to them, for many if was the first time away from their families and the comfort of their local communities, but the school was about to change their lives.
While at the school they would study a variety of subjects, but not only does the school teach a student new skills, it also provides accommodation, three meals a day and medical help, all for free.
Father Michael presents the graduation certificates.
Two years later, on the morning of the fourth of December, the students received their graduation certificates.
As the name of each student was called to receive their certificate from Father Michael Picharn Jaiseri, the course they studied was announced and so was their place of employment.
The Class of 2015.
One hundred percent of all those who graduated have a job, not just the lowly paid menial jobs which have traditionally been reserved for people with disabilities, but they have a job where they are treated as equals.
Many choose to stay in Pattaya; they have made lots of new friends and are no longer that ‘poor little disabled kid’ who relies on relatives for everything. They are smart, knowledgeable and they have the confidence to go into the workplace and compete with others.
More than three thousand young adults living with a disability have graduated from the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities since it opened its doors in 1984.
More information can be found at www.fr-ray.org or email [email protected]
Flowers from relatives.