Japan donates over 1m baht to Fountain of Life Children

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The government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme (GGP), is providing funds amounting to 1,004,000 baht to provide a school bus for disadvantaged children at the Fountain of Life Children’s Center.

On December 9, H.E. Shigekazu Sato, Ambassador of Japan, and Sister Jiemjit Thumpichai, President of the Good Shepherd Foundation, jointly signed the grant contract for the project at the Embassy of Japan.

H.E. Shigekazu Sato (right), Ambassador of Japan, and Sister Jiemjit Thumpichai (2nd left), President of the Good Shepherd Foundation, jointly signed a grant contract at the Embassy of Japan for a new school bus.H.E. Shigekazu Sato (right), Ambassador of Japan, and Sister Jiemjit Thumpichai (2nd left), President of the Good Shepherd Foundation, jointly signed a grant contract at the Embassy of Japan for a new school bus.

Pattaya welcomes thousands of tourists from Thailand and abroad. In order to respond to the enormous demand to labor in the tourism industry, workers from impoverished areas and neighboring nations converge on Pattaya to work as hotel and restaurant staff, construction workers, garbage collectors, and many other jobs. As a result, indigent families live in appalling circumstances. Moreover, their children often lack the appropriate ID cards or citizenship, leaving them out of the scope of the public support system and unable to receive even a basic education. In addition, their parents cannot provide the necessary protection or supervision for their offspring, because of long working hours.

In order to overcome this situation, the “Fountain of Life Children’s Centre” was established by the Good Shepherd Foundation to provide basic education classes from Monday to Friday, in the same way as a formal public school. Children aged 3 -15 years old, mostly from several disadvantaged communities spread over a wide area, travel to the classes on the center’s bus. However, recently the condition of the bus has begun to pose a risk to the children’s safety. After 13 years of constant use, the bus is worn out and sometimes breaks down en route.

The government of Japan recognizes the importance of this project, from the standpoint of “right to receive a basic education”, as well as the urgent need to realize a safe and secure living environment, and intend to continue their support.