I am sure everyone will agree that the opportunity to receive an education is essential for children and in Thailand education is available to every child from the age of 5 to 16. But there are problems for many who come from poor families and, because of financial constraints, put the family under financial pressure.
School uniforms are compulsory and, although there is some help from the government, buying what is required for each child is sometimes distressing for the families with very little income. Fortunately, some organizations provide funding for scholarships, something that the Pattaya Sports Club has been doing since the scheme started.
Tony Oakes and William Macey present scholarships to deserving students.
We at the Pattaya Sports Club have joined forces with the YWCA for the Happy Families Scholarship Scheme which has been running for 24 years and has helped hundreds of children complete their education.
In addition to the uniforms mentioned above, classroom, sport and Boy Scout uniforms, books, learning resources, school activity fees and travel expenses are required. Students are chosen by the school officials based in their desire to study, good moral character plus qualifying financial circumstances.
Students pose with the many benefactors at the scholarship presentation ceremony.
Every year, a presentation is made to the students that receive support and this year was no exception. On August 31 at Diana Garden Hotel, Tony Oakes and myself were in attendance along with many members of YWCA, Rotary, Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and many others. A total of 600,000 baht was presented to 327 students from 56 schools, studying from Prathom to university levels,
Education does not, necessarily, stop at age 16, for there were some children who had the opportunity to advance to university. As Nittaya Patimasongkroh, president of the Warm Family project said, “Even though the government has expanded their education for youths up to 15 years, there is still a large number of youths requiring help, therefore, YWCA Bangkok-Pattaya center wants to be a part in sponsoring these youths to have more opportunities in education. We have received good cooperation from kind-hearted individuals sponsoring children and from various charitable organizations … I thank all the sectors from sponsoring Warm Family project.”
Praichit Jetpai (center), and members from YWCA Bangkok-Pattaya present YWCA Happy Family Scholarships to deserving youths.
Suthiwas Phraekhunthot, a senior at Kasetsart University said, “I am happy to have had this opportunity for the four years that I have been studying at the university. This project has instilled in me and other students kindness and giving. In the future, if I have the chance to repay society, I will return good things like the education scholarships to youths as I have received.”
William Macey, charity chairman of the Pattaya Sports Club stated, “We will continue this support for as long as required and it is heart-warming to know that with the support of PSC at least some children are able to continue and finish their education.”