48 years ago the Nong Plalai area, very similar to Pattaya, was quiet with very little development and it was sufficient for Santikam to open as a kindergarten school for children below school age, to help parents of young children who had to find work, probably in the surrounding fields. When they opened everything was in place and ideal for just a few children, but as more families settled in the area the demand to expand, to take in more and older children, could not be resisted and they now have 250 children below the age of 12. The number of teachers have increased to 15 as have most of the facilities like sporting areas and classrooms to enable the school to provide an education to an ever increasing number of children.
We were welcomed by the school band.
But one area that had fallen behind was the toilet facilities. On one side of the school, there were 5 toilets for children and the 15 teachers, not an ideal situation. But on the other side only 4 toilets existed for 120 children that studied in that area with no washing facilities and, over the years, badly needed some upgrading. It does not take much imagination to realise that there were problems at various times of the day, a mad rush to be the first in the queue.
The toilets before the upgrade.
YWCA contacted Pattaya Sports Club and Jesters Care For Kids to ask for their help. Both organizations have been established over many years and are unable to resist a call for help from children and Santikam School was a case in point. Plans were discussed and, fortunately, a local builder presented us with a very competitive quotation and, with the OK from both PSC and Jesters committees, got down to work immediately.
Welcome to all the guests.
As we drove into Santikam School on a hot Thursday morning, Woody from Jesters, Noy of YWCA, William and Nigel of Pattaya Sports Club were surprised when we were welcomed by the school percussion band and many teachers to conduct the formal handover of the new toilets which were funded by Jesters and Pattaya Sports Club. The visitors were encouraged to join in and dance as the band played.
The finished toilets with some artistic impressions.
The existing cubicles were upgraded with new toilets with colourful tiles to the floors and walls. The additional cubicles were built in a similar design to the existing toilets, with 2 new hand basins and some brightly coloured paint. It was quite obvious that everybody was happy with the improvements and their appreciation was shown by an official ceremony to formally open the new facilities.
PSC, Jesters, YWCA and the school’s director.
A big thank you from some of the children.
|Correction: Last week in the “Our Children” section we inadvertently swapped captions and attributed Radchada Chomjinda’s birthday wishes for Pattaya Mail to Utumma Rachtawattanakul, and vice versa. We regret any confusion this may have caused.|