A long way from home

0
1137

Earlier this year Reuters, the international news agency, reported that in the past decade almost six thousand people have been killed in the insurgency taking place in the southern provinces of Thailand.

Many more, Buddhists and Muslims, have been wounded, or left with a disability, and while there are rehabilitation and educational facilities for people with a disability living in the south, they are not of a similar standard as throughout the rest of the Kingdom.

Sister Pavinee greets the mothers who travelled to Pattaya with their children.Sister Pavinee greets the mothers who travelled to Pattaya with their children.

To offer support to those living in the south, several teachers from the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities in Pattaya traveled to the provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathwat. There they met several young men and women who were interested in enrolling at the school.

Fifteen were accepted, and they made the long journey, over a thousand kilometers, to Pattaya, most accompanied by their parents. Having a child so far away from home is a worrying time for any parent, but Sister Pavinee, manager of the school, was on hand to meet with several mothers and put their mind at ease.

These are not the first students at the school who came from the south of the country. But as life for people with disabilities becomes more hazardous, and the likelihood of finding a vocational education and employment is low, there is a need for young people, with or without a disability, to gain knowledge, learn new skills, build their confidence and become more independent.

After two years at the school they will once again make the long journey home. But in two years time they will have the ability to live independently, join the workforce as equals and, in the words of Father Ray Brennan, ‘earn their own rice’.

More information can be found at www.fr-ray.org or email [email protected]

The new students received a blessing on their first day.The new students received a blessing on their first day.

Two years at the school and his life will change forever.Two years at the school and his life will change forever.