Bunk beds from the Billabong

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What started with Bob Philp having a few cold drinks with some friends ended with the Billabong Golf Bar raising 550,000 baht on their charity golf day for Children With Special Needs. A great day with the help of many generous sponsors and golfers alike.

Funds have been donated to the Siriraj Hospital – the oldest and largest in Thailand – with special attention being given to helping children that are autistic, have Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and other learning disabilities.

Khao Bi Sri, a centre near Sattahip, has also been a beneficiary with items that are essential for the comfort of the 140 children.

Khun Somet thanks the Billabong Golf Bar.Khun Somet thanks the Billabong Golf Bar.

The balance of the funds have been donated to the Fr. Ray Redemptorist Centre for Children With Special Needs. They have many children registered with them but only a handful can visit the centre on a daily basis being transported by whatever means are available to the families, generally, baht bus or motorbike, a big expense for poor families. For many parents, caring for children with special needs can be very difficult and require skills that most people do not possess but they are encouraged to attend the daily sessions to witness how professionals help the children to do the things that most of us take for granted. This is not often possible for the parents have to earn a living to support the rest of the family. The children are taught to read and write and physiotherapy sessions are held regularly to improve muscle tone and for parents to learn how exercises can continue at home.

There has been a problem however. The area allocated for this purpose is very small and limits the number of children that can be accommodated on a daily basis although there are many children that could be helped if space permitted, hence the need for larger premises that would also allow many children to be able to stay at the centre, instead of returning home every night, which then enables parents to continue working. A larger premises would also incorporate vocational training which would include computers, administration and many others subjects to prepare the children for life in the outside world. The Chonburi Administrative Authority, recognizing the urgent need for such a facility, made a substantial contribution to the building and the premises will be completed before the year’s end. But the children need some home comforts. As a result, it was an easy decision for the Billabong to purchase bunk beds, mattresses and lockers which will provide the children with somewhere to keep their personal items.

If you feel you would like to make a contribution to these children, please contact William on 087615224, Bob Philp at the Billabong on 0822043411, or Derek Franklyn at the Fr. Ray offices.