Thailand: children's centre reaches out to tsunami survivors

 Although Pattaya, on the south east coast of Thailand was not directly hit by the Boxing Day tsunami, staff and students from different projects run by the Pattaya Orphanage Trust were involved in the initial relief work and are now supporting survivors in many ways. Chief Executive Andrew Scadding sends this report. Almost five months have passed since the Tsunami hit the west coast of Thailand. And while the news doesn't feature stories about the Tsunami very often any more, the long, slow process of rebuilding lives and communities will continue for years to come. When the Tsunami struck we set up a special fund for Tsunami survivors, as we think our job is to support Thailand's most vulnerable children. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we are supporting children who have experienced the trauma of the tsunami; children who may have lost their homes or even their families. We are buying formula baby milk for babies and toddlers whose families can no longer afford the cost. Krabi Hospital is supplying the milk and we are also supplying milk to a daycare centre in Klong Hin (built in memory of a young English woman and her children who perished in the Tsunami). We will continue to work with Help International Phi Phi to pay for this milk for the rest of the year at least. Another project I'm very excited about is developing 'lunch farms', in collaboration with Helping Hands Pattaya. For children to go to school and be able to learn they need not to be hungry. Working first with the Wat Koh Lanta School as a pilot project, and then other schools in the Tsunami affected area, we are supporting school lunch farms; schools growing their own food. Staples of the Thai diet are grown; vegetables, chickens and even prawns are farmed in tanks (with the water captured from rainwater from the school roof)! This practical project will help these children (and their families who can't afford school lunches anymore) for the long term, as the lunch farms will become self sufficient, so can continue indefinitely. During the holidays the whole community can benefit from the extra food, so nothing will be wasted. If in future the extra food was no longer needed it could even be sold by the school to support the children's education in another way. And, while the lunch farm is still growing, we are providing money to pay for lunches for the children. Founded over 30 years ago by Redemptorist priest, the late Fr Ray Brennan, The Pattaya Orphanage in Thailand provides a loving home and education for more than 700 orphaned and neglected children and disabled young people. Projects include a School for Deaf Children, a School for Blind Children, a Street Kids Project, Drop In Centre for street children, a Vocational School for disabled young people and a Job Placement agency (the only one of its kind in the country). For more information see:

Share this story