Shop at orphanage opened
The completion of the building at Baan Nam Khem was not the only opening ceremony for the staff and children at the Baan Tharn Namchai orphanage last month.
Three days later three people from Les Amis des Orphelinats de Pattaya et de Rayong, led by the director Mr. Didier Moly, visited Baan Tharn Namchai to celebrate the opening of a new handicraft shop. At the opening ceremony the kindergarten children provided a dance performance and a ribbon was cut.
The shop is positioned at the corner of the Baan Tharn Namchai plot, by the road leading into the village of Phru Teaw and by a new ‘One Tambon One Product’ (OTOP) market which is presently being constructed. TheThe construction of the shop was sponsored by Baron Ricardo Carini, the founder of both Les Amis des Orphelinats de Pattaya et de Rayong in France and the Thai Children’s Trust in the UK (see information below on the latter). location of the Baan Tharn Namchai shop right beside the soon to be opened market should help attract customers to the shop.
Items on sale in the shop are mostly made by staff and children at the orphanage – cards, batik artwork, handbags, wine bags, make up bags and the like – there are also items made by local villagers, such as mobile phone bags, and some items from the DPF in Bangkok, as well as tee-shirts and bags promoting the orphanage. Hot and cold drinks are also on sale.
The photo shows Mr. Didier Moly and orphanage director Ms. Rotjana Phraesrithong at the opening of the new shop.
Baan Nam Khem building now finished
Last month the staff and children at Baan Tharn Namchai celebrated the completion of the new Tsunami Refuge and Youth Centre in the village of Baan Nam Khem.
On 20 February a plaque was unveiled by Mr. Bob Wolff on behalf of the UK donors who financed the purchase of the land. After the tsunami Mr. Bob Wolff, Ms. Clare Moon and others raised money in the UK to purchase the plot of land at Baan Nam Khem for the Duang Prateep Foundation. Further funds raised by the UK donor group will be used to generate income to provide long term support to the tsunami victims.
After the plaque unveiling, the group toured the premises and were entertained by a dance from children in the new nursery school. Then back at the Baan Than Namchai orphanage, older children provided a southern-style Manora dance performance for the visitors.
Eleven children from the Baan Tharn Namchai orphanage are attending the school and twenty children from the village of Baan Nam Khem have already been registered to attend. The ceremony in February followed on after an opening celebration at the new building in January, when an event was held to coincide with the conclusion of the Hands Across the Water cycle rally from Petchaburi to Phang-nga (see February newsletter).
The new building is a symbol of Anglo-Australian cooperation, with the land purchase possible through English support and the building construction financed through Hands Across the Water from Australia.
Orphanage visitors and other news
During February four people from the UK-based Land of Smiles group visited Baan Tharn Namchai for three weeks.
During their stay the visitors painted the playground equipment and the boundary wall of the
orphanage. They were also helping catch fish from the orphanage fish pond, as well as being busy
making snacks and playing with the children. The group had also fund-raised in the UK to pay for half of the boundary wall, new mattresses for the boys’ house and left further funds for another
The recent visit was the 6th trip to Baan Tharn Namchai orphanage for The Land of Smiles group who have been visiting Baan Tharn Namchai since the beginning of 2007.
On previous visits the projects they have undertaken have included constructing the
playground equipment they painted on their most recent visit and constructing the fish pond which was recently emptied of fish. In the past the group have also built a pavilion at the orphanage’s rubber plantation as well as a floating pavilion on the lake at the plantation.
The Lands of Smiles group and the children were able to take 80 kilos of fish out of the pond, after partially draining the pond and jumping in with nets (photo left).
The fish were eaten at the orphanage and were sold at the market, raising over 5,000 baht. The pond has now been restocked with fish-fingerlings.
Also visiting from the UK last month was Mr. Andrew Scadding the chief executive of the registered charity Thai Children’s Trust. Andrew, his wife Sally and colleague Ms. Ruth Flanagan were at the orphanage for several hours during which time they were welcomed with dance performances, inspected the premises, including the new shop, and talked to the staff.
The Thai Children’s Trust donates funds every month to help meet some of the regular needs of the orphanage such as food and toiletries.
In total over 1,500 disadvantaged Thai children in different parts of the country are benefiting every month from the financial support of the Thai Children’s Trust.
Not all the overseas visitors to Baan Tharn Namchai in February were from the UK. Also visiting was Ben Schumaker from the US based Memory Project who delivered portraits of the children at the orphanage which had been painted by high school students in the USA .
In addition to catching fish, the youngsters at the orphanage also harvested their rice plot last month (photo left). The small rice plot was initiated, with support from Willie’s Orphans Fund from Northern Ireland, as much for education purposes as to provide a source of food. Orphanage director Rotjana was keen to educate the children about the staple grain which they eat at almost every meal.
The harvested rice will be consumed by children and staff but it was reported that despite a scarecrow and plastic bags, the birds also used the opportunity to enjoy the rice.
On the Buddhist holy day of Makha Bucha day, on the full moon of the third lunar month, staff and children celebrated by going to the temple in the morning and again in the evening, when they took part in the candle procession which is always a feature of such celebrations.