Children arrive or are referred to the Fr Ray Foundation via many different routes. The kids themselves may stop at the Drop in center and ask for assistance. Khun Joop may receive a phone call from a neighbor of a child suspected of being mistreated. The local police or even a private citizen may bring a child there. Khun Joop's job along with her social welfare worker is to determine if and/or with whom the child should be placed.
Usually the child is initially cared for at a Drop-In center. The child receives a complete physical and psychological evaluation. They usually stay at the drop in center for a week or so until this process is finished. Sometimes, they stay as long as three months. After the evaluation is complete, Khun Joop determines the best place for the child, either the Children's Village or the Children's Home. About 80-90 children are processed by the Fr Ray Child Welfare office each year.
Runaways are still encouraged to come and find a safe environment, a good meal and medical attention but as I already mentioned anyone may be referred to the center.
I met first with Khun Krisna then met several of the kids who were there.
The concept of this house is to accomodate children who arrive in their later teen years. They want to escape their current lifestyle but are not appropriate candidates for living in Children's Village or Home. At present they can stay at the drop in center and receive medical care, education, food and lodging for up to three months. When this facility is finished, then they will have the opportunity to live at the Halfway House for six additional months during which time they will receive instruction on how to live on their own, find a decent job and become a responsible young adult
The Danish Foundation for Pattaya fully funded the construction of this new home
Another six houses are due to open on March 13 2010. Children living here are generally those who are younger when accepted. The entire Village also has a manager and a resident psychologist.
It's current capacity is 32 children and with the opening of the new houses, there will be room for 48 more children.
Ron is greeted by Khun Wanvanut, the manager
Years ago, this was the facility that provided a safe harbor for kids escaping from the seedy bars and brothels along the Pattaya beach. In order to better protect those children already living here, the Drop In center was created and provides a buffer between arriving street children and those well on their way to a better and safer life at the Children's Home.
In it's initial years, almost all the residents were street kids. Due to gradually improving conditions concerning children in Pattaya and with improved legal enforcement against child predators, the home has gradually filled with a broader mix of abandoned and needy children in addition to the street kids.
Khun Supachi the director, along with our sponsored child Jane and some staff.
Their pledge to the kids.
The kids that are here were usually brought to the center suffering from a variety of ailments which are side affects of HIV. Most had received no treatment nor medicine to contain the disease until they arrived.
In looking at case histories of the children and the "when they entered" to "where they are today" pictures, it was most impressive seeing what some containment control can do in minimizing the effects of the disease. I was overwhelmed with the spirit of what Giovanni is doing.
Our foundation has agreed to a full sponsorship for her. She arrived at 2 years of age and was near death. Today she is a loving and healthy (witin the limits of HIV) young lady of 7+ years.
She is quite a salesperson. I was sitting with a group at lunch and she came over and asked to sit on my lap. She snuggled in and was soon fast asleep. This picture is taken about 40 minutes later when she woke up. You might notice that the dining room is now empty. I didn't have the heart to wake her and she captured mine just by hugging and sleeping.
I can't include pictures of all the kids being sponsored by our foundation but here are all the kids from the Cape May NJ area. (Dottie .. your sponsored child was on break)