Today is a grand and glorious day. All our children’s dreams come true today: Graduation day for 500 of our kindergarten children. Graduating from kindergarten 3 into the first grade into the normal Thai Government school system. We gather all the ‘graduates’ – dress them in “Graduation Robes” and make this the most memorable day of their lives thus far!!!! And me, I dress in my Ph D Robes - which are ‘savagely awesome’ (to quote Gung Fu Panda #2) - and formally give each child a graduation diploma – signed by me and the local Government head man. All their parents are here and proud as only Klong Toey folks can be proud!!!
In our 40 plus years, counting today and tomorrow’s ceremonies, we have hit the 50,000 mark!!!! That’s right !!! Fifty Thousand children have gone through our slum school system. That “blows me away.” What an honor and privilege to teach slum kids, who without this early schooling would be crippled for life –crrippled meaning. a pretty much illiterate future and sure poverty. We’ve changed all that/ Actually, not us, the children themselves have done it!!!
So today, before all the ceremonies begin – I wanted to share this with you all, and thank you with all my heart – my deepest gratitude for making all of this possible. You, our Mercy Family, are simply stupendous – beyond belief in your goodness to our 50,000 children throughout over 40 years.
Please continue to help – wouldn’t it be fabulous that you help child 50,001!!!!!
Must go … they are calling me “do my bit” - to tell the children: GO TO SCHOOL GO TO SCHOOL AND THAT THEY ARE “MERCY GRADUATES.’
Because... what happens today…. is life changing and has to last for a life time.
Prayers Respectfully Fr. Joe
Photos above and below from today's graduation ceremony. Photo gallery here.
Our children celebrated Children’s Day this Saturday in perfect fashion – playing hard, eating ice cream and cake, swimming at local pools, roughhousing (pretending to be kung fu fighters), skipping rope, jumping and diving and cart-wheeling all around, and then, as the sun went down, finding even more ways to play harder and have even more fun. Please visit our gallery of Children’s Day photos here.
Tomorrow is our favorite day of the year in Thailand.
It’s Children’s Day!
Children’s Day is the one and only day of the year dedicated to the joy of being a kid.
While many of our own children lost their way (and their sense of childhood) before they came to Mercy Centre, we do everything we can to give them their childhood back. We try to make every day “Children’s Day.” And tomorrow we celebrate doubly-hard!
Thank you all for helping us care for our children. And tomorrow, if you see a bedraggled kid on the streets, begging for spare change or selling flowers – please stop and say hello, and help if you can.
Usanee, Fr. Joe, and all of us at Mercy
Just before Christmas, dozens of street kids gathered for a party, organized by Mercy Centre and fellow NGO members of the Bangkok Street Children Network. The party took place where the kids are most comfortable, beneath the Rama III Bridge on a sliver of park that many of these kids call home. Our street teachers organized games throughout the day – from three-legged races to co-ed soccer – and presented gifts to every child. Fr. Joe spoke and exhorted the children, as he always does, to be honest and to look after their brothers and sisters on the streets. Most importantly, he reminded them that whenever they need help, no matter what, "Call us. Drop by Mercy. Don't hesitate. We are always here for you." Photo gallery here.
December 13, 2011 - For the third consecutive year, HRH Princess Srirasmi visited our Mercy Centre to celebrate her birthday with our Mercy children. From the moment she arrived, her joy for our children filled our Mercy Centre and the world around us.
Our children renewed their vows to the Princess, promising to work hard in their school studies, to be honest and polite with everyone they meet, and to respect and protect their family and loved ones. Following their vows, our children performed in song and dance to the Mercy Thai Classical Orchestra, comprised entirely of our Mercy kids,
HRH Princess Srirasmi had special moments with our blind girls, Nong Peh and Nong Fon, showing us that our most disabled Mercy children are also the most loved.
Photos: Above: Her Royal Highness with our disabled blind children, Nong Peh and Nong Fon. Below: Our children recite their promises to HRH Princess Srirasmi.
Last week our Mercy girls shined in a concert held at the New International School of Bangkok that showcased their skills and passions in the performing arts – in songs, folk dances, piano recitals, and popular show tunes.
Like proud parents everywhere, we are probably not the best judges of our own children, but in this case we are quite confident in our opinion: our girls gave a first-rate professional and entertaining performance. The audience of NIST students, teachers, family and friends thought so, too. Each Mercy child was a star: Nancy, Tammy, Toi, Niew, Kat, Kook Gai, Phen, Gwan, Ann, and many of our younger Mercy children, too! (Photo by Alexandra Ashley. More photos at gallery here.)