The street kids who live around the Rama I Bridge phoned our Street Teacher, Kru Nang, last week on Mother’s Day, and told her that she must visit them. “It is urgent, “ they said, “but we can’t tell you why. Just come right now. We need you.”
When Kru Nang arrived, the children presented her with garlands of flowers and told her that in their hearts, she was their mom. Tears flowed freely. Even strangers passing by were moved to tears by the beautiful ceremony. (Photo gallery here.)
Early this morning we celebrated Mother’s Day at Mercy Centre and gave honor to Her Majesty the Queen on her birthday and to all of our House Moms and all the moms who are a part of our Mercy Family.
Monks from our local temple, Wat Saphan, joined us at Mercy Centre. Since our local temple is also a “half-way” home and treatment centre for many poor adults addicted to drugs, we each gave gift bags of rice, canned foods, milk, and other essentials for the adults in their care. The Monks prayed and blessed our home and family. The schoolchildren from of our Flat 12 Kindergarten performed in dance. And everyone at Mercy Centre sang together for the love of our Queen, our mothers, and our children. It was another beautiful morning at Mercy Centre. (2011 Mother's Day Photo gallery here. Previous Mother's Day gallery here.
Last week marked the beginning of Khao Pangsa (known in English as Buddhist Lent), a period of spiritual renewal in the Buddhist calendar. To commemorate the teachings of Lord Buddha and pay respect to the Monks who make merit on our behalf, our house moms, teachers, street workers, social workers, children, and students representing our eight kindergartens in Klongtoey – over 800 men, women and children in all - paraded to Wat Saphan, our local temple, where we made merit and received blessings. The photo gallery tells the story, here. Photos by Alex Ashley. Related gallery here.
Today we celebrated “Wai Kru” Day at our Mercy Centre – the day students throughout Thailand give thanks to their teachers. On this day, all students enrolled in our Korczak School for street children and representatives from ten of our local slum kindergartens invited their teachers to celebrate in a pageant of thanksgiving, music, dance, gift-giving, and blessings. (Please visit our Teachers' Day photo gallery. Previous Teacher Day galleries here, here and here.)
Formal Launch at The Johnstons Music Festival
Concert Details: www.thejohnstonsmusicfestival.com
Some of our best friends in the world have recently started “The Irish Foundation for Mercy Centre,” a charity based in Dublin that will help raise awareness and increase support for our Mercy Centre in Bangkok.
The Irish chapter is the initiative of musician and Folklorist, Professor Mick Moloney of New York University. Mick Moloney, along with Paul Brady, Michael and Lucy Johnston are the surviving members of Irish Folk Group “The Johnstons,” one of Ireland’s most famous musical families. The other founding member Adrienne Johnston died in 1981. The remaining members will perform a reunion concert in Drogheda on Saturday June 25 at the first annual Johnstons Music Festival.
The June 25 performance will also serve as a celebration of the formal launch of “The Irish Foundation for the Mercy Centre.” Fr. Joe, our Executive Director Ms. Usanee, and Mercy colleagues will be attending the concerts and wish to invite all our friends throughout Ireland to join in the celebration for the best of music, mirth, and craic.
On May 31, 2011 the Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Head of the Embassy of Poland, Dr. Zygmunt Langer visited our Mercy Centre to present gifts to the children and teachers of our Janusz Korczak School. These gifts included several photographs of the life and work of Jansuz Korczak, a hero to the people of Poland and Israel, and to poor children everywhere.
Dr. Janusz Korczak was a Polish-Jewish educator, pediatrician, and orphanage director who introduced progressive orphanages in Poland, trained teachers in what is now called moral education, and pioneered the legal rights of children everywhere. In 1942, when his Jewish orphanage was removed to the Warsaw Ghetto, Korczak refused an offer of help for his own safety. Months later, he and his children walked together in quiet dignity to the train bound for Treblinka, where they perished.
Our school for street children is dedicated to the memory of Janusz Korczak and to the children in his care who perished during World War II.
The gift of photographs from the Embassy of Poland will become a permanent school exhibit. Photograph above: Korczak’s Orphanage Orchestra, Below: Minister Counsellor Dr. and Mrs. Langer, Fr. Joe, teachers and students. More photos here. Janusz Korczak School of SE Asia - Program Description.