45 Years of Mercy Cen­tre

Thai-American Business (T-AB) Magazine - - Contents -

The Hu­man De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion’s Mercy Cen­tre is cel­e­brat­ing its 45th an­niver­sary. What started in 1972 as a sin­gle one- baht- a- day preschool in the slums of Klong Toey has since ex­panded into a net­work of over 30 schools all over Bangkok, which have grad­u­ated an es­ti­mated 50,000 un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren.

To­day, in ad­di­tion to schools, the Mercy Cen­ter op­er­ates or­phan­ages and homes for street kids, as­sists chil­dren and adults liv­ing with AIDS, pro­vides emer­gency as­sis­tance and home re­pair to slum fam­i­lies af­fected by crip­pling floods and fires, and acts in co­op­er­a­tion with com­mu­nity mem­bers to me­di­ate ac­tiv­i­ties in­volv­ing wel­fare or­ga­ni­za­tions, hous­ing au­thor­i­ties, gov­ern­men­tal agen­cies, and the Port Author­ity of Thai­land. Epony­mous with the Mercy Cen­tre are its founders, Father Joe Maier and Sis­ter Maria Chan­tavar­o­dom. They have been the heart and soul of the Mercy Cen­tre for 45 years and have ded­i­cated their lives to help­ing and em­pow­er­ing the un­der­priv­i­leged in the area that is known as the “Bangkok Slaugh­ter­house.” Their hard work and ded­i­ca­tion have in­spired oth­ers and do­na­tions have been pour­ing in from all over the world.

The slum shack preschool is now a multi- struc­ture com­pound which in­cludes a 400- pupil kinder­garten, a home for street kids, a home for moth­ers and chil­dren with AIDS, a 26- bed free AIDS hos­pice, a le­gal aid anti- trafficking unit, and var­i­ous ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices that over­see oper­a­tions rang­ing from a spon­sor- a- child pro­gram, to com­mu­nity health and out­reach ser­vices. “The Mercy Cen­tre has cre­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple to im­prove their sit­u­a­tion through ed­u­ca­tion and health ac­cess. Adults and el­derly re­ceive com­mu­nity sup­port, hous­ing, and sav­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. Chil­dren in dan­ger de­velop into re­spon­si­ble in­di­vid­u­als in the safety of our shel­ters sur­rounded by love, nur­tur­ing, and care­tak­ers,” says Sis­ter Maria in her thank- you let­ter to the Cen­tre’s staff.

AMCHAM Thai­land and its mem­bers have been con­tribut­ing to the Mercy Cen­tre for over a decade. Each year, do­na­tions gath­ered at AMCHAM’S an­nual Eggnog Party are be­queathed to the Mercy Cen­tre, to­tal­ing close to Baht one mil­lion over the years.

AMCHAM wishes the Mercy Cen­tre many more decades of pro­vid­ing a bea­con of hope to those who need it most.

2016 AMCHAM Board Pres­i­dent Brad Mid­dle­ton ( sec­ond from left) handed funds raised at the Eggnog Party held on De­cem­ber 8, 2016 to Mercy Cen­tre’s Father Joe Maier ( far right)

Father Joe with U. S. Am­bas­sador to Thai­land, Glyn T. Davies, and Mrs. Davies at AMCHAM’S Eggnog Party on De­cem­ber 8, 2016

Brad Mid­dle­ton with the Mercy Cen­tre chil­dren

Father Joe speaks at AMCHAM’S monthly lun­cheon in March 2016

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Thailand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.