October Update

Happy Halloween!

Life for the kids during the last few months has been hectic and confusing. Early last month, they returned to school, after online study because of a Covid break out. Within a few days schools closed again, since a government school for troubled youth reported over 300 cases of the virus. Lockdown for these kids is painful, but the girls began buying clothes and beauty products on line, while the boys patiently cling to their money. Hopefully, the country opens up soon! We have volunteers waiting to come and stay with the kids, and guests wanting to come visit.

Heavy rain and floods are ravaging areas around Bangkok and the lower Northeast and North. Here, along the Mekong, rains are sufficient to keep the rice growing, and the gardens lush. We are praying for at least six more weeks of rain, until the rice heads out completely.

Our nursery has 25 babies and toddlers, and five of them live with physical and mental challenges, because their mothers took drugs during pregnancy, or from abuse or issues at birth. Two older infants are victims of botched abortions. I am thinking of seeking funds to build these kids a separate facility, and have some of my graduating girls take special courses on caring for special care kids. The trouble is that the government will then start dumping these types of babies on us, without giving us any help. As it is, they pay nothing for the children they currently refer to us. Years ago, I went to see the governor in the province and asked for help from the Royal Thai Health Department for food and upkeep, but the jerk told me that the Thai Government does not help any Catholic charities. And what with Covid, folks are not too keen on helping “organizations”. The feeling is that it would be better to have a baby or child raised by a family, rather than an orphanage. That is great on paper, but the reality is that people don’t get in line to take a special needs child, and we are aware that there are people out there who would traffic a kid for work or sexual abuse.

Our Outreach program is quite busy these days. There are many unemployed folks to help, and old people and sick children in the extended area around Nongkhai. Nurse Kate, Brother Keng and Fr. James take off every Thursday with a van loaded with food, medicine, clothes and cooking oil. We buy wheelchairs for adults and children with disabilities. One little girl has a disease which makes her bones very brittle, and we bought her an electric wheelchair. Her name is Kanombang ‘(“Bread”), and she is very deft at turning and roaring along a road. Her younger brother has the same disease, but is able to operate with a conventional wheelchair. But he will need a similar wheelchair in the future.

Again, thank you for your interest in the kids and stay safe and healthy! God bless you!

Fr. Mike


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