THAILAND: Salesian Missions donor provides funding so two siblings can continue their education
Poppy, age 14, and her brother Carlin, age 11, will able to continue with school in Thailand thanks to support from a Salesian Missions donor.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Sept. 2, 2020) A Salesian Missions donor provided funding for two siblings to continue their education in Thailand. The funding was provided to the Salesian-run Hua Hin Vitthayalai School, located in the town of Prachuap Khiri Khan, and it will enable Poppy, who is 14, to continue with secondary school while her young brother Carlin, age 11, will continue primary school. The funding will also cover the cost of tuition and after school extra classes.
The children’s father is paralyzed and is unable to work. Their mother has been working to care for the family but barely earns enough to cover food, rent, electricity and other basic necessities. The family did not have the extra money to pay for school tuition so the donor’s support was critical in ensuring Poppy and Carlin gain an education.
“We want to ensure the youth are able to finish until grade 12 so we are grateful for the Salesian Missions donor’s support,” said Father Dheparat Pitisant. “We provide them a free lunch and support so they can attend extra classes and extracurricular activities so they have time to connect with their peers. The students are also helping to support their family. During their free time they help to make keychains which the family sells in town at the night market.”
Thailand has shown considerable economic growth over the last 20 years, reducing its poverty rate from 21 percent in 2000 to 10.9 percent today, according to the World Bank. Although the country has made strides in reducing poverty, improving nutrition and meeting the basic needs of its residents, inequality is still pervasive.
One of the more marginalized groups in the country is people with disabilities. Men, women and children with disabilities have been cast aside and perceived as incapable of engaging in meaningful work and leading productive lives. Often those with disabilities, particularly those with visual impairments, are kept out of school and denied an education. As a result, their future employment prospects are diminished and the cycle of poverty continues.
Salesian programs across Thailand focus on education and workforce development in partnership with social development services that work to meet the basic needs of youth and their families living in poverty. Nearly 1,000 students attend each of the Salesian Professional Training Centers in Thailand. These centers mostly focus on students who have performed poorly in more traditional schools or have learning challenges. Those who graduate from the Salesian training courses are typically able to find immediate employment because the programs taught are tailored to meet local demand.
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