Journeying with the young,
14 years after the Tsunami in Southern Thailand
By By Miss Surarak Chainiramol
Lay Mission Partner - responsible for Don Bosco Home
Bang Sak, Thailand, 7 October 2018 -- The large and joyful family of Don Bosco Home has journeyed for the past 14 years in the worst-affected area of southern Thailand since the Tsunami hit in 2004 - the Phang Nga District. Two VDBs and four other educators are journeying with 48 children mainly from the Phang Nga and Surat Thani provinces. The Home is located just 500 metres from the beach that was one of the main sites of the tragedy.
After the 2004 Tsunami, with the help of many benefactors ,this Don Bosco Home was built in record time, and since then many children and young people, mainly from broken or dysfunctional families, are welcomed to this home and attend nearby government schools. Our Salesian Lay Mission partners have been in charge of the whole education process since the early days, with the support and supervision of the THA province. Over the years the closest community at Hat Yai (5 hours drive) has offered a lot of human support and material aid, along with the closest Salesian parishes in Surat Thani province (Phanom, 2 hours driving distance).
The Don Bosco Home village comprises 10 houses and common spaces, organized as group homes with separate lodging and eating facilities. Everyone comes together for the good morning and good night talk and special celebrations.
In the faces of the 'papas and mamas' we can sense the deep joy of accompanying these children over many years. Our children are happy to grow in a green and extensive setting of personalized care, and within a family environment. Common celebrations, prayer, group activity and outings (500 metres from the seashore) make their experience a good re-starting point in their lives.
We pray that this already established experience of journeying with poor young people will inspire more similar ventures in the Thailand - Cambodia - Laos Province of St Paul, now heading towards the first Centenary of the Salesian presence in 2027. Indeed, poor and abandoned young people are saving the Salesian Family!