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Children play at the orphanage. Ten more wait for a place

Tsunami Orphans Need You This Christmas

Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Tsunami Anniversary 2008

THE KIDS in the tsunami orphanage at Takuapa in Phang Nga always need help, but especially now. If you think life is tough, just imagine what it must be like coping without a family.

And the global financial crisis is not helping. Because of the way currencies are being devalued, gifts from friends overseas are worth about two-thirds what they were a few months back.

The number of kids keeps growing, too. This is because uncles, aunts and grandparents who took in extra family after the 2004 tsunami have since found the task of feeding more mouths too tough.

''The kids certainly need help,'' said Allyson Parker, a volunteer from Phuket who spends a lot of time at the Ban Than Nam Jai orphange, not far from Takuapa Hospital.

''There is a waiting list of 10 children at present for places in the orphanage.''

With 2009 looming as a horror year, we'd like to urge Phuketwan readers to give the kids a special Christmas this year. And more importantly, a great 2009.

''They need clothes, food and toys,'' Allyson said. ''And of course, cash never goes astray.''

Phuketwan visited the orphange recently and found about 60 charming children, aged from tots up to teenagers.

They streamed in off the school bus, politely wai-ing greetings to the visitors, then settled down on a broad veranda to eat.

One small hungry guy in the front row could not resist looking into the bowls as they were handed out, hoping it would be his turn next.

A couple of puppies played with the children. After the meal, they (the children, but not the puppies) settled down to some homework.

Upstairs, the girls sleep in a colorful bedroom, while each evening the boys roll out mats and sleep in the corridor.

New accommodation is to open in January for the girls, then the boys will have their own bedrooms, too.

At weekends some of them earn pocket money by working in the orphanage vegetable patch down the road, raising corn, beans, aubergines and cucumbers.

We thought the kids were delightful, as the Photo Album shows.

Director of the Duang Prateep Foundation, one of several charities that supports the orphanage, said the children were a pleasure to work with.

But there is no extra money this year for a big Christmas meal, or for an excursion.

''In many ways, what they really need is rice and essential items of food and clothing, even toothbrushes, every day of the year,'' she said.

In the past, some resorts, including Sri Panwa on Phuket and The Sarojin in Phang Nga, had done wonders without seeking public acclaim for their help, she said.

''We have 60 children now, 40 girls and 20 boys,'' she said. ''We expect more children will want to come. More and more, money from other tsunami-related charities is drying up.

''The children are coming here, because we do our best.''

If you can help, please call Khun Rotjana in Phang Nga on 089 8941738 or Allyson on Phuket on 081 2731577. We hope the kids have a great Christmas and can find the help they will need through a difficult 2009.

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Safe New Year to All from the Phuketwan team!


On December 26 anniversary ceremonies will be held from 9am at four points: Loma Park in Patong, the Mai Khao Wall of Remembrance, the tsunami sculpture at Kamala, and the Phuket International Airport.

Patong beach is expected to be lit with candles in the evening. Other ceremonies are planned for Phang Nga from 8am at the cemetery and Krabi.

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Comments

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I hope the very best for all who are involved with the children and hope they get all the help they need. Happy Christmas to all.

Posted by margaret on December 21, 2008 19:01


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