September 22nd - INTO Giving to help children in Bangkok slums

In September, INTO Regional Director East Asia, Tom Keenan, met with the founder of the Mercy Schools, Father …

September 22nd - INTO Giving to help children in Bangkok slums

22 Sep 2014

In September, INTO Regional Director East Asia, Tom Keenan, met with the founder of the Mercy Schools, Father Joseph Maier to sign an agreement setting out INTO Giving’s support for The Poonsab Mercy Preschool in Bangkok.

The Poonsab Preschool provides early-stage education for children aged 3-6 living in the Bangkok slums and is just one of the 23 Mercy Centre schools in Thailand. Fr Maier set up the HDF Mercy Centre 40 years ago and, since then has helped many of Bangkok’s poorest families by providing vulnerable children with safe havens from violence, sex abuse, child trafficking, and prostitution in squatter slums, and by giving them access to education.

 

 

Fr Maier insists that all of the children in the Mercy schools have a fully robed graduation ceremony, to celebrate their achievements and reinforce their enthusiasm for education.The preschool also brings parents and guardians of the children together for seminars on child development, financing and budgeting, HIV and AIDS awareness, and the importance of education. INTO Giving will support the preschool by contributing funds towards: food, stationery, medical costs, transportation and training for teachers, water, electricity and gas, renovation, and telephone costs. The charity’s support for teacher training will help improve the quality of teaching and learning.

The Poonsab project fits with the mission of INTO Giving - to help provide children with access to education and good quality teaching and learning.

 “Signing up with the Mercy Centre and the Poonsab Preschool is really exciting, and gives both our (East Asia) team and recruitment partners a project that has a local flavour and resonates with them. We are looking forward to helping young children stay longer in education, and avoid the poverty cycle caused by lack of schooling.” Tom Keenan

 

Providing preschool education for children aged three to six years from the slums enables their mothers to work and provide for the family. At school the children follow a curriculum that includes Thai, English, arithmetic, hygiene, Thai history and folklore, sport, and the arts.

When they start at the preschool 20% of the children are suffering from malnutrition but the Poonsab Preschool provides all students with a nutritious lunch, and monitors their weight and height throughout their learning.

The Poonsab Preschool focuses on strengthening the poorest communities and giving these children an access to education. Their love of learning means that the children are able to start their primary education with confidence, helping them to successfully progress through the ensuing stages of primary education and beyond. One hundred per cent of Poonsab pupils progress to primary school.