Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Disabled tribal children get vital support
Camillian center brings hope, eases burden on parentsSome of the children in the center
- ucanews.com reporter, Chiang Rai
- January 27, 2012
This is a major problem faced by Akha hill tribe people, according to Father Armando Te Nuzzo, director of the Camillian Social Center in Chiang Rai.
âPregnant women do not have access to adequate health care which means quite a few babies are born with a disability,â he said, adding that the numbers are increasing.
In response to this the Camillian congregation opened its Social Center in Chiang Rai two years ago â to try and help the children lead as near a normal life as possible and ease the burden on parents.
According to Father Te Nuzzo, there are now 23 disabled children living at the center, whose ages range from infancy to 12.
âParents donât know how toÂ care for disabled children properly and donât have the money to buy expensive medicines,â the priest said, adding that most of the children cannot speak and some cannot walk. The center has trained personnel to care for the children and to help them with physical and speech therapy.
Chirasak Pongkasem, who works at the center, explained that many children are born with disabilities because their mothers were not eating the right kinds of food during their pregnancy.
Because they are poor, their daily diet consists mainly of rice and chili paste.Â Also, some who become seriously ill during pregnancy do not have access to proper medical treatment, he said.
The center provides therapy and help according to the needs of each child, besides laying on music and computer lessons, and games to develop their physical and mental abilities.
Chirasak noted that besides helping the children, the center is also helpingÂ their families since they are free of having to worry about their kids and can concentrate on trying to make a living.
Anan Aryi, 10, one of the children living at the center said: âIâm very happy here because I have friends. At home, I do nothing and see hardly anyone.Â Iâm learning how to use a computer and I will use this knowledge to help support my family in the future,â he said.