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Thai missionary group seeks funds to support poor children

The Sisters of the Good Shepherd has been serving women, girls and children in Thailand for decades

UCA News reporter

UCA News reporter

Published: September 17, 2021 07:38 AM GMT

Updated: September 17, 2021 10:18 AM GMT

Thai missionary group seeks funds to support poor children

Sisters of the Good Shepherd who offer vital support to including education and accommodation to vulnerable children in Thai capital Bangkok seek funding support for their work. (Photo: goodshepherdthailand.org)

The Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Australia has launched a donation campaign to support Catholic nuns for their mission in serving poor, disadvantaged children in Thailand.

The campaign, just ahead of World Mission Month in October, seeks to assist the work of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd who offer vital support to including education and accommodation to vulnerable children in Thai capital Bangkok, reports Vatican’s Fides news agency.

In Thailand, the Good Shepherd nuns operate a kindergarten in the Din Daeng area of Bangkok that serves children from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds.    

The Pontifical Mission Societies is a global umbrella group of Catholic missionary organizations under the jurisdiction of the pope supporting the church’s missionary activities and young churches in mission territories.

Father Brian Lucas, the national director of PMS Australia (also known as Catholic Mission Australia) said that every baptized faithful are called to support mission churches through prayer and material support.

"Each year the second last Sunday of October is dedicated as World Mission Sunday and this is a formal reminder of the importance of the work of mission", Father Lucas said.

"We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard, and our baptism calls us to be missionary disciples. Through prayer and material support we reach out to the mission churches, those that are persecuted, fragile and lack the resources we often take for granted", the priest added.

Good Shepherd Sister Chalaad and other confreres have been running the kindergarten for children for women working at the Good Shepherd Sisters Fatima Training Center – a skills training workshop for poor and disadvantaged women.

Since then, the kindergarten has expanded to take in local children who would otherwise miss out on crucial early childhood education.

"Most of the children in the center come from local poor families", Sister Chalaad said.

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"We see education is important. If the children have a chance to study or prepare well to go to school, they will have good chances to prosper in life. As I work with the children, I can see that how children can be good people in the future,”

The nun cited the example of Samorn and her five-year-old daughter, Kusa.

Samorn didn’t finish her primary education and she has become a full-time worker when she was just 12.

However, Samorn wants Kusa to succeed in her life and do better things.

"I want my daughter to finish school, I want her to be able to support herself in the future,” she said.

Currently, the kindergarten has more than one hundred children. Each child gets adequate facilities to have education, healthcare and nutritious meals. It also provides for their moral formation to develop positive self-worth in an environment where they can learn and grow safely.

The Sisters of the Good Shepherd is an international Catholic women religious congregation founded in 1835 in France. A major charism of the order is promoting protection, welfare and rehabilitation of women and girls. The group has also been at the forefront to end abuses against women and girls and human trafficking.

Good Shepherd nuns arrived in Thailand in 1965, following an invitation from the Legionaries of Holy Redeemer Church in Bangkok in 1961, according to the Good Shepherd Asia-Pacific website.

The nuns started a Good Shepherd Home for girls and women in Bangkok, which included education and skills training programs.

Since then, the nuns have been serving women and girls including those pregnant and victims of abusive relationships, exploitation, prostitution and trafficking as well as undocumented migrant workers from Myanmar in various parts of the country, such as Nongkhai, Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Rai.  

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