We count ourselves as most fortunate in having friends who believe in what we are trying to do to protect and educate poor, vulnerable children and who support us in our most difficult endeavors.
Your support comes in the form of rice: rice for our children, our students, and our poorest neighbors in the slums. Rice may not seem like the most dramatic gift. It’s not the kind of gift people boast about giving. It’s dry, unexciting. It’s just a simple food staple.
But rice fuels all our programs. And without rice, our programs would all fall apart.
We serve over 3,000 meals each day with rice as the basic staple.
The majority of these meals are for the 2,300 poor children who attend our twenty-three kindergartens spread across the slums of Bangkok. For many of these children, the lunch we serve is their only nutritious meal of the day; and that one nutritious meal keeps the students growing, alert, playful, and a joy in the classrooms and in the playgrounds. Rice fuels their lifetime love of learning.
We also prepare at least two meals each day – breakfast and dinner - to the children who live with us as family in our Mercy Centre. These children have been orphaned, abused, used, trafficked or abandoned before they joined our family. (Their lunchtime meal is served in school. Every Mercy child attends school!)
The 45 children who attend our Janusz Korczak School for street children also receive at least one meal per day. Again, this meal is the core of their daily nutritional needs.
In recent years, we have built simple one-room schools on four construction worker camps in Bangkok for the children of migrant Burmese and Cambodian workers. We operate these schools to teach children, who otherwise would never go to any school, their first lessons in reading and writing, math and more. It also gives the children a safe secure environment to learn and play while their parents work in nearby construction sites. Approximately 80 children attend these schools and receive lunch every school day.
Our social workers on the streets also give three-kilogram sacks of rice to the poorest of the poor, those who cannot provide for themselves. In addition, our HIV/AIDS teams visit patients in their shacks and provide dry foods, including sacks of rice, to allow the poor living with AIDS to live with dignity as productive members of their families and communities.
Finally, it’s important to note that our foundation is a community drop-in center located in the middle of Bangkok’s largest slum community We offer sacks of rice to everyone who comes to our Mercy Centre hungry.
To serve all our programs, in total, we need 2.5 metric tons of rice every month.
Current prices: 23 Thai baht per kilo (approximately two-thirds of one US dollar – 68 cents).
To give you an idea how your gifts make a difference, we offer the following example: a 50-kilogram sack of rice costs around $30 and can serve thousands of poor school children in our classrooms.
On behalf of everyone here in our Mercy Centre – especially our kindergarten students, our own Mercy children, their house moms and house dads, and all the people we are able to reach through your generous support – we wish to extend our most heartfelt thanks.
Please visit our Mercy Centre any time. You are always welcome. You will always be a part of our Mercy family.
We wish to thank everyone who contributed to our Mercy Centre rice/nourishment project. When you make a gift of rice to our foundation, you are actually supporting many projects. The most far-reaching project is for the children in our 23 kindergartens, where over 2,500 poor children are gaining their first lessons in reading and writing and math as they learn to play with others, say nice words, and countless object lessons in life.
The cooked, nutritious lunch, served over rice, that our children receive every school day is the most nourishing meal of their day. Many of their parents earn less than the daily minimum wage, if anything at all. For many students, their school lunch may be their only real meal of the day. Over 20 percent of our incoming first year students suffer from some degree of malnourishment. Thus, the meal we provide is the fuel that our students need to grow and develop and learn and gain all the opportunities in life that every child deserves.
In addition we serve lunch in five schools we operate in construction worker camps. The students in these schools are the children of migrant workers (mostly Cambodian, Burmese and Lao) who have come to Thailand to receive a minimum daily wage (or less) as unskilled construction workers.
The rice you give us also serves the 180 children who live with us as family in our Mercy Centre. These children were orphaned, abused, used, or thrown away before they joined our family.
Finally, we give individual 5 pound sacks of rice to families and individuals in crisis. Our Mercy Centre is a drop-in centre for the poorest of the poor. Generally, people only come to us when they need our help the most - that is, in times of emergency. So in evercy case, your gift makes a great difference.
We’ve attached a couple of photos of a construction worker camp and construction camp school to give you an idea who is receiving your gifts. Also attached, a photo of lunch time at one of our kindergartens. Once again, thank you everyone – your gifts are incredibly important to all the children in our care and everyone who comes to us for assistance. Please visit our Mercy Centre any time, whenever you may be in Bangkok. You are always most welcome and you will always be a part of our Mercy family.
We received several recent donations for our “nourishment” project. Every one of these donations makes a huge difference. We need four tonnes of rice every month to serve the following groups:
The cost of rice fluctuates, while our needs remain ongoing. Today the cost per metric tonne of rice is over $500.
Your gifts make a profound difference in the lives (and futures) of the children and adults we serve. No donation is too small. Even a $10 gift is enough to serve a nourishing lunch to several kindergarten classrooms. We wish to thank you one and all who have contributed in any way to this project, and invite you to visit our Mercy Centre whenever you may be in Bangkok. You are always welcome and will always be a part of our Mercy family.
This project remains ongoing, and always has been a part of our programs since we opened our first preschool over 40 years ago. Our foundation's nutrional needs are enormous: we operate 23 kindergartens in the slums, providing a nutrious lunch to over 2,500 school children every school day. Recently we have been explanding our kindergarten program in to campsites for contruction workers in Bangkok. Currently we operate three construction camp kindergartens.
We also care for 180 children in shelters in our Mercy Centre - children who have been orphaned, abandoned, abused, or neglected. In addition, we provide emergency care, focusing on nutrition, for all our neighbors in the slums in their times of greatest need.
In Ranong Province in the mid-south of Thailand, we support an island of destitute ethnic Mokans (the sea gypsies of Thailand).The children on this island suffer from intestinal worms, which means that we must monitor their health closely. When we first arrived on this island, every child was suffering from malnutrition
In meeting our primary goads - the protection and education of poor children - we must make sure that every child has enough to eat so that they can grow and develop normally.We wish to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to our nourishment programs.
This project remains ongoing - that is, to provide rice at lunchtime for the school children attending our slum kindergartens every school day.
We oeprate 23 kinderartens in Bangkok's slums; 2500 school children are enrolled.
For many of these children, a hot nutritous lunch is their only healthy, substantial meal of their day. About 20% of the school children show signs of malnourishment when they first enter our three-year kindergartens. We monitor the children's development, including weight and height, throughout the year. In addition to lunch we provide milk and fruit snacks at the end of each school day to ensure that our school children are receiving proper daily nutrients.
Nutirition will always remain as integral to our education programs. Our school year begins in May and runs through March. Approximately 40,000 poor chidlren have graduated from our kindergartens in the past 40 years on their way to government primary schools...and beyond.
We wish to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to this project, and invite you to visit a Mercy kindergarten whenever you may be in Bangkok.
Link from recent newsletter about our education programs:
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