Chaing Rai, Thailand

I enter the grounds of the Catholic Center in the Chiang Rai province. A haven of peace is coming towards me. In the distance I hear children playing. The high-pitched sounds of the melodious Thai language. These sounds they have been able to learn here, for these children are Akha, with a language and culture of their own. Akha is one of the many mountain tribes in the high North part of Thailand.

A priest with a friendly face is coming towards me. His name is Alberto Pensa. He came here from Italy some 28 years ago. He greets me cordially and shows me his Center. Quite impressed I decide to work here as a volunteer. Giant tins of paints and a few brushes are bought and I start painting a building.

Gradually I get to know the children and the staff better. What a fantastic way to help children! Children who can live here and who get an opportunity to attend elementary school. Twelve year-old girls who never had that opportunity before are now given an education in the Thai language, arithmetic and clothes designing. At the end of this training of four years all of them find jobs.

Every year former students come back to the center. Every year they help the center with a gift to give other children of their tribe an opportunity too. They are happy.

For some years Father Pensa has planned the construction of a larger school building. He would like to replace old existing buildings by one building. Even more children could have an even better development. There is a lack of financial means.

In the years to come the volunteers of the foundation Future for Kids would like to help this Center by organising financial aswel as non-financial aid.

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