Irish Ambassador Visit

We were honoured to receive the Irish Ambassador to Thailand, Mr Brendan Rogers, to Sarnelli House last Monday, January 25th.  The Irish Embassy in Bangkok donated 200,000 Thai Baht through their Irish Aid ‘In-Country Micro Project Scheme’ late last year. We are using that money to help develop the vegetable and fruit gardens in Jomp’s Farm and the ambassador travelled to Don Wai to have a look at our progress.

As food prices climb in Thailand, Sarnelli House is, through Jomp’s farm, developing a more sustainable approach to our food. Our rice crop was good last year and it will be sufficient to feed all of our children for the next 12 months. Our pigs are breeding quickly and we are slaughtering one a week to add to the children’s plates. We haven’t needed to dip into our fish ponds yet this year as we are still using the frozen fish from last year. And our chickens and ducks are providing us with meat and eggs as well. The next part of our programme is the fruit and vegetable gardens, where we will grown chills, onions, beans, lettuce, cabbage, pumpkins and herbs as well as planting guava, rose apple and mango trees. Many of these new plants and trees are to be grown in giant concrete pots in order to prevent termites from destroying the roots and stems. This work is being overseen by Fr Shea and Miss Kung.

All of this will help to reduce our costs in the long-term and also allow some of our young adults to remain at Sarnelli House and earn their keep working on the farm. Some of these boys, for psychological or developmental reasons, are unfit for the tough outside world and the farm work will allow them to contribute to Sarnelli House, to earn a wage and to benefit from the dignity of work. As any farmer will tell you, it takes many years for a new farm to be in the black, such is the need for initial investment and it has been a difficult few years for us. But we are on the right road and donations like those from the Irish Aid programme are a great help. We thank Ambassador Rogers for his support and for his visit.