Graduation 2011

Soi,  Kate, Kiet, Beh, Fock, Fa Mai and Fr Mike Shea (BoyLek is missing in action)

A record number of kids from Sarnelli House graduated school this year – 20 children in total. On March 5th at Rosario School a large and formal ceremony was held starting at 8.30 in the morning before the heat became too unbearable. All the children graduating from Kindergarten into primary school and those senior students graduating from M3 and leaving Rosario were all presented with their leaving certificates. A large stage was set up in the assembly area, and the principal of the school sat on the stage and more than 200 students from

Graduation ceremony at Rosario School

Kindergarten and M3 sat in front, in their best school uniforms and cleanest school shoes.  After speeches and the King’s anthem were played the students’ names were called out and one by one they climbed the stage and were presented with their certificates. Coming down from the stage parents and loved ones greeted the recent graduates and gave them flowers and small presents.  For the Sarnelli House children, their house mothers were waiting with the other mothers and the children received hugs and gifts from them.

Soi (left) and Boy Lek (right)

It was inspiring to see Soi who is turning 9 years old this year and Kiat who is already 9 years old graduate from Kindergarten. They have struggled silently and without complaint over the years to join the ranks of the other Sarnelli House kids at school, despite their considerable walking disability caused by the HIV/AIDS virus. The teachers had to help both children up the steps to the stage but they were able to walk over and receive their certificates themselves.  Their determination to be the same as the other kids has paid off and they join the list of Sarnelli House children who have been given the opportunity of an education, by generous donors and sponsors and Fr Shea and his dedicated staff.

Heaw, Housemother Lek, Mum, Prae, Wow

Keaw, Housemother Jit, BM, Net, Boy, Jay

B, Housemother Nok, Wanpen, Geaw and A

After the official ceremony was finished Fr Shea was in demand for photos to be taken with him and the children  from each of the houses and their housemothers. It was a special time for the children to thank Fr Shea for his care and love for them.

Group dancing from Our Lady of Refuge Girls (left) and from Sarnelli House (right)


On Sunday the following day a pizza party was organized to celebrate with everyone the graduation. All the children from the 6 houses came together for pizza and ice cream and the kids showcased their latest dance steps and Fr Shea gave out a small financial reward to all those recent graduates.
Congratulations to all the graduates and their sponsors!
The graduates this year were:
House of Hope: Beh, Fock, Fa Mai
Sarnelli House: Boy, Kiet, Soi, Kate
Nazareth House: Wan Pen, A,B,Geaw 
Jan and Oscar House: Net, Jay, Boy 
St Patrick’s: BM, Keaw
Our Lady of Refuge: Heaw, Prae, Wow, Mum

Kate Introna 10th March 2011