Thai Children’s Trust Visit

The annual Thai Children’s Trust (TCT) visit to Sarnelli House this year was more exciting than usual. In February Crispian Collins, Chair of Trustees at TCT, Carl and Ann Gross who have been long term supporters of TCT since 1994 and who fundraise through growing and selling their own veggies and Virginia Yip another long term supporter of TCT since 2006 who does numerous fundraising activities and has a stall selling fair trade goods at a farmers market all came to visit Sarnelli House and check on the progress of Jomp’s Farm.

Fr Shea and Virginia

The perimeter fences

Thai Children’s Trust has been a long time supporter of Sarnelli House as well as many other needy childrens’ organizations in Thailand (www.thaichildrenstrust.org.uk). Every Year TCT has a massive fundraising project called the Big Give. Towards the end of 2011 the Big Give targeted Sarnelli House and the development of Jomp’s Farm and aimed to raise 50,000 GBP. This money would be used to

  • purchase 16 rai or 8 acres of farm land about 1 km behind Sarnelli House in the village of Don Vai
  • fence the perimeter of the land
  • dig 2 large fish ponds
  • build cottages for staff and caretakers on the land

Thankfully the huge efforts of the staff of TCT and the generosity of donors have paid off and TCT has transferred the first installment of the Big Give’s fundraising to Sarnelli House.

Virginia with boys from Jan and Oscar House

The TCT team Fr Shea and the some of the boys who work the farm

What has been a dream for Fr Shea and his staff is finally becoming a reality. Jomp's Farm called after Virginia Yip's son who had a long association with Thailand and who died not long after visiting Thailand at 28 years old will be a self sustaining farm and a home.  The boys who will live and work on the farm are also living with HIV/AIDS and for various reasons are unable to complete their schooling and have emotional and learning difficulties. They would not be able to hold down a job and would be unable to manage for themselves in the bigger world. Eventually when the farm is complete and in working order which is estimated to be another 2 years the boys will live and work on the farm with adult support. Presently 2 boys one from Jan and Oscar House and one from St Patrick’s Boys Home who are in senior high school have expressed an interest to study agriculture and come back and live and work on the farm with the new knowledge they have learned.

Currently the land has been purchased and the fencing has been completed. The land has been cleared of eucalyptus and the rice paddies are now fallow after a good season last year. Some corn has been planted by the children but will only feed one house. Two small houses have been built to house night watchmen and staff, cement electricity pylons are in place but there is now a wait for the government to connect the electricity despite the money being paid in full by Friends of Sarnelli UA. With the help of other generous donors chicken, fish, ducks and cows will be bought and coops built to house them. Eventually a dormitory will be built to house the boys and the farm will feed Sarnelli House and give a livelihood to those boys who need it.

February 2012

Kate Introna