• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

Friday, 28 May 2021 10:50

Village children start school year with new uniforms, supplies

 

Truong presents school materials to village girl 550Children from low-income families in SVD parishes in Beungkan Province, Thailand are preparing for the new school year with fresh educational supplies thanks to an initiative from their Parish Priest, Fr Truong Le SVD.

Fr Truong cares for the parishes of Immaculate Conception Church and Jesus of Nazareth Church in Beungkan Province, near the Mekong River, bordering Laos. It is the newest province in Thailand and one of the poorest.

“With the COVID situation, I had planned to do something to assist families in need,” Fr Truong says.

“In these villages, the people depend on the annual rice crop for stable food for the family throughout the year. Very little can be sold for profit.

“Until recently, the villagers could supplement their income with rubber trees, bringing in about $160 AUD per month. Those without rubber trees depend on daily wages with whatever work is available, which is about $15 AUD per day.

“In all, the villagers welcome assistance and support.”

Fr Truong says the students are currently getting ready for the new school year and their families are confronted with trying to obtain all the necessary supplies.

“Each year, uniforms and supplies are significant expenses for these families,” he says. “Kids do grow out of their clothes quickly. Low-income families can’t afford to buy new uniforms each year. From what I saw last year, the students wore out their uniforms significantly.

“So, this year, I was able to assist 50 plus students, both Buddhist and Catholics, with full quality uniforms and supplies.”

Fr Truong says the project was funded by donations from the Vietnamese Eucharistic Movement in the US, with whom he has a long association, who chose to support the mission in Thailand for their annual Lenten Charity project.

Truong gives school uniforms to village children 550He says the project not only assists low-income families but also encourages students to continue with school.

“The education standards in the villages are lower than in the larger towns and cities. Students tend to have lower educational attainment due to the lack of encouragement and support from family, lack of resources, poorly-trained teachers, poverty, and other issues that affect the youth,” he says.

Since arriving in his parishes, Fr Truong has been responding to the needs of the villages by opening up English courses for young people.

“Now I am opening up a computer course, since I found out they have never touched a desktop computer before,” he says.

“These activities focus on promoting educational value, and I firmly believe that investment in education improves the livelihood of the students and their families. So, the school uniforms and supplies serve to reach this end.”

Fr Truong says while the educational supplies are a small gift, the villagers are grateful, particularly during the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The school uniforms and supplies show that the community cares about how the students look going to school, that we care about their education, that we care about their future,” he says.

PHOTOS

TOP RIGHT: Fr Truong hands a new school bag to a young student from his village.

BOTTOM LEFT: Students model their new school uniforms.

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