Father Ray Day Care Center

Wearing long blue gowns, old fashioned mortar boards on their head and with a small posy of orchids pinned to their chest twenty four kindergarten students recently graduated from the Father Ray Day Care Center.

For the past two years these youngsters have been traveling to the Center, located onSukhumvit Road, from all over Pattaya. The aim of the Center when it opened in 2008 was to provide a safe place for the underprivileged children of Pattaya to spend their days while their parents were seeking employment.

During their time at the Center the children have learned to read and write. They have also received English and computer classes, all in preparation for entering regular government schooling. Swimming, cooking, gardening and play sessions have seen the students learning new skills, all of which are beneficial to growth of each child.

For all students the morning starts the same way, with a hot nutritious breakfast, as many families will have no food at home. The Center also provides two uniforms, lunch and snacks, medical assistance and can also offer advice for any parent who finds themselves in trouble.

It may be a cliché to say that the Center is helping to ‘break the cycle of poverty’, but that is exactly what it is doing. It is giving a better start in life to the poor children of Pattaya than perhaps their parents and grandparents had.

One little boy was very happy to receive his graduation certificate. He thinks that it is now all over, no more school. It was explained to him that in May he will be entering grade 1 at School number 7. The smile disappeared from his face when he was told that he has another twelve years to go before his next graduation ceremony.