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New orphanage nearing completion



KOH KAEW: Construction of the Phuket SOS Children’s Village on 10 rai on the road from Thepkrasattri Rd to British International School (BIS) is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

The SOS Foundation of Thailand, under the Royal Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, is a member of the Austria-based charity SOS Kinderdorf International (SOS-KDI). The foundation in Thailand was established in 1971 as an independent, non-government social development organization to take long-term care of orphaned and abandoned children.

“The SOS-KDI bought five rai of land from Thanachart Asset Co, which also donated five rai to the project. We started the project in February 2007 and we aimed to finish in April this year, but our work has been delayed by bad weather,” explained Somsak Sukhakern, the project’s Education Manager.

“Our main objective is to adopt children who have been affected by the tsunami. We also take in orphans, abandoned children and children offered for adoption by both of their parents,” said Khun Somsak.

The village accepts very young infants up to children seven years old from Surat Thani, Chumphon, Krabi, Phang Nga and Phuket, K. Somsak said, adding that children older than seven years are accepted if they are siblings of other children staying in the village.

However, the village is not designed to cater to handicapped and special-needs children, he added.

The village comprises 18 one-story buildings – 15 homes and three other building, including a kindergarten. The village also has a sports field for children’s activities.

“The homes are four-bedroom houses, each accommodating 10 children and an officer who will be assigned as the “mother” to take care of the children in each house,” said K. Somsak.

Once complete, the village will be able to care for 120 children with 12 “mothers” and six “aunts” to assist when the “mothers” have days off.

Other staff will include accounts and administration officers, education officers and four kindergarten teachers who will care for children from level one (K1) to level three (K3). The kindergarten will be able to cater to about 90 children.

“As the children grow older, they will attend primary and higher-level schools in Phuket. They can spend their lives as normal children while living in our village, until they are old enough to start their own lives,” K. Somsak explained.

For more information about the SOS Children’s Village, click here.


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