Princess enjoys playtime with Thai orphans

PHUKET: Princess Maja Synke von Hohenzollern of Germany was in Phuket yesterday to enjoy a few hours of fun with 23 orphans being taken care of by the Beluga School for Life at Na Nai in Phang Nga.

The school was established soon after the tsunami and is being funded for 10 years by Niels Stolberg, the managing director of Beluga Shipping in Germany.

The Princess is the spouse of Prince Ferfried, of the 600-year-old von Hohenzollern dynasty. She says there is a special place in her heart for Thai children in need, which is why she supports the School for Life, which opened its first branch in Chiang Mai in 2003 to give a home and an education to orphans between the ages of three and 18.

“My heart goes out to these youngsters who have lost parents to HIV, the tsunami, or come from broken homes. We started in Chiang Mai with just 23 children and now we care for about 140,” she said.

“The School for Life, with support from the Thai community, sees to it that the children are well taken care of, get a solid education, learn practical skills such as cooking – boys and girls alike – and learn Thai traditions, such as dance, massage and kick boxing.

“We aim to equip them with self-esteem and training that will help them succeed in life.”

The children were delighted to receive puzzles, CDs and toys from the Princess, and were treated to a day of swimming and relaxing on the beach at the Arahmas Resort & Spa, Phuket, which donated accommodation, the children’s lunch, snacks and drinks and the use of its recreation facilities. The Thomas Cook travel agency covered the transportation arrangements.

Princess Maja is scheduled to leave Phuket today to return to Germany.

A third school is under construction in Kapong, Phang Nga. See here for details of School for Life..

Phuket News

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