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Pattaya Daily News

28 May 2010 :: 16:05:32 pm 22691

Pattaya Orphanage Reports Rise in Unwanted Children

The Pattaya Orphanage has been home to abandoned children for over 40 years, more recently however, Father Michael Weera Phangrak (Director of Father Ray Foundation and Pattaya Orphanage) revealed that there is a worrying increase in the amount of unwanted and abandoned children, especially those resultant from teenage pregnancies.
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Pattaya, the 28th of May 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Teenage pregnancies are forming a large part of the rapid increase in unwanted children appearing on the Pattaya Orphanages doorstep, “Now, more and more of our residents are children born to secondary school girls out of wedlock,” said Father Weera.

Originally the orphanage was established by American Redemptorist Father Raymond Brennan, who noticed a need to provide for the hundreds of unwanted children left behind by American soldiers following the conclusion of the Vietnam War. Pattaya, used as a rest and recuperation port, consequently was home to the large majority of these unwanted children whose mothers could not suitably provide care for them.

To this day, the entertainment nightspots and notorious nature of the city’s nightlife results in numerous unwanted pregnancies as it did in decades prior. Father Weera explains, “Due to the many entertainment places [in Pattaya], many Thai women from poor regions of the country come here to cater to sex tourism. These women are not ready to bring up children.”

Of course, not all the orphanages residents are a product of the sex industry, many have come from broken homes, where domestic abuse is prevalent, “A few months ago, we received a one-month-old baby born of a girl who was raped by her father,” stated Father Weera.

Father Weera explains that the orphanage also accepts children whose parents may have died or gone to prison also revealing that a lot of the children come via the local hospitals where parents are increasingly abandoning their children for one reason or another. At present there are 182 children residing at the orphanage, from new-born babies up till university students.

Children of school-age are enrolled in Catholic Schools whilst healthcare is provided by a full-time nurse. Wanida Kunrak, a 12th grade student who is a product of the Pattaya Orphanage stated, “When I graduate, I hope that I will have an opportunity to help people like what this orphanage is doing.” It is sentiments like this that must keep the faith in Father Weera who is doing an exceptional job in extraordinary circumstances.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Community News

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