Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - The Pontifical Mission Societies in Australia (“Catholic Mission Australia”) launched a call for donations for the work of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Thailand for the campaign for World Mission Month in October. In a kindergarten center, the nuns mainly look after children from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds. "Each year the second last Sunday of October is dedicated as World Mission Sunday and this is a formal reminder of the importance of the work of mission", says Catholic Mission National Director, Fr. Brian Lucas, in the note sent to Fides. "We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard, and our baptism calls us to be missionary disciples. Through prayer and material support we reach out to the mission churches, those that are persecuted, fragile and lack the resources we often take for granted", underlines Fr. Lucas. The Kindergarten Center, run by Sister Chalaad and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, was opened to provide care for the children of women working at the Good Shepherd Sisters Fatima Training Centre – a skills training workshop for women from disadvantaged backgrounds - the Kindergarten has expanded to take in local children who would otherwise miss out on crucial early childhood education.
"Most of the children in the centre come from poor families nearby", explains Sister Chalaad, citing Samorn and her five-year-old little Kusa as an example. Samorn did not finish primary school education, taking up full-time work at just 12-years old. Like every parent, Samorn wants Kusa to succeed and have more than she did growing up: "I want my daughter to finish school, I want her to be able to support herself in the future".
At the Kindergarten, each child is provided with a safe space to access education, health care and nutritional meals. It also provides a foundation for children to develop positive self-worth in an environment where they can learn and grow safely. The Kindergarten can take care of over one hundred children.
"We can see that education is important. If the children have a chance to study or prepare well to go to school, it will be a very good chance for them. In the way that I work with the children, I can see that how children can be good people in the future".
The main objectives of the Kindergarten are to help children in difficult situations to receive age-appropriate educational assistance, a safe space to learn and grow, and create a collaborative relationship with families for better childcare. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 14/9/2021)