FATHER RAY FOUNDATION
The Father Ray Foundation takes care of 850 orphaned, abused and disadvantaged children and students with disabilities. With 850 underprivileged children and students with disabilities under our care we need your help.
With 850 underprivileged children and students with disabilities under our care we need your help to ensure we can provide the basic necessities that everyone needs.
Who was father Ray?
Father Ray Brennan was an American Priest in the Redemptorist Order.He grew up the second of three children to an Irish-American family in the tough south side of Chicago. As the newly ordained Father Ray Brennan arrived in the Kingdom of Thailand, his first posting was to Sri Racha, a small fishing village about a two hour drive from Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand. He remained there for 6 months studying the Thai language.One day, at the end of a Sunday service, a woman approached him with a baby in her arms. She told him that the father of the baby, her former husband, had run away, and she had since found a new husband. However, as is common in many cases, her new husband would have nothing to do with the child. Father Ray said that he would take the child, even though he did not have any experience taking car of a child. When Father Ray accepted the child he was not aware of how many lives this one action was going to change.During the Vietnam War many children were born to Thai mothers and American fathers. These children were not accepted by society; many did not want a half white or a half black child in their families, but Father Ray accepted these unwanted children and gave them a home.Word soon traveled around town about the work Father Ray was doing, and more children arrived. Poor Thais arrived and asked this American priest to take care of their child, as they were too poor to provide what the child needed.He became ‘father’ to hundreds or orphaned babies, neglected children and abused teenagers. He became a hero to many people living with a disability; he gave them an education, and the confidence to hold their heads high and be equals in society.
Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities
Since 1984 more than two thousand five hundred young adults with disabilities have successfully graduated from the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities. They leave with the skills and the knowledge which will allow them to find suitable employment where they will receive the same pay and the same rights as their able bodied colleagues.
New students arrive from across the country, and have a selection of courses to choose from Computer Business in English, Media, Electronic Repair, People Empowerment, Mould & Dye and Elementary Education.
Students arrive at the school with a variety of health problems. For those who are wheelchair bound, ulcers and pressure sores are the main problem. Those who wear ill-fitting prosthesis complain of broken skin. The school provides all of the necessary medical support to ensure the students are in the best possible health.
The school encourages all students to participate in sporting activities. The school provides the opportunity to compete in traditional Thai sports, as well as archery, swimming, fencing, wheelchair basketball, tennis and athletics.
Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind
The Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind is one of eleven schools for blind and visually impaired children in the Kingdom of Thailand. It was founded in 1986 by Father Ray, with the help of Mrs. Aurora Sribuapan, a social worker who is herself blind, and who is now head teacher of the school.
Students are taught how to use computers, on specially adapted machines which ‘talk’ to the students whenever they press a button on the keyboard.We also teach students the skills that they will need to live as independent life as possible: learning to walk using a white cane, personal hygiene, cooking and gardening.
FATHER RAY CHILDREN'S HOME
They arrive with stories of past lives where they had just enough food to survive, were beaten until they bled and forced into activities were their bodies were abused.
They live with other children and teenagers from similar backgrounds, and with the support of social workers and teaching staff, they have the opportunity to return to education and grow into decent young adults who contribute to society.
All children at the Home are treated as individuals. We know that not every child has the ability to enter the university, but for those who do, we encourage them in their studies and cover the costs until they graduate.
Within his or her first week of living at our Home each child will visit a local hospital where they receive a full medical checkup. They receive an x-ray to check for tuberculosis, pneumonia and other infections. Blood samples are also taken to rule out any sexually transmitted diseases. They also visit the optician and the dentist.
FATHER RAY OUTREACH WORK & DROP-IN CENTER
The Father Ray Outreach Work & Drop-In Center opened in February 2004. Its aim is to offer and provide help to those children and young people living on the streets of Pattaya. It also helps those children who are at risk following a break up of the family unit.
FATHER RAY CHILDREN'S VILLAGE
All children need an education, and the children living at the Fr. Ray Village are no different.
Each morning school buses transport the children to their kindergarten, nurseries and schools.
All children living at the Father Ray Children’s Village are registered as residents in the Pattaya area, therefore they are eligible to receive subsidized health care.
Like most families a mother can recognize when a child is unwell. Our mothers all have training in basic first aid, and the children also receive regular dental and eye examinations.
FATHER RAY DAY CARE CENTER
As Pattaya grows in size so does the number of people who travel from all four corners of the Kingdom to find work. Parents arrive with the hope of finding work to provide a better life for their children.
Many parents are unable to seek employment due to a lack of child care facilities. Other parents leave their child alone whilst they go of to work, placing the child at risk of harm.
Each morning more than one hundred young children arrive from the poorest slum areas of Pattaya. These youngsters find a safe environment to spend their days, giving their parents a chance to find employment.
CENTER FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
For many parents caring for a child with special needs, life can be difficult at times. Without the proper support many parents are unaware of the condition of their child. They may not have the knowledge of how to care for a child with autism, Downs Syndrome, cerebral palsy or attention deficit disorder.
For many children who attend the Center, it may be the first time they have ever met, interacted and befriended another child who is living with a similar special need.
Each day children arrive with an enthusiasm to learn. Many have watched siblings go off to school each day, and they also wish to learn.
At the Center they learn to read and write. Simple mathematics and English are also on the schedule.
The Father Ray Center for Children with Special Needs provides local families with the support to learn more about their child’s condition and the knowledge they need to improve the lives of a child with special needs.