It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from; every child deserves a good beginning. This will give them the hope and confidence needed to carry them.
Home of Praise is a community centre at the heart of Klong Toey, under the highway, with the goal of giving children from underprivileged families a better day-to-day life, as well as hope for a better future.
The centre provides day care for 35 children aged 6 months to 3 years. The aim of both Home of Praise and Home of Praise Immanuel is to provide a holistic education, helping the child to develop socially and emotionally as well as academically. In addition, the nurseries help to prepare the children for preschool.
Home of Praise Immanuel has been open for over 40 years. Supporting new legislations from the Thai government, offering education from 5 years old to all, the nursery will be open to children aged 1 to 5 years old from 2018.
Home of Praise opened 15 years ago. As Home of Praise Immanuel , Home of Praise is a part of the Diakonia Department of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thailand. The reason the church started this nursery was as a recognition of support and help required in this community. When the community were asked what they needed, the residents all mentioned a nursery for small children. There were hardly any nurseries for this age group there. And today, apart from what we offer, the situation is the same.
Both nurseries aim to give love and care. We want the children to feel safe and loved. We provide a healthy lunch every day, including fruit and milk.
The children come from a neighbourhood that faces many social problems. Before we accept a child, we go on a home visit. There is a high demand and we cannot enroll everybody that applies for a place in our nursery.
At the moment, we are extending Home of Praise nursery. We were able to buy the neighbouring site and we are now building a two-floor building that will contain two more classrooms. This will give us an opportunity to enroll more children. It also gives our children the opportunity to attend the nursery one year longer. Until now we could only give them a place until they turned 3; after the new department is finished, we can give them a place until they are old enough to start in the government preschool. We saw that many of the children that left our nursery only hang around in the community. They did not get enrolled in another kindergarten. We even met a 3-year old girl who stayed at home alone on the days that her parents work. That was an eye opener for us, and we started the work to raise money for a new building. We always offer children leaving Home of Praise the chance to start at Home of Praise Immanuel , but we could see very few start there, because the parents or guardians thought it was too far away.
Today we can take care of 35 children in Home of Praise and 45 children in Home of Praise Immanuel. When the new building is finished we aims to enroll around 50 children in Home of Praise nursery. Hopefully the waiting list will be shorter after this. Most of the children live in very small houses or shelters, often a whole family in one room — hardly any space for a toddler to run around. So for them, an opportunity to come and stay in Home of Praise and Home of Praise Immanuel is like “paradise”. We like to say that we want to be an oasis in the community.
We still need money to finish the new department, so donation for this purpose is very welcome.
About Anne Storstein Haug
Anne came to Bangkok 17 years ago and after she finished studying Thai (B6 exam/primary school exam). She was asked to open a nursery in Home of Praise. For many years she was engaged there, both in the nursery and in the afternoon activities. At the moment, Anne is an adviser in the church’s (ELCT- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thailand) diakonia department, the department responsible for the social work in the church including Home of Praise and Immanuel Day Nursery. We also have a family development project, ‘Hope for Families’, that gives scholarships and milk support for children, support for elderly and handicapped people, and people with HIV/AIDS. The diakonia department also run Immanuel Hostel and LaOn Siam, which are two dormitories placed in Phibun (Isaan) and Chiang Rai, and Home of Grace in the Samrong area that is a shelter for pregnant women who need help.
For more information please send an email to Anne at: [email protected]
All donations are welcome, we are constant in need of cash donations, pampers, milk powder (Nestle Carnation), children soap, rice, secondhand items, etc.
If you would like to make a donation, please send to Account: Lutheran Christian Foundation, Bangkok Bank, Bangjak branch; A/C number: 179-3-062801.
Photo Credit: Tina Lliland Heller