Waitaki Herald : July 23rd 2014
NEWS WAITAKI HERALD, JULY 23, 2014 15 Kiwis find purpose at Thai orphanage Two South Canterbury couples have returned from Thailand with an update on Bamboo Orphanage which the Waitaki Herald has featured in previous issues. Jack Montgomerie reports. youngsters in a Kiwi-run orphanage in a remote province of Thailand. Fairlie couple Murray and Bev A Bell were inspired to visit and volunteer at the facility after reading about it in a South Canterbury Herald report. The Bamboo School, in the village of Bong-Ti near the Thai-Burmese border, has been operating since 2000. The Bells were joined on their mission by Sue and Tim Shewan, who also assisted at the orphanage. The facility is run by former Seventh Day Adventist missionary, New Zealand nurse and teacher Catherine Riley-Bryan. The Bamboo School has a clinic on-site, and offers education and a home for 60 to 80 displaced and abandoned children. The orphanage pays for the resident children’s schooling at a local school off-site, and provides morning religious instruction and English lessons on-site. Bev said that she had helped to teach English to the children and had organised storage rooms during her three weeks at the orphanage. Murray, who ‘‘likes hands-on volunteering’’ and had previously volunteered in India, repaired roofing and helped build a fence around the orphanage. Tim, a fence and gate builder by trade, helped to weld a gate with the aid of locals. Bev said their visit had been a rewarding experience. ‘‘It’s good for us. We don’t realise how blessed we are,’’ she said. However, she warned that ‘‘if you didn’t have the skills, it could freak you out’’. Murray contracted a knee infection while working at the orphanage and Tim came down with sunstroke on a particularly hot day. ‘‘Because of the heat you’re absolutely stuffed.’’ A typical day began with a Bible reading at 5.30am and ended after evening English lessons had been given. Sue said potential volunteers should be aware the orphanage was vegetarian and they should contact the orphanage to organise their visit. The group were quick to stress the importance of others’ contributions to the orphanage. ‘‘It’s not just us,’’ Sue said. ‘‘For example, [South Cantab- rian] Terry Ryan is there for six months now. ‘‘There are other South Canterbury people who have helped to fundraise for its operations too.’’ Murray said he was particularly impressed by Cat, the woman running the orphanage. ‘‘She’s taken up quite an undertaking.’’ Although the orphanage had a surplus of school stationery, it needed more medical supplies, basic English language teaching resources and money to pay for items which visitors could not bring themselves. Sue said that those who were not able to work in the spartan orphanage could sponsor it or individual children living there through a range of channels listed on the orphanage’s website, bambooschool.org. The Port FM Music Network Look out for Businesses displaying this poster! Oamaru: Kurow: Otematata: 93.0 FM Port FM 87A Thames St Oamaru PH: 03 434 8886 6069049AE 100 FM 96.8 FM “Shop local at any of these businesses to be in to win over $1100 in prizes”!!! The Brydone Hotel, Preens Drycleaners, Cucina 1871, Ballantynes Showcase Jewellers, Martyns Cycles, N.O Motor Group, Sutherlands, Health 2000, Mathers Jewellery & Time, Camerons, Main St Music, Razors Edge, Placemakers, Neat Feet, Inside Out Clothing, Craig McKay Autoworld Workshop, Jonell’s Florist, Oamaru Exhaust & Radiator, Ali Brosnan Family Hair Care, Super Liquor, Nancy’s Lingerie Live Local & Lovin’ It group of South Cantabrians are amazed by the positivity of School time: Children head off in the morning to a local school off site. Hot work: Building on a perimeter fence for the Bamboo School orphanage are, from left, Sue Shewan, Murray Bell and Tim Shewan. Photos: SUPPLIED/BEV BELL. River beauty: The River Kwai which flows through Kanchanaburi Province.
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July 30th 2014