Good Shepherd Language School for refugees

Safeguarding the rights of people

The Challenges

With the influx of displaced people from many Asian countries, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees asked the Catholic Organization for Emergency Relief (COER) to assist some of the people who are taking refuge in Thailand. There are hundreds of them. 

What did the Sisters do?

The Good Shepherd Home Foundation School is a new project of the Good Shepherd Sisters -  Bangkok Community ministry here in Thailand.  It started in March 2014, at the request of the UN and COER. With the influx of asylum seekers from Pakistan and other neighbouring countries, this project came into existence.

COER asked the Good Shepherd Sisters in Bangkok to help by teaching the children the Thai language while they are waiting to go to a third country.  The UN wants the asylum seekers to learn the Thai language so that they can study in Thai Government Schools while waiting to go to a third country. They might have to stay in the country for 3 years. We opened our doors to the people.  

At the start we had people from Pakistan, Syria, Sri Lankan, Vietnam and Cambodia. At present, the people are only Pakistanis and Sri Lankans, but mostly Pakistanis.

Who manages/administers the programme?

The Sisters and lay mission partners are involved in this project.

Who is the major target group?

Children of refugees and asylum-seekers.

Who benefits and how do they benefit?

Children from kindergarten age – 17 years old are the main beneficiaries. They come to study the Thai language while waiting to go to a third country.

As well as the 4 academic levels, now 2 kindergarten classes have been added to the programme.

Also, opportunities are provided to their parents to learn marketable skills and to study Thai.

Special classes are offered - computer and music. 

Some interested mothers take up Hairdressing or Dressmaking while waiting for their children for finish classes.

How many people are assisted

COER, in collaboration with the United Nations, designated 100 children to study in this project.  Now the total registered children are 300 boys and girls.

Motivation and core values 

The teachers have been trained intensively, according to the norms and system of teaching the children in the different levels. 

Our belief is that we stand for the rights of each individual.  We will work to ensure that each person’s human rights are not violated because of his or her beliefs. 

What outcomes are achieved?

All of us:

  • UNHCR

  • Refugees, their families and children

  • The staff and the sisters

Want the same thing - to safeguard the rights of the people.

How is the programme evaluated?

The refugee challenge is a genuine one.

We are trying our best to follow the given measures in order to be effective.

We are networking with the UNHCR, with COER and with NGOs and we all have the same goals.

There are periodic evaluations.

We will work for the re-settlement of the people.

We will prepare them for the third country.

Challenges

  1. Communication.  The children don’t speak any other language but their native tongue.

  2. To persevere in our goals to help those who are in need.

What would make the project more effective? 

  • Collaboration of all those involved in the programme.

  • Constantly reminding the UNHCR about the future settlement of these people.

  • The more we live the Good Shepherd spirit, the more we will do this project effectively.

The Inspiration

It is a joy to see our compound bursting with children and hearing their happy voices!

Click here to see more photos - Good Shepherd Home Foundation School