- Title: Temporary Thai tsunami orphanage becomes a permanent home
- Date: 19th December 2019
- Summary: VARIOUS OF TEENAGERS DANCING THAI TRADITIONAL DANCE LATE ROTJANA PHRAESRITHONG, WHO WAS LEADING THE OPERATION HELPING TSUNAMI ORPHANS TEENAGERS DANCING
- Embargoed: 2nd January 2020 00:37
- Keywords: Thailand Tsunami anniversary children orphanage
- Location: PANG-NGA PROVINCE, THAILAND
- City: PANG-NGA PROVINCE, THAILAND
- Country: Thailand
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Earthquakes/Volcanoes/Tsunami,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA003BAN72O7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: This orphanage has been Watana Sittirachot's home since 2004, when a deadly tsunami took hundreds of thousands of lives, including his family members, in one of the biggest natural disasters in recent history.
Now 27, Watana, has been running the Baan Than Namchai -- or Kindness House Children's Home -- for two years, since the founder Rotjana Phraesrithong died.
"Teacher Rotjana, the founder of the foundation, has helped and supported me till I graduated from university and given me the opportunity to go study abroad. And now I come back to work for her," said Watana.
The 9.15 magnitude Dec. 26 earthquake triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean 15 years ago, killing more than 230,000 people. Thailand, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka were among the worst hit countries. Some 5,400 people were killed in Thailand, among them about 2,000 foreign tourists.
The Baan Than Namchai orphanage was initially set up days after the tsunami hit, to temporarily shelter 70 "tsunami children". But what was meant to be a temporary setup of two months, turned into a permanent organisation that has provided refuge for hundreds of children over the years.
"We went from tents to buildings. We started with floor boards made of plywood from used coffins we took from a temple," said one senior staff member Angkana Chatreekul, who has been with the organisation since it first started.
The orphanage was turned it into a permanent home for children back in 2012 and it currently has 92 young charges, supported by donations from abroad and public fundraising.
Children at Baan Than Namchai spend their days in tuition classes with volunteer teachers and also participate in extra curricular activities like growing vegetables and mushrooms in a farm within the compound.
The balanced lifestyle has helped the children, especially those who had little or no parental guidance since young said Watana, "the children in the foundation these days are more open in expressing themselves, they are not afraid to confront unexpected situations," himself the poster child of what the orphanage hopes to achieve for their young charges.Production: Prapan Chankaew, Juarawee Kittisilpa, Phyllis Xu, Travis Teo)
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