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The communities in Tailandia

15/03/2010: Thailand

Since the 11th December 2009 the Sector House Community in Bangkok counts, once again, with three members: Hoan Castro (Superior), Andrew (Econome) and, the latest arrival, Luis G Sobrado (Interim Sector Superior). Andrew and Hoan continue to follow lessons at one of the Language Centres in Bangkok. Both of them are making noticeable progress at writing and speaking Thai. As from 27th February this year, the Sector House Community will take residence at Soi Pichai 2 in the St. Louis District (Bangkok) and they will form community together with Brothers Marcos Serena and Edilson Leorato who are full time students of Thai at present. They will occupy two houses, to provide room for visitors as well. The two houses are found in the same street.

Pa-la-U Community

Brothers Ventura, Rafael and Gilber are now in the process of moving to Pa-la-U, about 200 kilometres South West of Bangkok for the foundation of the first FMS mission in Thailand, in the diocese of Surat Thani. The three Brothers will take residence for a few months with one of the Catholic families in the area while monitoring building works for the extension of the Catechist house in one of the Pa-la-U villages. Once the extension is completed, the house will offer the facilities needed to accommodate the three Brothers with individual rooms and common toilet and washing room. The house is built exactly with the same materials and layout that all other houses in the village: elevated on wooden poles, wooden floor cover with bamboo mats, bamboo walls and corrugated iron roofs.

The Brothers will be ministering mostly to Karen people, all of them farmers. These villagers have moved down from Myanmar and established themselves under close vigilance from the Thailand government, in different small villages made of three or four families each. They are extremely poor being deprived of the right to own and till a piece of land and they have a high rate of Catholic population. The only choice for these villagers is to work as day labourers for the Thai farmers of Pa-la-U. The project for Ventura, Rafael and Gilber is to live among these villagers collaborating with the Base Communities to improve their living and working conditions while beginning to develop some educational and health facilities in the area. The Diocese of Surat Thani is planning to buy a sizeable piece of land to provide a piece to each family for it to grow the needed food to feed the family and to raise some cash in the nearby markets. Brother Rafael, our agriculture expert, is looking forward in a particular way to this aspect of the project.

We are signing a contract with the Diocese of Surat Thani for a year. Once the first year is completed and the experience being a positive one, the Sector will be ready for a long term commitment.

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