Songkran is a time of joy and celebration in Thailand and marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. Celebrated annually in mid-April to mark the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year, the festival is known for its water fights and is often referred to as the “Water Festival.” The holiday is celebrated over three days. Thai people prepare for the new year by cleaning their homes and public spaces as well as their bodies to welcome the new year. It is also a time for family gatherings and for visiting Buddhist temples with offerings to the monks. Visitors sprinkle clean or scented water over statues of Buddha—the person believed to have started Buddhism—to represent purification and good fortune.
On April 15th, the third day of Songkran, the celebration takes to the streets for the water festival. People use buckets, water guns, and hoses to splash each other with water, symbolizing the cleansing of bad luck and the start of the new year. How chaotic and fun must that be to have a country-wide water fight!
Our friends at Pattaya Orphanage are also celebrating Songkran with their community. Today on Family Day (April 14), the children and staff enjoyed a refreshing lychee shake sponsored by one of our adoptive families.
The Pattaya Orphanage is one of four orphanages in Thailand authorized for overseas adoptions. Our partner for decades, Pattaya Orphanage, has been providing care and support for orphaned and abandoned children in their community for over 40 years. (PICTURE OF STAFF) Many of Pattaya Orphanage’s staff were also former residents who have special insight into the needs of the children in care.
Run by the very loving Father Michael Weeranong (known as Grandpa by the children), the orphanage not only provides basic needs but also offers a holistic approach to care. Children have a multitude of extracurricular activities such as music and sports to help develop their skills and self-esteem, and the facility houses a large play and rehabilitation center.
The Pattaya Orphanage provides access to education to children in their care, including formal education at local schools and vocational training for older children. This ensures that the children have the necessary skills to succeed in life. They also run a School for the Deaf and students come from all over Thailand to attend this school.
The orphanage has an onsite medical clinic and provides medical care to children in their care, including vaccinations, regular checkups, and treatment for illnesses. Nurse Paul was incredibly busy these past three years testing and caring for the children and staff affected by COVID-19.
New Beginnings is accepting applications for adoption from Pattaya Orphanage. This program will take approximately three years from start to finish. A child will be matched with the adoptive family approximately 12 -18 months after the family’s dossier is sent to Thailand. The children range in age from 2-4 years old at the time of placement in the family’s home. Feel free to reach out with any questions about this program. Here are the requirements for the Thai adoption program.
The orphanage has positively impacted the lives of many children over the years and continues to be a beacon of hope to many. If you are interested in donating to Pattaya Orphanage, donations can be made here. If you would like to make the donation tax-deductible, you can donate to New Beginnings and 100% will go to Pattaya.