Contact: Fiona Kelly, LYIT
On the 8th of June 2013 The Camillian Social Center Rayong, Thailand, welcomed a group of Irish volunteers from the Letterkenny Institute of Technology Gaisce Society.
LYIT’s 15 students had come to work in the Garden of Eden Project and were accompanied by 3 of LYIT’s lecturers Florence Blake & Paul O’Sullivan and Alfie O'Doherty.
The Camillian Social Center is a charitable institution and is operated on behalf of the St. Camillus Foundation of Thailand. It is based in the district of Huae Pong and supports and manages seven (7) projects in the Southeast of Thailand. The Center is involved in Palliative Care, Child Care, prevention education, supporting a network of PLWHA, supervising a self-sustaining rehabilitation community, providing scholarships for affected orphaned children and a center for HIV positive orphaned teenagers. All the projects comply with the latest HIV/AIDS strategy outlined by the World Health Organization. The projects are part of an integrated approach that links prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support to people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Camillian Social Center in Rayong is confronting AIDS in the 21st century through prevention, treatment and care. The Thai government recognizes the Camillian Social Center in Rayong (CSC) as a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The CSC cooperates with the Ministry of Social Work and the hospitals operating in the South Eastern region of Thailand.
For over 7 years volunteers from LYIT developed on on-gong relationship with this community. Successive groups of students volunteer to work with the Garden of Eden project each year and they carry out projects to improve the daily lives of the residents.
In the summer of 2013, LYIT’s students built a shed to shelter the cattle at night which will make it more secure for the cows. In spite of the heat (and the rain!) this project was quickly finished and the Irish volunteers moved on to a planting project. 200 bamboo trees and over 2000 vetyver shoots were planted to secure the river bank bordering the Garden of Eden. The volunteers were very grateful to Mr Son for his guidance in their work and they also appreciated the kind welcome they received from the residents of the Garden of Eden.
Prior to returning to Ireland they enjoyed a beautiful dinner at the Camillian Centre in the company of all the children.