Father Joe, the angel of Slum Klongteuy
Bangkok’s nickname is the city of angel, which seems to be quite ironic name to me anytime I happen to travel pass the infamous slum Klongteuy.
Slum Klongteuy is arguably the largest slum in the city. It is full of any possible society problems you can imagine , although I would say the biggest problem is about the “little one”, child abuse.
Hidden underneath the big rotten surface of slum Klongteuy is large number of children being abandoned by drug addicted parent, some are abused by those who see merely monetary benefit from child prostitution, with no moral whatsoever.
Around 30 years ago, our very early generation of western expat, a priest name Father Joe Maier, has decided that someone has got to do something.
With the help of many of his local friends, some from the church he worked with (sister Maria Chantavarodom), some from UNESCO (my friend’s mother really ☺), they decided to create the Human Development Foundation (HDF), a nondenominational community-based field organisation.
The aim is to reach out to those street children of Klongteuy. To give them home that they never have, love they never experience, or a Christmas that every child deserve.
Over the time, health clinic has been set to fight against AIDS in child abuse, more shelters have been created for those kids who has nowhere to go, and many home schools for those who want to learn more about the world.
Today, over 250 volunteers, both Thai and “non-Thai” are fighting this battle together with the man whom simply known to every child in slum Klongteuy as “Father Joe” or, “Khun Por Joe”
I am writing this blog with the hope of rasing the awareness of the battle Father Joe has been fighting for the past 30 years. My intention is not to ask for any donation (even though it is needed) but to simply praise the man who trying to make Bangkok become the real “city of angel” once again.
If children are the living proof that hope does exist for mankind, then Father Joe is the angel to guard them.
Human Development Foundation is located at
100/11 Kae-ha Klong Toey4,
Dhamrongratthaphiphat Rd., Klong Toey
Tel: (662) 671-5313
Web site: www.mercycentre.org