by Dionel Rodriguez | Feb 22, 2023
Assistance to Displaced People (DCA)
Fr. John Barth is working with farmers to teach new agricultural techniques through a planned training program so the migrants become less and less dependent on food relief sent from Thailand. Since the February 2021 military coup in Myanmar, a humanitarian crisis has occurred for hundreds of thousands of Myanmar people driven from their homes merely for protesting the military take-over. Homes, schools and churches have been bombed with over 2,100 people killed by the military.
Most of these Internally Displaced People (IDPs) have found safety far from home with friends and relatives, living in great poverty in isolated areas and forests for safety. Their needs are many, starting with rice and medicine. At the invitation of the Bishop Francis Vira Arpondratana, Bishop of the Diocese of Chiang Mai, Thailand, Maryknoll has agreed to work with the Caritas office of Thailand in their efforts to send much needed emergency aid to sister dioceses across the border in Myanmar.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me” Matthew 25:35
by Dionel Rodriguez | Jun 12, 2020
Relief and Education for Burmese Refugees at Wat Prok Mon Temple
For more than two decades, Wat Prok School, established by Maryknoll two decades ago, has provided education, skill training as well as clothing, food and medical assistance to 34 and 52 Mon Migrant boys, ranging from six to seventeen years old, living at small Mon Buddhist monastery in Bangkok. The number of students varies primarily due to new students.
The boys parents are migrant workers mostly working in the fish process plant outside of Bangkok or on the fishing boats. The Maryknoll Thailand team members work with the Informal Education Department of the Thai Government to provide basic education to the boys, including Mon, Thai and English language training, some basic grammar school classes and sponsors skill training for the older boys.
Initial emphasis is on teaching the boys the Thai language, which makes them eligible for special temporary ID cards until age 17. The younger is then recognized as having a right to be in the country. It also provides protection against the boys being trafficked, given the extent of the problem of trafficking in Southeast Asia.
by Dionel Rodriguez | Jun 12, 2020
Assistance to Refugees and Migrants
Fr. John Barth, M.M.’s project mainly focuses on Asylum Seekers, Refugees, Prisoners and Victims of Human Trafficking. We work as a team and in collaboration with Caritas-Thailand, Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS), Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees (COERR) and five Catholic parishes in the Archdiocese of Bangkok, as well as close cooperation with the Thai people in our effort to assist these various groups of people in need.
Many people continue to flee their homes, villages and nations for a variety of reasons, mainly Religious and Political persecution. In the city of Bangkok alone, it is estimated that we have over 6,000 illegal Refugees and Asylums Seekers. The people we reach out to are people running from the violence in their homelands and they come from the various countries of Asia and Africa.
Poor living conditions and violence in their homelands have resulted in an increase in refugees into Thailand from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and other countries in the Middle East. Fr. Barth and others take care of their physical needs by providing food, clothing, shelter, medical care and education to refugee families as well as the poor Hill Tribes people in North of Thailand.
These poor people speak little Thai and need medical care, food at times, transportation for their children to and from school. We do our best to protect, feed and help, as we continue to be inspired by Pope Francis, who asks all of us to continue to reach out to the Stranger, the Refugee and the Poor.