Deep in the heart of Klong Toey slum, a group of senior citizens are being put through their paces.…“Neung, sawng, saam, sii,, haa, hock, jet ….” Up front, a bubbly student nurse clutches a microphone and calls out instructions… “just a little bit higher, come on”. Across the room, wrinkled faces giggle and smile as they lift their legs in a series of simple exercises. “That’s it, you’ve got it, good work!”
“Now then, lets get down to brass tacks”.
I’ve arrived at the Good Shepherd Sisters Centre in Din Daeng to meet with Sister Louise, who has kindly squeezed me into her busy schedule. At 80 years of age, Sister Louise is a veritable powerhouse – though you certainly wouldn’t pick it given her gentle handshake and soft Irish lilt.
For almost 50 years, Sister Louise has helped run the Good Shepherd Sisters in Thailand, a charitable christian foundation which primarily assists young women and children in crisis. In Bangkok, all of the four major programs are run on site: A Mother and Baby Home for pregnant girls and new mothers, A Residential Care Program for rural teenagers, a Handicraft Centre employing local women from the area and a Child Care Centre. Recently added to the list is an educational program for some 200 Refugee children.