Staff and pupils of Inst were thrilled on Friday to welcome Sunday Life Unsung Hero Award winner Willie Gregg, founder of charity Willie’s Orphan Fund, along with some of his colleagues and a few of the orphans he has been helping since the Tsunami in Thailand in 2004 devastated the lives and livelihoods of so many people and left thousands of children destitute. Willie’s Orphan Fund aims not just to look after and pay for the education of orphans but to also nurture them in a caring environment offering them an alternative family.
Inst welcomed Rotjana, the ‘mother’ of the orphanage who, in spite of facing breast cancer, has assisted more than 500 children since the charity’s foundation. Also present were Gop, Head of the Kindergarten and Primary sections and Alison, an English woman who lives in Thailand and assists the orphanage with everything from administration to driving minibuses and cleaning. However, the undisputed highlight of the visit was when the 1060 strong assembly of boys were treated to a traditional thai dance by the five orphans who accompanied their carers on their tour of the UK. Two boys, 17 year old Q and Faphit, 13 along with 3 girls, Pia and I, both13 and Om, 11 performed flawlessly before having a tour of the school and experiencing lessons. Q was particularly interested in the school’s Art department as he will be taking up a University place in April in Phuket where he will study Art. Q will be the fourth child from the orphanage to attend university.
The staff and pupils of Inst are delighted to be able to sponsor Willie’s Orphan Fund in the 2012-13 academic year. Meeting Willie, the staff and children has ensured their efforts will be maximised in order that they, like Willie and so many others who offer practical and financial help to the charity, make a real difference to the lives of extremely deserving children. To find out more about the charity or to make a donation, visit the website at www.williesorphanfund.com.