Today the Marist Mission Ranong team gathered for a staff training day which we try to have together once every month.
In co-operation with “Save the Children” (U.K.) we are running a Child Protection programme for some of the most disadvantaged young people in Ranong. We bring about 50 of these children, who have had no formal education at all, into our Marist Education Centre every morning. Slowly we try to help them become used to a class-room situation and encourage them to go to a more formal learning centre as soon as they are able.
In this context, and in all our works in Ranong, we need to be clear that we are working together in a child-friendly environment. To this end, we are slowly formulating a Child Care policy. Perhaps the work of crafting the policy is as important as the final document.
We had a good day working together.
We pondered the different approaches of Buddhism and Christianity and what it meant to be a child. We considered both the teachings of the Gospel and of the Buddhist Suttas.
Next we spent some valuable time with the United Nations Charter on the Rights of Children and the document that came from “Save the Children” (U.K.) This presentation was led by one of our volunteers from New Zealand, Nuala Moraes, who is a lawyer.
For most of the afternoon we worked on our own draft of a Marist Child Care policy. What could have been a fairly dry activity was in fact a very fruitful exercise and should lead to a well rounded document owned and implemented by the whole MMR family.
The day began and ended with a time of prayer … quiet meditation in the morning and a beautiful power-point meditation designed by Ian John Magarao, our Marist Lay Missionary in the afternoon.