Compassion is at the heart of the Marists and Mission Sisters. To care for the most abandoned like a Mother, and to go out to the poor with joy and the love of God in our hearts.
Over the past seven years the Marists and Mission Sisters have served together, showing compassion in action among Burmese Migrant families in Ranong.
With the highest density of Burmese Migrants in Thailand, one of the highest HIV rates, with only 10% of children starting school and 90% of these children finishing at age 12, Ranong has one of the highest number of child labour rates in Thailand. There are continued and great needs.
Poverty creates daily challenges for food, shelter, health. Families break up, husbands away on fishing boats for months at a time leaves wives and children in difficulties. Education is often a luxury they cannot afford. Yet it is a vital key to lifting families from poverty.
Recognising the call to lift up the lives of their own people suffering as Migrants in Thailand, Mission Sisters have served since 2009 in the HIV AIDS Health Programme and the Burmese Migrant Secondary Education Programme.
The witness of compassion as religious sisters, knowing and speaking their peoples own language, understanding their customs and traditions, allows the Marist Asia Foundation programmes to be inserted more deeply into the life of the local Burmese Community.
While the sisters have been working in Ranong for several years, Sr Helen recently arrived and says serving as a teacher is an enriching experience.
“Working in Ranong with the different people and religions is a first experience for me in my life. Though I was nervous at the beginning, their lovely smiles and friendliness make me happy, and give me courage and strength to serve in my life as a teacher and sister”.
God’s works are wonderful and beautiful among the different people, culture, and different faiths. I learn how to live and work together with understanding, respect and love.
Sr Margaret, who has worked in the HIV AIDS Health Programme since 2008, describes her presence and ministry among her people as being like ‘salt’.
My life is small like the smallest salt but I know it can change things and make delicious testing food and protect from infections. My life as an RNDM sister will always be caring for the poorest peoples, and encourage them to understand God’s mercy and compassion.
Everyday I try to understand the needs of their lives by visiting them and living among them and helping them practically. I am not a trained medical professional but I can show and share with them a healthy way with their diseases. I can’t do this work myself. Action and pray life go together.
Together, Showing Compassion in Action, patients become well, children receive education, lives are filled with hope. Thanks to the RNDM Sisters for your years of love and service, and response to the needs of Burmese Migrants.
Together we are making a huge difference to the lives of thousands of Burmese Migrants away from their home of Myanmar.