In 1981 the Good Shepherd Sisters came to Nongkhai, in the northeast of Thailand.
Having worked in Bangkok since 1965 with the women who had migrated to the city from the rural areas, they understood the pressures on rural families in trying to satisfy their most basic needs. It was clear to the Sisters that these people, disadvantaged in so many ways, had no choices available to them. Lacking an education or training of any sort, employment opportunities were limited.
Working at first in the border camps in Nongkhai, they had a good understanding of the local people and after the closure of the camps, began implementing development projects. To this day, these have been a source of empowerment, improving the quality of life for all involved.
'They understood the pressures on rural families in trying to satisfy their most
Sr Mary Hayden
Founding member of the Nong Khai Community.
19.9.1919 - 30.7.17
Over the years, the Good Shepherd Sisters have implemented:
Village Vocational Training Centre - An alternative agricultural training programme for poor farmers, based at their (established 1986)
The Regina Women’s Self-help Project, comprised of two centres in the town and villages, where women are taught to sew and do hand work; (established 1984 and1994)
The Isan Weaving Centre, where women learned the traditional methods of cotton fabric production (established 1998) *
The Isan Pottery Centre, where young men and women learned the skills of pottery production (established 1998) *
Children’s Sponsorship Programme : 600+ children and youth currently assisted, to attend school and further their education; (begun 1984)
Village Outreach Programmme – home visitation of the sick and isolated. Support services of HIV/Aids patients and their families.
Under this programme:
The establishment of the Friendship Centre in 2001
Hands of Hope card making project for those living with HIV/AIDS (established in 2005)
Garden of Friendship residential care project (established 2008)
* Scaled down in recent years due to change in lifestyle and limited markets.
Change occurs over time.
With vision, courage, thoughtful implementation