Danish-funded care center for handicapped babies expanded

Denmark’s Colourful Country Foundation on February 3, 2003 expanded its Colourful Country Carecenter with the opening of a newly-furnished dormitory. The 24 hour carecenter is located within the complex of state-owned Mentally Handicapped Babies Home in Nontaburi where Colourful Country has for the past six years been operating a daycare center for mentally handicapped babies.
     The expansion, complemented by recruitment of more Danish and Thai volunteers, allows the care center to offer around-the-clock care for fifteen mentally, some also physically, handicapped children.
     The dormitory inauguration was presided over by Chart Thai Party MP Ms Kanjana Silapa-Archa and Ms Margit Joya, project leader of the Colourful Country Carecenter in the presence of Danish and Thai volunteers and Thai staff from the Department of Social Development and Welfare, Ministry of Social Development and Human Securities.
     The ceremony began with an address by Ms Margit Joya of Colourful Country Carecenter, who gave MP Kanjana and some 30 guests and media people the background, objectives and determination of the care center followed by a brief and friendly response by MP Kanjana.
     After the joint ribbon cutting by MP Kanjana and Ms Joya, the children, assisted by the Danish and Thai volunteers, quickly found their new beds, which were marked by their picture and name. On each bed, a teddy bear awaited to befriend and ensure homey dreams.
     Colourful Country Carecenter was founded by Ms Joya in 1996 to support the service of the Mentally Handicapped Babies Home, which now has more than 460 newly-born to 7-year-old mentally handicapped children under the care.
     During the past six years, Colourful Country’s volunteers, each of whom take a 6-month term in the project, have been taking turns to bring the kids from the baby home’s wards for day care from nine to three. Besides helping relieve the workloads of the state-owned baby home, the Danish daycare center helps stimulate the children in daily living activities and other necessary developments. Over the years, the center has been taking care of a total of 45 mentally handicapped children.
     The new around-the-clock care center gives the kids a homier lifestyle, which could help them adjust better and faster to the real social environment outside the complex once they return to their own family or go into adoption.
     At the moment, the expanded care center has the capability to look after fifteen mentally handicapped children with a staff of 20 Danish and three Thai volunteers to ensure any local-specific needs and communication are carried on smoothly.

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