BFS – Bringing Hope to Children
This year marks the sixth consecutive Bangkok Flight Services Cargo Awards Gala Dinner. Bangkok Flight Services (BFS), a joint venture between Worldwide Flight Services and Bangkok Airways, holds this yearly event to celebrate the accomplishments in their industry with top freight forwarders. This year’s Gala Dinner will take place on the 12th of February 2016 at the Marriot Hotel Sukhumvit. This is a time for well-deserved recognition for some of the most influential players in the air cargo industry – both in Thailand and internationally.
This dinner is not just a way to give sincere thanks to BFS’ valued partners and customers, but more importantly, it’s their way of giving back to the community as a whole. The BFS’ annual Gala Dinner aims to raise money to help the Foundation for Slum Child Care (FSCC) Under the Royal Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana Krom Luang Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra. Since 2012, they have been raising money to help build and provide a new daycare center for children living in the slums near Suvarnabhumi International Airport. In 2016, the daycare center is expected to open and be able to accommodate hundreds of children in the community.
Although the building will soon be completed, donations will be needed now more than ever. Donations will still be needed to keep the daycare center stocked and running. BFS will continue to support the daycare center and are looking forward to helping the FSCC in other areas. The past five years has seen millions donated to this noble cause and, thanks to the air cargo community, this number continues to rise year after year. We were able to speak with Mr. David Ambridge again about this project. As General Manager of Cargo at Bangkok Flight Services, Mr. Ambridge has been with the project since its inception and knows all about the good they’re doing for the community.
A Dream Fully Realized
After six years, the daycare center that BFS and Mr. Ambridge have been fighting for will finally be completed. “It’s taken a while longer than first expected, but we’re almost there,” said Mr. Ambridge. “We’re just putting finishing touches on it now and adding furniture; everything will be ready soon. It’s been a long road, but we’ll all be overjoyed to finally open the center up.”
We’re giving them a fully built facility that will be able to support hundreds of children. It’s our duty to help these people.
“We didn’t do it for the publicity; we did it for the kids. Others can say what they wish to try and gloss it up, but we’re doing the right thing for the children.”
As Mr. Ambridge says, it’s all about doing the right thing. After seeing the appalling conditions these children live in day in and day out, he knew something had to be done. “There’s a definite need to help the kids, especially when I saw the horrible slum they were living in. They are the most needing and deserving of our help. It’s a chance for them to break out the poverty cycle. For a few hours a day they can get away from the landfill and slum, and the ladies that work at the center love and care for them. My work with the foundation has been nothing but positive and the people working there are fantastic. They work tirelessly every day for the kids.”
After talking with Mr. Ambridge, and being urged by him to see the area, we went to the site to see the landfill for ourselves. What we saw was just as horrible as Mr. Ambridge had described. A massive landfill with children amongst the filth running around like it was a playground. The opening of the new daycare cannot come soon enough.
We were able to interview Ms. Wongjan Pinainitisart, the president of the Foundation for Slum Child Care (FSCC), and get her perspective on the project and how BFS has helped them. “Every parent wants the best for their children, but some are unable to provide,” said Ms. Pinainitisart. “The children have to live on the garbage dump. They don’t have toys or good clothes to wear, and will often scrounge around for rotten food in the landfill. It’s no place for anyone, let alone a child to live in. In many instances the poverty cycle is never ending. Older siblings must take care of their younger siblings while their parents go to work, which means that the older ones have to miss out on the chance to go to school. The new daycare center will hopefully break this chain and allow more people to escape the poverty they live in. Mr. Ambridge and BFS have helped us so much; I don’t know how to repay their kindness. The new building will be finished shortly, and everyone is looking forward to the opening day.”
The next plan Ms. Pinainitisart has in mind is to let ‘The House of Hope’ not only be a beacon of light for the slum children, but also a chance to share knowledge with other educators. She demonstrated that, “Since we have a lot of experience taking care of children; we would like to share this knowledge to as many teachers as possible. The Foundation has received so much help from BFS and we really appreciate it. They have been a major supporter of the foundation, and with their help, we now have more space and better facilities than ever for the children.”
Well after the building is completed, BFS and Mr. Ambridge have other plans to keep supporting the FSCC. The commitment isn’t ending once the building is finished; they have more plans for the immediate future. The need is still apparent for the day-to-day operations of running the daycare. The daycare provides shelter, meals, activities and education for the children, as well as parenting guidance for their guardians. By giving these kids a safe place to play and learn, the foundation hopes to give them a fighting chance of growing up into happy and healthy citizens.
“Our airfreight community will always support the charity, and my aim is to stay with the FSCC,” says Mr. Ambridge. “We’re so lucky to have a proper education, a family to support us and food to eat; all of these things we take for granted.”
These children suffer so much, and I’m glad we can help in any way possible. There is so much need in this area that would go unnoticed without our support.
“I hope to buy the land next to the daycare to continue our commitment to the children and this charity. The next idea is to build a play area or another building for a pre-school to continue the education and development just next door. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved so far, and what we’ll achieve in the future. Giving these children a chance for an education and a chance for a brighter future – it’s something that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. Every child deserves an opportunity. I think it’s so important that we create an opportunity for them to reach their full potential.”
Visit the FSCC at www.fscc.or.th for donations.