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The international aid and development agencies of the Australian Marist Brothers

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24/08/2012: Australia

At the beginning of 2006, every Marist Brother in the world was invited by the then Superior General, Br Sean Sammon, to consider offering himself to a new mission of renewal in Asia, which would be known as the Ad Gentesproject. Six years on, in partnership with this project, Australian Marist Solidarity is now helping to support forty young Burmese migrants (aged 15--‐25) living in Samut Sakhon, a coastal province in Thailand.

A program is currently being developed for them to acquire skills in basic computing and information technology. This will be combined with job referral assistance once these students complete their training modules at which time they will have the confidence to seek out paid work opportunities.

This project forms part of a larger two-year commitment being driven by Ad Gentesand the Catholic Diocese of Bangkok, which began in response to the significant socio-economic challenges experienced by the Burmese migrant population around the Thai border.

Over the next two years, partner organizations are working to develop a Marist Education Centre which will provide basic education to an additional 120 Burmese children. The Education Centre will also provide adult education opportunities, as well as address issues of malnutrition and health care for all beneficiaries. MAPS intern, Hamish McLoughlin, has been instrumental in acting as a liaison between our office and our Ad Gentes partners in Thailand and this has created new energies and possibilities for stronger collaboration across the region.

The Ad Gentes project has seen a Marist Brothers Community establish a similar education centre in Pailin, in north-west Cambodia with Australian Marist Brother, Brian Kinsella, working there.

In solidarity,

Christian Nobleza - Project & Development - Officer Marist Asia-Pacific Solidarity

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Solidarity Matters - July 2012

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