What do you think a child using a wheelchair will feel if he found out there is a playground where kids like him can play and enjoy a great afternoon? He would be more than happy and excited right? That is what a Camillian Home volunteer envisioned when he was proposing to design and build Thailand’s first ever wheelchair-friendly playground.
Camillian Home is a non-profit children’s charitable foundation located in Lat Krabang, Thailand. It offers boarding, day care, education, therapy, and community outreach services to kids (and today, includes young adults) with moderate to severe physical capabilities and life-threatening diseases. Everything offered – food, clothing, medications, and essential therapies – are completely free of charge.
Camillian Home was founded and established half a decade ago by a priest from Italy, Father Giovanni Contarin. Father Contarin lived and served in Thailand for nearly three decades of his life and found out that the country had an unpleasant perception of people with special needs. To Thai people, disabilities and other severe illnesses are bad karma, and such belief often resulted in children being abandoned and forced to look after and provide for themselves.
So Father Contarin and the Camillian Home volunteers strived and worked together to counteract that belief. They wanted to give hope to these kids. And to add a little fun and color to their lives, Faisal Malik, a dedicated volunteer of Camillian Home, thought of a plan.
Malik proposed to design and build a wheelchair-friendly/accessible playground within Camillian Home. Through his thorough research and extensive knowledge about inclusive play areas that have already been made available in the western countries, like USA and Australia, having one in Thailand would be a great opportunity to help disabled kids live life a little brighter.
Today, Camillian Home already completed Thailand’s first and only all-inclusive wheelchair-accessible playground that allows kids with mobility equipments to play with their friends and spend a great afternoon having fun. The special play area grants these children freedom, joy, and a wonderful opportunity to create happy memories of their childhood despite their physical needs and illnesses.
The Camillian Home also came up with a sensory garden and an aquatic therapy pool that help therapists and other specialists work with the kids and young adults to improve their mobility or motor function and skills. The garden and pool were made so beautifully that the kids see them as a place not only for their therapy but also for moments of tranquility.
As of today, Camillian Home houses and cares for over 75 kids. It also employs about 40 staff members that include teachers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, child caretakers and more.
With Camillian Home’s and its volunteers’ dedication, passion, effort and willingness to care and love, the number of kids and young adults suffering from abuse and constant mistreatment are reduced. What the home and its employees have been showcasing is something the world needs to follow to make the lives of wheelchair users a little brighter and better.