Billionaire businessman JP McManus has backed a religious group to provide financial support to an orphanage in Thailand that houses nearly 200 HIV-infected sex trafficking victims and children.
After learning about the plight of children whose mothers were mainly involved in the sex trade, Mr McManus responded to the Limerick Redeemer’s plea within days.
Father Seamus Enright, diocese of the city’s Mount St. Alphonse Redeemer Church, who has just returned from Sarnelli House in northeastern Thailand, described the experience as “heartbreaking”.
However, he said there were “hopefully positive stories” emerging in the context of abandonment and sexual abuse.
“The tragedy is that this is a consequence of sex tourism in the West. Many women from the poorer parts of northern Thailand and Laos travel to Bangkok and the main centers, engage in prostitution at one point to earn money for their families, then marry and have children without knowing they are infected.
Father Enright told the Limerick Leader: “While there are many children who have been adopted from Thailand, sadly none have been adopted from the Sarnelli House.”
The orphanage was founded in 1998 by Father Mike O’Shea, a Wisconsin native whose grandparents were from Dingle and was the late legendary Carey football manager Paidi O Se relatives.
“When I saw the little girl who was left in the orphanage at just 17 days old, you had to think what life would be like for her mother? She wanted to keep the baby but it’s believed her pimp partner didn’t. Allow her to do that,” Father Enright said.
Last year the Redeemers of Limerick donated around €16,000 and to date they have helped raise over €40,000.
The sum includes a check for €8,000 from Mr McManus’ charitable foundation, which will cover almost half of the centre’s annual operating costs.
Mr McManus’ foundation has donated over €60,731,301 to charitable causes in Ireland and around the world over the past 15 years.
Through the fund, scholarships and successive pro-am golf tournaments at the five-star Adele Manor Hotel and Golf Resort, he has donated a total of more than 225 million euros to charity, and he is said to have bought the property for 30 million euros. hotel.
Father Enright added: “I don’t know McManus, even though we were on CBS Sexton Street (going to school together) many years ago.” “I wrote to him directly and within a few days the check Just came back from the foundation. He’s a very generous man.”
Mr McManus is specifically funding the center to achieve self-sufficiency in food production and water use.
The orphanage, which houses children through adolescence, is currently run by four Redeemer pastors and provides employment to 70 locals.
One of Sarnelli’s centers is Hope House (known locally as Pi Si Tong), which houses around 20 babies and toddlers, many of whom were taken directly to Saarnelli within hours of birth at Nong Khai Hospital. Cornelli.
Sarnelli’s services are spread across three villages and seven different centres. Father Enright said they are constantly seeking volunteers and financial support.
It was originally set up for adults who were uprooted from their villages and struggling to survive because of HIV/AIDS.
Father O’Shea explained that some children were born in prison, while others were found wandering the streets, going door to door begging for food.
One was found abandoned on the side of the road, another in a dump, and several young girls were rescued from a life of prostitution.
He said they were initially “confused, scared and withdrawn” when they were rescued and “very quickly settled into their new house with love and attention.”
The Redeemers will hold a mass gathering on Holy Thursday 13 April at St Alphonse Hill in Limerick in aid of the Sarnelli House.