Local charity mourns Thai orphans

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A local charity supporting orphan’s in Thailand has thanked the people of Coleraine for their kind wishes following the tragic news that two of their orphans have drowned.

Willie’s Orphan Fund was set up back in 2004 following the boxing Day tsunami.

Since then the kind hearted people of the Coleraine area have been helping to fund the Baan Tharn Namchai orphanage.

Last week, charity Chairman Willie Gregg announced the sad news that two girls from the orphanage had died.

Tong-Kao and Tip have been residents at the orphanage for many years.

Charity chairman, Milne Rowntree told The Times: “It is very sad that we bring the news about two of the girls from the orphanage.
“At this stage we only know that the girls had been on a trip to a nearby plantation when the accident occurred.

“We at the charity, our supporters, and the staff at the centre in Thailand are devastated by the news.”

Milne went on to explain that one of the girls had fallen into a drainage pit at the plantation site. He said that two others had jumped in a bid to recuse her, and had got into difficulties to.

“We understand that all three children had to be rescued by a staff member. Unfortunately only one could be resuscitated,” said Milne.

Charity Chairman, Willie Gregg thanked the people of the area for their kind wishes following the tragic news.

“I just want to thank everyone for their kind wishes.

“These children have already been through so much,” said an emotional Willie.

Since its formation Willie Orphan Fund has raised thousands of pounds for the children of the Baan Tharn Namchai orphanage.

The charity also has the support of local golfers Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke, who regularly support fundraisers for the children of Thailand.

Just recently, the Portrush major winner funded equipment for a medical room at the centre - the ‘Gmac Treatment Room’

Two years ago, a group of children from the orphanage made the trip to Northern Ireland to meet the people who have supported them.

Plans are already afoot for another group to visit the area in the coming years.