Independent from Long Beach, California on January 23, 1975 · Page 54
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 54

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Thursday, January 23, 1975
Page 54
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,?f; W^ 'Angers' school gets aid BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - P r a t h e e p Ung- songtham, also known as the "Angel of Kong , Toey," has found new friends from across the sea to help support her illegal school. But she still , fears it might be taken away. ' . M i s s Pratheep, 23, teaches 156 children of Klong Toey, a swampy slum hear Bangkok^ big · river port, where most ^children do. not have the registration papers or the ·money to attend regular school. In the last six years she has s u r v i v e d repeated brushes with the government, which warned 'her to close her elementary school but looked the other way after, she moved it and renamed it the "Child Care Establish- "ment Development Vil- *-lage." -. Now she fears that the ·Bangkok Port Authority, · which owns the small plot of land on which her three-room school stands, might take-it back. "I had to go to court in October after a dispute over the land with the Port Authority," Miss Pratheep said. "The case was dropped after the . Port Authority said they will allow me to continue using the land until they want it back." ASKED when she thinks ' t h e Port Authority will want the land back, Miss PraUieep said, "Probably ... within five years from now." Miss Pratheep finishes her own studies next year at a Bangkok teachers college. "I plan to teach in a school outside Bangkok after the land is taken back because students living in remote areas suffer more than students living in Bangkok," Miss Pra- theep said. "Some students in the provinces have to walk many miles . a day to their school." 1 Last year she received donations totaling $1,375. In December, the Women's Charity Committee of the Japanese .Association of Thailand donated $150 plus uniforms for all students and ~ school supplies. Mrs. Masato Fujisaki, wife of the Japanese ambassador, donated $100, school supplies and candy on a · -visit to the school late last year. The school is now building another two classrooms, a lounge and a library, but the project is ' not f i n i s h e d because money has run out. Miss Pratheep said she has spent $1,150 on this project and still needs more donations. Robert Larkin, 25, an Australian representing -' the Thailand and Australia Association, said · his · association wants to send teaching materials for the school's pupils. Larkin, visiting Thai. land for the third time, · said his association in Australia had so far donated $275 after seeing a story about Miss Pra- theep in the Bangkok PQS( sent by ajriend at the Schooner is sihonetted by setting sun as it slips through calm water off Waikiki in Honolulu -AP^I sent by A..A*,.nun nuau UIIU h'mhn -- rf "Our association Will 'help Miss Pratheep. for "·'· one year but will cotltiriue · helping her school if she · 1 needs our help," Larkin said. 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