British navy helps paint Thai children’s home, photo by Pattaya Mail.
The British navy recently lent a helping hand in Pattaya as part of a push to build relations and friendships in Thailand.
The crew of the British offshore patrol vessel, HMS Spey, painted a children’s home in Pattaya during their visit to Thailand. The ship arrived at the Royal Thai Navy’s port in Sattahip as part of the UK government’s Indo-Pacific strategy to enhance relations between the two regions, Pattaya Mail reported today.
The mission aims to build relationships and promote friendship, particularly with militaries and navies in the Indo-Pacific region. It also intends to strengthen maritime security, protect marine biodiversity, and conduct humanitarian aid and disaster relief work.
The entire ship’s crew took time out of their busy schedule to visit the Baan Jing Jai Foundation children’s home, located just outside of Pattaya. The children worked alongside the sailors and members of the Thailand Branch of the Royal British Legion to add a fresh coat of paint. They also had fun playing sports with the ship’s crew.
The Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel has made stops in Yokohama, Japan; Pyeongtaek City in South Korea; Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam; and Sihanoukville in Cambodia before arriving in Thailand. Mark Gooding, the British Ambassador to Thailand, stressed the significance of building relationships across the region, as half of the global economy will be driven by this region by 2050, he said.
Gooding added that with over 1.7 million British citizens living in the region, any change in its economic environment and politics will affect the UK economy and its support for an open society. He affirmed that his administration would continue engaging with the region to further establish comprehensive bonding while protecting its interests.
In 2022, the British and Thai governments signed an agreement on defence, genomics, education, counter-terrorism, and finance, with the arrival of HMS Spey being part of that agreement.
Baan Jing Jai, an orphanage, cares for 70 children between nine months old and 18 years old. Although most of the children attend public schools, some are supported to attend bilingual schools.