DEPDC

DEPDC is a non-governmental, non-profit community-based organization that provides education and full-time accommodation to children in prevention and protection of being trafficked into the commercial sex industry and other exploitative labor conditions.
Jul 22, 2015

M-CRPC becoming CRP-CK and other news!

Lahu tribe village
Lahu tribe village

This new update from the shelter in Chiang Khong comes with some exciting news. The shelter has now moved on from DEPDC to become an independent organisation under the name of Children Rights Protection Centre Chiang Khong (CRP-CK). It’s still early days, but we have some exciting ideas and projects down the pipeline and we’re hoping to get the whole of the community in Sathan on board.

Aside from providing 24/7 support to now seven girls living on-site, we are also reaching out to children and young people who are at risk and/or living in poverty in the surrounding villages. Last week, together with one of the project’s kind sponsors who came to visit us, we went to check up on some of them.

Our first stop was Lana from the Lahu tribe (all names have been changed for the protection of identity). Lana’s story is a difficult one, but not at all unique, especially among the hill tribes where people are mostly stateless and so they get no support from the Thai state.

 Only 15 y.o., she is now effectively the head of her family, taking care of her younger 10 y.o. sister and ill mother. Her father, battling drug addiction and mental illness, she barely sees. Her mom, originally from Burma has no recourse to public funds and with no other income they are now effectively homeless.

 On this occasion she welcomed us on the porch of a friend, an elderly lady who took all three in while her son is working in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand’s commercial hub. An informal and temporary arrangement that will take them through the rainy season. Their monthly household budget now stands at 1200 Baht (about 36 dollars), a scholarship P’tuu has organised for her, plus other kind donations like the bags of rice, noodles and medical supplies we brought for her.

But Lana is a brave girl! She is determined to keep up with her school and can imagine a better future. Inspired by some of the training given by local NGOs in her school, she showed us the materials she had prepared for her own presentation on sexual education. She will be teaching other children in the village how their bodies are changing and how to cope with this in a healthy way. Also, she is trying to increase her income by selling beautifully made traditionally sewn cloth her mother taught her to make. The design is gorgeous, but it also takes her about one month to finish something she will probably get about 500 baht for (less than 15 dollars). Something to think about next time a locally handmade dress/bag/bracelet costs 5 dollars more than the shop variety.

She is just one of the young people who are living in extreme poverty, and we are trying so lend a hand. We will go see her again in a couple of months to check up and also bring her some new supplies.

 

 

 

 

Lana
Lana's work
Jul 17, 2015

New language course and workshops at CLC

English class for the Social Worker Workshop
English class for the Social Worker Workshop

The last three months were quite busy at DEPDC's Community Learning Center (CLC). The CLC organized a one month special English workshop focusing on 'English for Social Workers' for the participants of the "Social Workers Training Program for an At-risk Group of Women and Children in The Shan State” A new Burmese language course was set up the two English language courses ran as before, with a short break.

 

Between 15th May and 13th June 2015 DEPDC, in cooperation with Alliance Anti-Trafic, organized a one month social worker training program for people from The Shan State in Myanmar. The young people participating in the workshop came from many different walks of life, from farmers, to monks, to university students. One part of the program was an English language course focusing on English for Social Workers. This part of the program was organized by the CLC and taught by three teachers at the same time.

The big challenge in this course was the very different levels of English proficiency of the program participants, reaching from very basic English to an advanced intermediate level. The fact that we had three teachers to teach a group of 11 people made it possible to organize the classes in a way that everybody had a chance to learn, and to improve upon their skills at a pace which suited them and their own abilities, enabling the participants to make good progress during the one month course.

 

The second big news from DEPDC's CLC is that we managed to set up a new Burmese language course for pupils. The new course takes place every Saturday and Sunday at 3pm, and is taught by our Burmese teacher, Ms. Kwanmai Lasang, who also teaches beginner English CLC classes.

These classes give children from the villages around DEPDC a chance to learn Burmese, which is becoming increasingly important as the trade across the Thai-Myanmar border is increasing and is expected to boom after the introduction of the 'ASEAN Economic Community' in the near future. Mae Sai as one of the main border crossings between Thailand and Myanmar will be one of the major trade hubs and having the ability to speak and write Burmese might be an advantage in the labor market.

 

All of DEPDC's staff, volunteers, and students would like to thank our generous donors for their support. Without your support DEPDC's work in furthering the education of our students would be impossible. Thank you!

Learning the Burmese alphabet
Learning the Burmese alphabet
Ms. Lasang correcting the students homework
Ms. Lasang correcting the students homework

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Jul 10, 2015

The 2015/16 school year at HDS started

1. Grade English Class at HDS
1. Grade English Class at HDS

After a well deserved summer break for both the teachers and students, school here in Mae Sai resumed as normal on the 11th of May.

This 2015/2016 term brings us a school filled with 62 children. The hot dry summer weather met us and the kids as classes like English, Mathematics, Thai , Social science, and straight science went ahead as normal. Cooking classes for the children and cooking for the lunch program also commenced. However there was a large development on the grounds of the Half Day school (HDS). What was a vegetable patch near the playing pitch has now been ploughed in time for rainy season to begin growing rice. This rice will go towards the lunch program and for a period of time DEPDC will be near self sustaining with the efforts of the whole HDS. What was the vegetable patch has been moved down the field and is now growing around 15 different crops in a small scale. Since mid May, we have had International Student Volunteers (ISV’s) come to visit and help at the HDS. There have been 3 groups to date. They have consisted of around 15 or more individuals and students that have helped in teaching English in the HDS. They have joined us from several different parts of the world including America, Canada and Portugal. For the two weeks they spend in Mae Sai, they assist in teaching English as well as conducting maintenance on the DEPDC compound. Some of the HDS students take these volunteers to see some local sights like temples near the Myanmar border.

On 11th of June, DEPDC’s HDS celebrated this years Wai Khru Ceremony. This ceremony gives the students the opportunity to show gratitude to their teachers and to apologize for any misbehaviour. HDS celebrates this ceremony once a year. The actual ceremony is held during the morning and in the afternoon HDS’s students sing on stage and perform short plays that they write themselves. It was a lot of fun this year and both staff and students had an enjoyable ceremony.

To all of the supporters of the Half Day School and DEPDC/GMS, thank you for your kind attention and generosity. We are grateful for ISV’s help this term and look forward to the rest of the term ahead.

1. Grade English Class at HDS
1. Grade English Class at HDS
Annual Wai Khru Ceremony at HDS
Annual Wai Khru Ceremony at HDS

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