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.
Mar 24, 2014

HDS Lunch Program Update

Watering time!
Watering time!


At DEPDC/GMS we believe that nourishment and physical health is essential to optimal learning. The HDS lunch program was created so that students would be provided with at least one healthful and nutritious meal every school day. The unfortunate reality for many HDS students is that the school lunch will be the only nourishment that they will have all day. This is true for approximately 25% of HDS students. This program also Two programs within the lunch program that have been particularly impactful are the agricultural and cooking training.

The cooking program increases students responsibility, self-sufficiency, and life skills through hands-on training. Students are given the opportunity to share their skills from home with their peers as well as expand their own skillsets. Although many students already have basic cooking skills, these skills are sharpened and built upon. Through the agricultural program students are taught about the growing seasons, which vegetables are the most nutrient dense, and other horticultural skills.

One student that has been particularly affected by our lunch program is Aran. Aran (15 y/o) is in many ways a typical teenage boy. He loves to play sports and often will make jokes in class. He is described by his teachers as a conscientious student with a gregarious personality. Unfortunately, Aran has many responsibilities and burdens that a typical Thai boy may not share. Aran is Akha, his family lives in the Jong village by a Lychee Plantation. His family works very hard but they cannot grow all of the food that they need. They are able to make a small profit from corn and tobacco which covers few of their minimal living expenses. The lunch program has been a huge help to Aran and his family. Through the program Aran has been able to get at least one nutritious meal a day, learned many new skills, and best of all has been able to take home some of the produce that he grows in the garden! He says that his favorite vegetables to grow are onions and lettuce and that it makes him happy to work in the garden before and after school.

We thank those who have donated so far to the program!

Feb 28, 2014

Half Day School Update February 2014

The Half Day School (HDS) has continued smoothly since our last project report. The school has been abuzz with fun, laughter and learning thanks to generous people like you who help us to provide the children with the critical things they need to attend school. In addition to the always important basic necessities for students, your contributions have helped to provide good food, clean water and a safe place for children to be, learn, develop and spend time with friends. Below are some recent events that the Half Day School students have been involved in, some ongoing activities in which they continue to participate, and some upcoming events and activities we are looking forward to.

In November, the children celebrated the famous Loi Krathong Festival. About 100 students worked together to make the famous ‘krathongs’ which they float gently down rivers to celebrate Thai and Buddhist history and pay respect to their beliefs. It was a great bonding time during which the students had lots of fun and felt a sense of connection with each other and with the broader society celebrating alongside them. For children from vulnerable and often marginalised communities, this kind of event empowers them and lets them feel a sense of community that is important for people’s core well-being.

On the 10th of January, more than 100 children at the Half Day School spent Children’s Day, ‘Wan Dek’, playing games, winning awards and having fun with friends, Thai staff, and International Volunteers. Everyone brought something which they could give to someone else so that everyone received a present on the day, and if any children couldn’t afford to bring something, the Half Day School staff made sure they were given something which they could use as their own gift to give. With a speech about children’s rights, empowerment and futures from our founder, Khun Sompop, to close the day’s activities, the children received and left with a deep sense of belonging, self-worth and gratitude, which is DEPDC’s aim to provide.

Likewise, Sports Day on February 7 gave more than 100 children the opportunity to compete, exercise and have fun with friends and go home with full stomachs and big smiles. And lastly, on February 14, which was a Buddhist holiday called ‘Wan Makha Bucha’, HDS teachers led a study tour to the Opium Hall in Chiang Saen, the Golden Triangle, and two different Buddhist sites to learn about Buddhist, Thai and Greater Mekong Subregion histories. The students learned about the dangers of the Golden Triangle, crime, drugs and ways they can remain safe, all the while enjoying themselves. The children love these occasions and we love hosting them, so we must thank our generous supporters for helping us to continue to provide the students with events and activities such as these.

Other activities at the Half Day School have remained very much normal. Classes and the vocational and life-skills training continue to help the students develop their skills and build towards safe and self-sufficient futures. The Little DJ programme that trained the children about how to use radio for outreach and as a platform for them to communicate with others and to express themselves also continues, as does the agriculture programme that becomes more impressive every day and continues to teach growing numbers of children about sustainable, self-sufficient techniques to meet their basic needs.

We are currently on the verge of final exams for the 2013/14 school year and the graduation of our oldest class of students at the Half Day School ahead of our summer break. It is an exciting time and, although it is always sad to say goodbye to our sons and daughters, we are extremely proud that they have successfully completed the programme and will take their skills on into the future. And as they continue to create lives for themselves, they will always have a home at the Half Day School if they want to come and help teach children the way that they were once taught themselves. Besides that, we look forward to summer break activities at the centre, welcoming back students when the new school year begins, and adding new members to the family when new students arrive through our gates.

Thank you so much to everyone who has made and continues to make it possible for the Half Day School to do what it does. With support from you and others like you, our programmes will continue to make important differences in the lives of vulnerable, underprivileged children and to give them futures of which they might otherwise never have even dreamed.

Jan 29, 2014

CLC Update January 29th!

Erica and her CLC students
Erica and her CLC students

At the end of November, we were sad to say goodbye to Erica, an international volunteer from Ireland, who had been teaching English classes for 6 months at DEPDC. She was much appreciated by the CLC students and will surely be missed!

We are happy to announce the arrival of a new international volunteer, Elea, who is from France. Elea currently teaches intermediate English at CLC and is sharing the classes with Julie, who is from the U.S and arrived to DEPDC last October. The intermediate English classes run three times a week, while other classes (Thai, Burmese and computing classes) run every day Monday to Friday at the centre.

Under the instruction of volunteer teachers DEPDC International Department, the students are often taught English grammar but are also encouraged to practice their oral English skills through various activities, such as games and classroom conversations. However, the English classes taught at the CLC are not just about improving English skills. The classroom is a place for students to build confidence in themselves and their abilities, and about building relationships with each other. Teachers and students have established a good relationship, and sometimes dinners are organised after class so everyone can get to know each other a little bit better.

Thanks to your generous support, CLC has continued to provide vital English and Thai language and literacy education. Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has supported and continues to support this important project that helps the surrounding communities of Mae Sai. Your kind donations are proof in the belief that everyone – no matter their age, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, citizenship, religion, or skill level – has the right to learn, thrive, and grow!

CLC provides computer training, human rights education and literacy training in both the Thai and English language for up to 100 refugees, members of ethnic minority hill tribes, undocumented migrants, the Mae Sai community and other community members living along the Thai-Burmese border. We invite you to visit the DEPDC blog to read recent updates and information about CLC and other DEPDC projects.

CLC students and teachers having dinner together!
CLC students and teachers having dinner together!
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