We are SO very excited to announce that the second classroom is OFFICIALLY done with construction! In the last three months we have installed windows, doors, bathrooms, ceilings and completed the staircase. Now all we have left to do is furnish it. This includes the air conditioning units (which will be a huge boost in productivity during the 110 degree weather days), and furnishings for the office and classrooms.
We are thankful to have finished construction just before the rainy season kicked in, and for the extra cover for our students and staff to stay dry during these months. Our staff have moved a few pieces of furniture over from the current (and much too small) office to be able to function in the new space. Our weekend volunteers and after school program manager have begun utilizing the new classroom but are still in need of furnishings to make it fully functional.
The remaining amount to be raised will be applied towards the air conditioning units as well as furnishings. We're hoping to hire a local carpenter to construct tables and desks from wood, will purchase chairs for both the office and classroom, white boards, classroom supplies, etc. If we have any extra funds, they will be applied towards building out the 'first classroom' which will be converted into a library.
One of the rooms which is difficult to photograph and has yet to be mentioned is a small room with a separate entrance on the back side of the building to be used for counseling. This came as a suggestion from our prevention program director, who identified a need for a private room with a subtle entrance to meet with students and their families. We're especially grateful for her foresight to be able to incorporate this into the structure and it will be one of the first rooms to be furnished since it's such an urgent need.
We are so thrilled that the building itself is done and are looking forward to outfitting it to create a stimulating and inspirational environment for both our students and staff.
Thank you so much for all of your support!
Since our last report three months ago we have made so much progress! The second classroom is nearing completion with last minute touches being made to the building. We will then be in our final step: furnishing it!
We are thankful for the strong infrastructure of this building. Earlier this week, Chiang Rai experienced a 6.2 earthquake. Thanks to your donations we were able to build an earthquake safe foundation and the Resource Center (this second classroom included) saw very minimal damage. Only a couple of shingles broke. You may remember that early on in the Second Classroom campaign we set our budget higher to be able to absorb the cost increase of earthquake proofing the facility. Thank you for standing with us in that decision - we are thankful to be able to provide a safe office to our staff, classroom to our students, and place of refuge in times of need.
With our upcoming parent meeting this Saturday, we look forward to sharing with the entire SOLD community the progress that's been made on it! The upstairs has been designed as an office space for our eight staff (insulated and air conditioned for the extreme heat that Northen Thailand experiences) as well as a conference and private meeting room for counseling services and private meetings with students/parents. The downstairs is designed as a classroom for our students to participate in after school programs and educational classes. The original (first) classroom will then be converted in to a library.
We made so much financial progress toward our goal at the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014! Thanks to grants from Cultural Care Au Pair, LUSH Cosmetics, and all of your individual contributions we have nearly reached our target. Not to mention that because of your support, we've been able to make some serious headway on the classroom progress. We've finished the bottom level walls and are working on the second level. Once those are complete, we'll begin to work on the roof!
We've been saying all along how needed this second classroom is. So much so that we're already using the first level of this building! We recently hosted an art camp with 20 volunteers and 75 students in the shade of the first level of this new classroom (see photo attached). Our staff are also very excited to each have a desk (currently eight staff are sharing two desks and a couch) in their new second level office!
Thank you so much for each contributing to this much needed classroom (and office!) and helping to make it a reality. We are very grateful!
Rachel Goble & The SOLD Project Team
Will you join us in #GivingTuesday? The SOLD Project is so close to reaching our goal to build the second classroom at our Resource Center in Thailand. When you donate to build the classroom, 100% of the funds go directly to the building project. To make it even better, Global Giving is offering to print, download or mail a card if you choose to make the gift in someone's honor. This card, coupled with some of our new merchandise or student art makes the perfect holiday gift.
Also, we have great news! Not only are we close to completing the floors for the Second Classroom but just yesterday we got word that LUSH Beauty Products is granting us $7,100 to build the walls and ceilings for both levels! To top it off, one of our donors was so excited by the LUSH grant that he gave another $5,000! This leaves us with $12,900 left to complete the classroom. We are so excited to be nearing our goal! Thank you for all of your support in making this second classroom possible.
Happy #GivingTuesday and Happy Holidays!
Rachel Goble & The SOLD Project team
If there is such a thing as a good setback, we may have found it.
This summer, even as we broke ground on the new classroom building, it quickly became apparent that we'd have to adjust our fundraising goal.
On the one hand, this is extremely disappointing. It's already taken us longer than we'd hoped to complete this classroom, and in the meantime our staff and kids continue to overflow our one small building.
On the other hand...
The reasons costs have gone up are actually really great news!
As you know, a huge part of why we're working in Thailand to educate at-risk children is to break the cycle of poverty, which leads so many vulnerable children into exploitation. One factor that has driven up costs in the last couple years is a steady and substantial (30%) increase in Thailand's minimum wage!
These new laws alone will not be enough to end poverty in the rural north, but they're an important step in the right direction, and we're proud to be paying the local workers who are building this classroom a good wage.
Also, because of damage our Resource Center sustained earlier this year and the earthquake not long ago in nearby Chiang Saen, the engineers working on the building recommended upgrading the foundation and other materials to make this new building earthquake-proof and storm resistant. (It's hard to argue with that.)
In the end...
We need your help more than ever!
There's still five or six months worth of work to do before the classroom is ready for classes, and we're still $20+ short of our goal. Let's finish this thing!
One way you can make a huge difference is by doing what we do—inviting your friends to get involved and help!
If you raise $500 from 10 people using GlobalGiving's Fundraiser tool between now and September 30, you could win airline tickets from JetBlue, a flip camera, and other prizes. (The warm fuzzy feeling you get from rallying people to a good cause? That's a bonus. :-)
Start your fundraiser
Thanks for spreading the word!
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