Send 110 at-risk children to school in Thailand

Dec 13, 2012

Half Day School - Fall 2012

Dear Friends,

After an October break (of three weeks) the Half Day School at DEPDC is back in the swing of things. We are now most of the way through our 2012-2013 school year! Students are about to enjoy another short break in the last half of December. Before we go, we’d  like to give our beloved donors an update on all things HDS! Thanks to all of your generous assistance, the Half Day School has been able to continue providing education, vocational training, and material support for over 150 children from vulnerable communities in Thailand’s northern border areas. 

Our regular classes have continued this term, with students learning English, Mathematics, Thai, Computer Skills, Science, Social Studies, Health, and various Vocational Skills. Our blog documents the diverse range of learning opportunities and fun-filled activities that the children of HDS partake in, which are made possible by donors like you.

Recent activities in the Half Day School include:

  • Loy Krathong: Students celebrated this Thai holiday by making their own krathongs and floating them on the pond at a local temple.
  • Student Class Elections: Students voted for a peer to represent them for the remainder of the school year.
  • Hill Tribe Exhibition: Many students also enjoyed this local event and exhibition which educated them on the traditional culture of ten different hill tribes and sold food and products created by members of these tribes.


The Half Day School continuously tries to improve and diversify the students’ experience and learning opportunities. We’d like to tell you about some of our ongoing activities as well as some new ones.

  • Life Skills – On Wednesdays after lunch, Kindergarten and Grades 1-3 participate in Life Skills classes which teach them about social issues such as drugs, sex education, child labor, child rights, prostitution, and which also incorporates sports and games.
  • Burmese and Chinese: Each Thursday, all of the Half Day School students now study spoken and written Burmese and Chinese. As many of our HDS students are Burmese and we are located quite near to the border, learning Burmese is of strong value to our students. And as Thailand’s culture has a strong Chinese heritage and Chinese is now a valuable language to know in our growing international economy, learning Chinese is of strong benefit to our HDS students as well.
  • Buddhist Project – Every Friday, the Half Day School students participate in Buddhist Learning Day wherein Buddhist monks teach the students about morals, ethics, right living, and other Buddhist principles. The monks also teach through media training, videos and games. The objective of the project is to bring confidence, guidance, hope, and peace in to the students’ lives.
  • Youth Leadership Program – The Youth Leadership Program is for G.4-6 students. It is designed to educate the students to be leaders who are articulate, outspoken, knowledgeable about social issues, and who are invested in their personal development as well as the development of their families, communities, and the wider society. The aim is for the students to be able to look after themselves, live safely in society and protect themselves from dangers in society. The students learn in the classroom and outside the classroom from teachers; local, knowledgeable members of the community; and representatives from different government and non-governmental agencies. 


(All HDS students are also provided with lunch every day.) Besides their academic education, students at HDS participate in vocational workshops including:

  • Weaving: This workshop is designed to teach students how to weave cloth using a loom. The workshop teaches students how to use various techniques on the loom to weave cloth. Students make scarves and ‘Pha Kha Mah,’ which can be used as scarves but are also large enough to use as towels or to wear as sarongs. 
  • Music: In this workshop, students learn about written music and simple music theory through practice: they are instructed in how to play the flute and the drums (traditional Thai drums).
  • Electrical training: This workshop is designed to teach students about electrical appliances and how to fix them. They are introduced to the material and tools used by an electrician and  to proper safety procedures.
  • Crocheting and Knitting: Students learn the basic skills of crocheting and knitting in this workshop and gradually incorporate more and more complex stitches into their repertoires. Students apply these skills by creating scarves, blankets, and hats, among other items.
  • Carpentry: This workshop teaches students about how to make various creations from wood and how to fix broken objects. They are introduced to the material and tools used by a carpenter and to proper safety procedures.
  • Sewing and Tailoring: In this workshop, students learn how to tailor clothing, mend items, and how to make simple garments from patterns. They learn both hand-sewing and machine-sewing skills.
  • Culinary Arts: Students get an opportunity to learn how to make different types of traditional Thai snacks, desserts, and entrée dishes. HDS believes that it is important to instill a healthy idea of food and the importance of establishing healthy eating habits.
  • Handicrafting: Here students express their creativity and engage their artistic ability by learning how to make small, sellable goods such as cotton used to create mobile phone holders, crocheted dolls, and other small decorative items. In this workshop, students also re-think creative ways to recycle leftover materials and turn them into something both useful and beautiful.
  • Agriculture Studies: Students learn how to plant and grow vegetables in a designated plot of land on-site and then maintain the area as an organic farm. From tilling the soil to planting seeds to maintaining the farm by themselves, students have the opportunity to experience first-hand the whole process of farming.


We have been greatly enjoying our term so far. As always, I welcome your feedback and suggestions on improving our students’ learning experiences. Once again, on behalf of the Half Day School students and their families, I extend my most sincere thanks to you for making it all possible.  Your generous contributions make it possible for the children most at-risk for sex and labor trafficking to learn, grow and gain self-confidence!

Thank you so much,

Alinda Suya

DEPDC Director of Projects


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Mae Sai, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Project Leader

Alinda Suya

Director of Mae Sai Projects
Mae Sai, Chiang Rai Thailand

Where is this project located?

Map of Send 110 at-risk children to school in Thailand