Send 70 At-risk Children to School in Thailand

 
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Sep 11, 2013

Half Day School Update September 2013

Teacher
Teacher's Day Fun!

Dear friends,

Half Day School has been running smoothly since the children returned in May! Thanks to your generous support, this school year the Half Day School provided vital education, vocational and life skills training, and material support to over 150 children from vulnerable communities in the Thai-Burma border region.

I’d like to tell you about some recent developments at the Half Day School, including special activities, new programs and partnerships, and the work of international volunteers. I also want to update you on our ongoing activities in education, vocational training, and personal development training. This school year saw growth in a number of areas including the organic agriculture project, the Buddhist Project, and English teaching.

Our regular classes have continued this term, with students learning English with our International Volunteers, 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.

Students have been getting up to all sorts of fun things this term. Teacher's day was a great success, the students made the most beautiful gifts for their much loved teachers and presented them in a wonderful ceremony. 

The Buddhist Project is still running successfully. Every Friday Monks from the community come to our Half Day School to teach the children about how to live harmoniously in society. You can read more about The Buddhist Project here on our blog ! 

Also on our blog, you can read about the typical day of Susanae, an akha student of DEPDC and how DEPDC has helped her so far.

 

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

The Buddhist Project
The Buddhist Project
The beautiful products of the vocational classes!
The beautiful products of the vocational classes!
Handmade by the HDS students!
Handmade by the HDS students!

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Organization

DEPDC

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 70 At-risk Children to School in Thailand