Giving to Others - It is Intentional
When time came for the annual planning retreat for the young leaders, the organisation decided to incorporate a "work and challenge" theme for the group. This retreat was with the intention to plan for the projects that would encompass the celebration of the 20 years of working with children and youths.
Together with the adult volunteer-leaders, the girls gathered to knit winter caps and scarves for the needy in the hilly areas of Thailand, so that the people living in these areas would have some protection against the cold, especially in the wintry months, that stretches from November till around February.
Meanwhile the boys spent the whole day out in the sun video taping the steps for footdrill, that would help other youths who wanted to use it as a team-building challenge project.
In addition to the above, these youths were also challenged to try out their potentials for water sports at the Nong Bon Centre that was set up for public, in honor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
At the end of the 2 days of work and challenge, Aryck said,"Although it has been a tiring and sometimes tedious, taking and re-taking video scenes for the footdrill, I find it meaningful that we are helping others with this project. I would gladly do this again if needs be!"
With regards to knitting,"I have NEVER done any knitting in my life, but am determined to finish this hat, even though I know that it's tough for me. At least 1 person gets warm because I did it!", exclaimed Mook, who was struggling with her knitting needles.
"I am suprised that I was able to explain to friends how to manoever the sailing boat " beamed Jedi, who semed to have gotten the techniques of sailing with ease.
Memie reflected,"Learning to sail involves learning to be responsible for the equipment aswell, because it will affect the safety of the users!"
In all, it was indeed a time where our youths were challenged to Give of themselves and their efforts for the benefit of Others, and it has to be INTENTIONAL, so that it would be instilled in their hearts for life!
Thanks to all donors who have made these life lessons possible for the future of Thai youths. Any suggestions to better our services would be greatly appreciated.
Lives that have been touched
The Character and Leadership Training Project has been going on for the past 20 years and the number of children and youths that gone through our program has been by the hundreds and thousands, considering that we have been touching lives of these young people with our weekly program for a total of 1,040 weeks. Through the tireless efforts and sacrificial giving of our Volunteers, countless lives have been touched and changed, for better, despite dire backgrounds and circumstances.
This Project that was initiated by the Foundation for Life, is run by Volunteers from various provinces, namely, in Bangkok, Chonburi, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkram, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Khon Kaen, Korat, Kanchanaburi, Chiangrai, Chiangmai, etc with weekly activites carried out in approximately 16 centers country-wide reaching to around 1,400 young people every week!
The carefully planned program seek to develop the young wholistically, with activities that nurture them phyically, mentally, emotionally and socially. The Foundation and Volunteers believe in the potentials of our children and youths, and with tenacity, refuse to give up on them as long as there is hope. Many of the young people have commented that the activites they went through in the project has given them inner strength.
Bua, now married with a baby girl, said, "I will never forget the love and concern that Khru Nok (a Volunteer) has for me while I was growing up and had family problems"
"It has not been easy during my early teens to learn to have confidence to go to leadership camps alone without close friends coming along as well, but today, I can say that it has all been worthwhile," Mana (a university student, who is now a Volunteer for the Project) reflected.
"I am so fortuanate to have Khru Berm as a model of a father to me," Pinyo said when asked what he thought of his mentor.
So, a Volunteer said," I firmly believe that it is better to mould a child today.....than to mend an adult tomorrow !" (refering to forming and breaking bad habits in life)
The Foundation thanks all donors for your belief in our work, and truly we could not have come this far without your support. Any feedback is welcome so that we can better ourselves.
Moulding the Good Shepherd Leader
In today's world,of chaos and confusion, especially in the last 3 months where there has been major protests staged in Bangkok, it has been a trying time for thousands of Thais in the capital city, because it was learning to discern all the different "voices" screaming to be heard.
As tough as it was for the person in the street to know the intricacies and political jargon, the commoner finally learns that it has to do with intergrity, honesty, responsibility and accountability. All of which are characteristics that we in the Foundation are trying to instill in our young under the Project: Character and Leadership Training for Thai Youths.
Indeed this Project entails a tiring and long process, which many do not like to be involved, because it takes TIME before we can see any 'fruits' to the labour that we put in. However, the Foundation is convinced that if we want a better future for our kids, we need better citizens, and we need to train and instill good moral values and tenacity, WHILE THEY ARE YOUNG.
Thus, we continued in our yearly efforts in conducting Leadership Camps, and this year it was with the theme "Moulding the Good Shepherd Leader". All the activities were inter-linked to this theme, from the Icebreaking games, to the topics on leadership, all the way to our ooutdoor activities and skills!
Due to the rainy weather in the month, the nearly 300 campers had to deal with unexpected weather changes, that were obstacles to outdoor activites. However, these were great training opportunitites for all, to learn to adapt and be flexible, while needing to ensure that goals were achieved.
May, an adult volunteer who came to help in the camp said, " I am amazed how everything just fell into place, despite all the challenges that we had!"
Ti, a young youth echoed," I've never been to any camps where every item in the table-table, just linked so well together!"
"I really learn to appreciate that if i were to be a Good Shepherd Leader, I have to be proactive and consider my sheep (ie those I lead), first!" commented Mook
By the end of the camps, memories of unity and love, bonded the campers together, each promising to be back again for next year's training.
The Foundation is grateful to all donors, because you care to bear with us in this challenging work of nurtuing people, espcially the young, and we welcome any feedback to help improve our outreach to the young.
Thank you for your partnership!
Youths of Hope - Indeed!!
As a follow up to the last report, the time came for our 40 young leaders to put all their plans to work and to make the camps a memorable time for all.
The Theme of the Camps was "Youths of Hope", which were tailored so that campers would be encouraged and empowered to rise above difficult situations and be a beacon of light and hope to those around them, especially their peers.
There were altogether 2 camps running concurrently, one for the boys and another for the girls. Activities that had been planned for the 230 campers were wholistic in nature, which included station games for team building purposes, fun along the beaches, quizzes and life-skills like learning English the fun way through songs, first-aid skills, new skipping steps, etc..
Campers who came from different centres and provinces, got to "gel" with each other very quickly and effortlessly because the young leaders played their roles of facilitators well,and helped to make campers feel at home and belonged.
Nu, a camper said, "I really enjoyed this camp. At first I was rather apprehensive because I did not have many friends here, but now I have lots of new friends!"
Mink, a young leader reflected, "When I realised that there were so many campers that we leaders were in-charge of, I felt a little overwhelmed, but, then I learnt that if we delegate our duties well and are responsible in fulfilling them, we would accomplish much! Team work is so important"
Truly, the team of young people, together with the campers has proven that in Thailand, there are Youths of Hope - Indeed !
The Foundation would like to thank all donors for your contribution to the task of strengthening our youths for the future, so that they can be the HOPE for the country tomorrow.
We welcome any comments or feedback that would help us instill character and leadership in our young people.
Empowering and Enabling Young People to Succeed
Every alternate year the organisation will give young leaders the opportunity to braistorm, plan, organise and run 2 camps for the young people. This planning by core leaders in their early teens (from around 14 years to 18 years) occurred in May 2013, during a retreat for them. In this retreat, the young people connected well with each other through water sport activities, sat down to brainstorm, and plan for activities in the camps.
Two camps were planned, one for girls, run by the girls and another by the boys, run by the boys. After they went on the retreat to plan, duties were delegated to youths from the various provinces, to further prepare the details for the camps.
As the days of the camp drew nearer these core leaders met to finalise, prepare and rehearse the program that they had planned.
Abigail said," I'll do my best to get my friends to come and help to prepare this coming Saturday" ... and indeed she did round up about 15 of her friends to come to the Foundation's office to help.
For the next 3 weeks,these committed young people did their best to prepare for the logistics of the camps, so that everything from the invitation video, to the decor of the stage, to the name tags, the campbooks and even the details of the teaching sessions were all ready.
Without a doubt, these young core leaders have increased in their self-esteems and personal worthiness, as they know that what they have done will definitely benefit the campers who will attend these camps (about 230 expected).
Said one mother whom we met, about her son who came to help in the preparations, "Thank you for organising activities like these for my son to be involved in. It is very meaningful and definitely builds up my son's character!"
The Foundation is proud of the our young people and will spare no effort to instill good character and leadership qualities in their lives.
Any feedback and comments are most welcome to assist us to better our services to the youth!
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