The Power of Empowerment
The Foundation for Life sees the importance of Training and Developing the Child and the Youth, so that they become people of Integrity and Character, whom others can look up to, to make a difference to the communities in which they live.
However, for the Foundation to strive to do this, we need the help of partners and supporters to help in the development of the child. We have found that generally the "pillar " of the Family structure, that is, the Dad, is usually lacking or non-existent. After 18 years of working with Children and Youths, as well as their families, the Foundation has "prepared" the grounds for co-operation with Fathers who have a passion for Fathering Matters, as such, a pilot project to gather interested Dads in Thailand was created. After 3 months of intensive discussion and preparations, the fathering workshop was birthed.
The "I CAN" Fathering Workshop
With the help and mentoring from the Founders of Centre for Fathering in Singapore, about 40 Thai fathers gathered for workshops to discuss, share experiences and hone in their fathering skills.
It was a time of 'liberation' as these gentlemen shared and exchanged their fathering experiences with each other in open-hearted discussions, something rather rare for the men of today.
The Trainers then also conducted a special "Train-the-Trainers" course for the fathers who have a burden to pass on this vision to get Fathers in Thailand involved with their kids.
Comments from fathers were: "I knew that fathers have an influence over their kids, but in these Workshops I now realised, just how much Power and Impact Dads have over the lives of their children!", said Mr Phong
"I am impressed by the fact that LOVE=TIME.. I used to give things to my kids, when what they really want is my time!", John relfected.
These Workshops have Empowered the Thai fathers, to make changes in their own lives, so that they will build strong families through their children.
As a result of this, the trained fathers are now beginning to conduct workshops to impact and empower other Fathers for the sake of the children.
All these great starts and work would not have been possible without the support of donors like yourselves. The nurturing and development of Character and Leadership in Children and Youths is strengthed when fathers take up their positions in the homes, to love, protect and be with their kids!
Thank you for partnering us in making the future brighter and stronger for Thai kids! Any feedback to improve our mision is always welcomed.
It takes GUTS to be a Leader!
Come October, come the rainy season, come the National Young Leaders training camps. For a young person to make a decision to come to the leadership camp, it is a decision that takes courage to make. Firstly the young leader knows that he /she will have to endure tough lessons to come out of their comfort zones. They have to make efforts to get to know new friends that they are grouped with who come from different provinces, abide by rules and regulations in camps, be physically and mentally challenged in all that they do, and at the same time be able to serve others with cheerfulness.
It takes a guts for the young person to come to the Leadership Camp. Yet despite it all, nearly 200 campers attended the 4 day training from 13-16 October. The Leadership camps were sub-divided into Leadership Camp for Primary Level girls, Leadership Camp for Secondary Level girls and one just for the Boys!
Once the camp officially opened, the campers were immediately challenged to pack to go on a 5 km hike on a hot afternoon, that would end up with pitching their own tents, cooking their own meals outdoors and then sleeping under the open skies on a field that was drenched with yesterday's downpour, only to be woken up at midnite to move camp.
The tenacity that we saw in these young people amazed the adult volunteers and throughout the 4 days, these young people bonded well with each other, as they learned topics like game leading, song leading, planning for national events, using the 6 thinking hats method, making model planned, beaded brooches, etc. The teens even had the opportunity to experience, rock climbing and practice parachute jumping off a high tower.
All campers proudly ended wth certificates as proof of the vigorous training that they had undergone and they though will miss their new-found friends, they also look forward to next year's training, when they will surely meet again.
"I have made so many new friends from different provinces!" said Jedi
"I learned a lot in this camp, to be a better person" Oil said
Without your donations and support, the Foundation for Life would not have been able to help these young people to find challenge (in a safe enviornment) and meaning, especially in finding value and self-esteem!
Your feedback and comments are most welcome, so that we can improve our services to the young Building Character and Leadership in young lives!
Enabling Volunteers to Counsel Youths on Sexuality
As the vital focus of the mission of the Project "Character and Leadership Training for Thai Youths" is to help young people reach their fullest potentials, it was imperative that we train all who have a part to play in their nurturing and growth. Therefore the Foundation saw fit to organize the seminar on "Sexuality: Have We Crossed the Lines?" by inviting experts in this area, to help volunteers and parents understand and counsel children and youths on matters pertaining to their sexuality, so that they know who they are, their self-worth and their roles in society.
This was conducted on 24 – 25 March at the King Park Avenue Hotel, Bangkok, and saw around 120 participants in attendance. The trainers led and facilitated lively discussions and shared openly about the challenges that each face in the journey of life.
"In all my 30 years of attending seminars and conferences, I have never been so touched and deeply impressed by the speakers in this seminar," said Mrs Weena, a mother and volunteer.
"What an eye-opener for me! I have never heard first-hand the struggles that people had on this topic", Mr Nui said
"I now know better how to counsel the young people on this topic, and see their points of view" said Rudy, who also works with poor families in northern Thailand.
The Foundation would like to take this opportunity to thank all donors for your love and encouragement which goes a long way in aiding a sustainable growth for the underprivileged. Any feedback to help us improve our outreach to the needy will be much appreciated.
Being S.M.A.R.T. comes with a Prize
As was reported before, Foundation for Life's philosophy to "Teach a Child How to Fish" rather than just to give them a fish every day, is the reason why the Organization persists on training our younger generation with skills, a mindset of integrity and tenacity, together with self-discipline, so that they may be able to overcome the difficult times in their lives and to eventually be of assistance to others in their families and communities.
An evolving curriculum on Financial Intelligence was written and re-adjusted over the years, resulting in the S.M.A.R.T. (Stewardship of Money and Responsibility towards Treasures) Scheme which was launched in 2009, as a pilot project for the children and youths. By 2011, when the S.M.A.R.T. Scheme was officially launched, this curriculum was circulated and taught to around 2,000 children, youths and even adults.
In order to motivate the children and youths, a Contest to decorate the specially created, 6-slot cardboard S.M.A.R.T. House was put in place, with very attractive monetary prizes to be won!
By March, the results for this National Competition was announced and the proud winners attended the Prize-Giving Ceremony with much pride and satisfaction.
The Foundation is grateful to all donors and supporters for their generous giving, that has empowered Thai kids with tools to overcome various obstacles in their lives. Any feedback, response and advice that will enhance our outreach to youths, is most welcome!
Dear Donors and Supporters of the “Character and Leadership Training for Thai Youths” Project,
As you already know from our last report, we in Thailand have just gone through the worst flood in 50 years and many areas and victims are still reeling from its aftermath. At least 20 families that we know of were severely affected, with floods coming into their homes, some up to 3 m in depth, totally submerging the ground floors.
In the midst of the flood, the Foundation was able to round up the young people under the Character and Leadership Training in the preparation, the packing and the distribution of food and essential items to flood victims where they live, and also in evacuation centres. It was very challenging for them as they had to wade through dirty and stagnate waters for hours, to reach the victims.These young volunteers also gave their time and energies to travel to Nakhon Prathom to an Evacuation Centre to help shampoo the dogs of flood victims, who had been left there because of the floods.
In a sense, the flood disaster was a positive occurence, as it gave our young people hands-on, real-life experiences for all that we had prepared them for, in terms of giving back to society what they had gained. It was heart-warming to see these young volunteers coming out of their comfort zones to serve those less fortunate than themselves, knowing that they have to go through some difficulties to fulfil these tasks.
In addition,as soon as it was possible to visit the disaster areas when the floods receded, the Foundation sought for donors and volunteers to help pack and distribute Life-packs to the affected families of the children and youths under the Character and Leadership Training Project. A total of 50 families in the Chalongkrung and Lartkrabang districts benefitted from the distribution.
Your help in advocating for our work would mean that the children and youths get the help that they need. Please consider telling your friends and family about our project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email.
You may also see the video clip of the involvement of the youths in YouTube:
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