This year’s leadership training for youths was on the Theme of “Together We Can” from 12-15 October. The campers were sub-divided into 3 groups to cater specifically to the Girls of primary school-age, Girls of secondary school-age and the Boys, so that they would receive training appropriate to their genders and age group. Topics aimed at adding value in a wholistic fashion, e.g. in their physical, emotional, intellectual and social aspects were employed. About 300 campers from the local communities in Bangkok and upcountry provinces like Khon Kaen, Chonburi, Chiangrai, Chiangmai, Rayong,etc. gathered to better themselves in skills like teamwork using activities like ‘Shining Together’ to learn about social responsibilities, leading small groups, management and planning principles, handicrafts, adventure events like forest trekking, tenting and outdoor cooking, and last but not least, they were taught in how to keep up their good performance by learning the habit of “Sharpening their Saws”.
Meow, a teenager from Wiang Papao district in Chiangrai (northern Thailand) said,"I have never ever enjoyed any activity more than the "Shining Together" game that we played tonight. I learnt the invaluable lesson that we all need to work as a team and look out for each other"
Kong another camper from Chonburi recalled the time when all the boys in the camp helped the public water works vehicle that got really stuck in the mud after refilling the campgrounds water tanks, saying, "I am really impressed that when all of us guys put our hearts, minds and strength together, we can get that huge truck out of the mud. I believe that really, Together We CAN!"
Indeed, this year's camp was a Character Building event - as it was a year when it rained everyday at camp, YET, all outdoor activities that was planned for was carried out during times of intermitten sunshine. All campers were thankful as they gained tenacity in their attitudes and learnt to remain of good cheer despite facing obstacles in their way. On top of it all, when the camp was over and all campers went their various ways back to the provinces from which they came, it rained so hard around the campsite, that there was a metre-high flood on the main Highway, due to the run-off from the surrounding hills. Had we delayed a day, we would have been stranded with no way out of the campsite. It was certainly a camp to remember for years to come!
The Foundation is ever mindful of the challenges facing all of us and we are grateful for your support towards our work to instill the character of integrity and tenacity into the youths of tomorrow, so that they may carry on the good works that you have ignited in their lives.
Thank you from our hearts and may you and your families have a Blessed and Fruitful New Year in 2011!
Any suggestions or feedback regarding our project is most welcome.
The population of Thailand is made up of various people groups and a portion of them are scattered amongst the hilly regions. These hill tribe groups generally live off the land and common amenities like water and electricity reach them last.
In terms of education, schools in the hilly regions are limited in number and upper secondary education are even less so. Therefore, the hill tribe students have to travel to the towns for their higher level education. Due to the vast distance from their homes to school, these students have to stay at the boarding schools and they only get to visit their homes during longer school holidays.
The Foundation thus trained 27 dormitory-persons-in-charge, as well as youths from about 12 tribal groups from the local school in Chiangrai on the 19th June, so that they would be able to run wholistic activities (that develop them physically, intellectually, spiritually and socially) for the tribal residents in the boarding homes during the weekends. In the process of running these activities both the leaders and participants get a chance to develop their leadership skills, as well as creative use of their free-time.
Young people, no matter their status or backgrounds are energetic, vibrant and looking for avenues for meaning and purpose. Understanding their needs, the Foundation for Life runs projects that would support in engaging youths, helping them discover hidden talents and giving meaning to their existence.
On 29 to 30 April, the core group of 40 Youth Leaders from communities in Bangkok and the neighboring provinces gathered for an additional training.
These Youth Leaders who have been trained at various levels in previous camps are sponsored by the Foundation for Life to this training, and they were gathered to help plan for the National Drill Competition event in November 2010, for about 400 boys and girls from all over Thailand. They also attended Workshops on “Life-skills in Relationships and Healthy Attitudes toward the opposite sex".
Besides that, these young leaders were given the opportunity of learning new skills by the Staffs of the Nong Bon Water Sports Center, Bangkok. They now have a wider choice in the use of their free time to better their new-found skills in kayaking, sailing and wind-surfing.
These young people were unanimous in their approval of the training, as can be heard from comments like....
"I will be responsible to prepare for the portion of the Competition program that was delegated to me", Pinyo promised
"The water sport activities were so new and challenging for me!" said Milk,
"I want to do this again!" said Pure and
"I now understand how the opposite sex thinks," said Tew,
We know that these Youths now have better self-esteem and understanding - which is vital foundation for helping others.
As the saying by Lao Tzu goes,"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." This is also the standpoint and goal of the Foundation.
On 23-26 March 2010, the Foundation organized training for the about 60 volunteers, from Bangkok and the other provinces on the topic of Being a Servant Leader at the King Park Avenue Hotel. The trainer-facilitator Ms Khoo Seok Lin from Singapore emphasized on how a Servant Leader has to develop on the personal and team levels, in a wholistic manner namely, the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual arenas. The ‘Best Test’ in evaluating one’s leadership as a Servant Leader that is sustainable, as described by Robert Greenleaf, was passed on.
Each trainee also brought home their reflections and goals for personal, team and organizational development. Many little gifts that were distributed by the trainer helped remind trainees of the major principles that were transferred, so that all can take these principles back home to practice on oneself, the team and the youths that are under our care.
It was a memorable time of learning and sharing between like-minded advocates for equipping the Next Generation.
Since the Foundation is of a charitable nature, we are dependant on the donations of others to help develop the society. With the present financial situation, the Foundation also faced challenges in her sources of income. However, with the help of Global Giving (an USA-based Organisation that helps to liaise charities with potential donors), the chances of higher visibility via the internet was given to assist our fund-raising efforts. When Mr Bill Brower from Global Giving came to Thailand to conduct workshops for non-profit organizations, the Fondation helped to orgsanise the event for 17 people from 11 organisations who attended his talks on 19 February, held at The Nine Park Residence located off Srinakarin Road. Mr Brower also had the opportunity of visiting the kids in Klong Toey and Samut Songkhram activity centres.
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