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.
The Foundation contributed sports equipment, gifts and daily necessities to the Yannawa District Office in celebration of the Children’s Day for the year 2010, on 9 January that was given to the Wat Dok Mai School so that students have the opportunity to express themselves, developing them in areas of the physical, emotions, social and wisdom.
The Foundation gave Educational equipment, books, stationery to the underprivileged children in the district of Lardprao, through partnership with the Baan Prachrit Foundation, including teaching materials that were beneficial to the development of the children in that area
Bill Brower is a Field Program Officer with GlobalGiving who is visiting our projects throughout Southeast Asia. On February 6th he visited a Foundation for Life weekend session for Thai youths in Samut Songkhram.
As I discuss in a recent blog post (http://blog.globalgiving.org/2010/02/06/a-tougher-sell/), Vena and Somkid of Foundation for Life have a tough task to attract donors to their project. The youths they work with aren’t necessarily orphans, sick or poor. They aren’t providing urgent care for the least advantaged. But their aim is no less noble: They seek to equip the next generation in Thailand with the leadership skills and commitment to service that are so important to a well functioning society. They do so through periodic camps, for which the teens themselves determine the activities, and youth centers throughout the country, which bring together talented individuals from across society.
It was to the weekend session of one of these centers, a couple hours outside Bangkok, that I recently visited with Vena and Somkid. The kids get lessons to supplement their schoolwork, and also in leadership, responsibility and other interesting skills. For attending they get vouchers toward future rewards. This particular weekend, a professional futsal player was scheduled to come to do some training with the kids. He had to cancel at the last moment, and the kids were stuck with a decidedly unprofessional American soccer player, yours truly, to run them through some drills. We capped it off with a fun scrimmage, during which I, of course, as keeper let in the only goal for the other team.
At the end of the activity time a few of the boys went to get drinks from a local vendor and were subsequently late coming back to the classroom. Somkid gave the class a lecture on responsibility and punctuality. The boys had to sing a song to apologize to the others. Finally, the group discussed whether they thought the boys should get their attendance vouchers for the day. They decided they shouldn’t since they were not in attendance the whole time. One could see how these lessons at a young age, along with the support of their peers and the Foundation, would set these young people up to be effective leaders tomorrow. Thanks for supporting this project!
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