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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