We had a busy start of the year in Ubon Ratchathani. For one, we are happy to have implemented a series of workshops in village high schools aimed at providing young women and girls with the knowledge, information, and confidence needed to pursue life and career paths that are safe and economically promising. As many high school girls in the provinces don’t know enough about paths to higher education and future life plans, teaching them concrete steps to pursue university studies and subsequent careers has been a main focus of our activities. Recognizing that many girls are unable to attend university due to the costs and necessity to contribute to family finances, we have also trained girls on how to pursue safe and dignified career paths immediately after high school, different career options that are available, and relevant labor laws.
To expand the reach and impact of our workshops, we selected students to serve as leaders in their schools. These student leaders participated in an intensive 2-day workshop that equipped them with the skills to pass on knowledge and information to fellow students and to serve as a link between our organization and the schools for future activities. By the end of February, over 500 students had been trained in the program, with 18 trained as student leaders.
In addition to these core activities, we brough some workshops regularly held in our Bangkok office to Ubon. Health and Rights workshops aimed to inform participants about relevant laws and means of recourse when faced with problems in the workplace and elsewhere. A Life Inspiration workshop was also held, during which participants learned about starting their own small enterprise.
We are excited to continue these new training activities and are always grateful for your continued support.
From all of us at Goodwill, Thank You!
On behalf of all staff and students at Goodwill Group Foundation (both Ubon and Bangkok branches), we would like to thank you all for your support and wish you seasons greetings and a happy new year. With over one year in operation, the office in Ubon has been very active and has a lot to look forward to in the coming year.
After our first successful year in Ubon Ratchathani, we have continued with the life and career path workshops for young women in migration. Since September, we have held sixteen different training workshops in village schools. The workshops included students from 8th-12th grade, focusing on the essential skills and knowledge needed to safely and successfully transition to work and life in a big city. An average of 50 students attended each workshop.
We are also set to begin a new project, in cooperation with village schools and student leaders, aimed at equipping high school age girls with knowledge and information on pursuing educational and career goals after high school.
With the exciting growth of our activities also comes more demands, and support is now needed more than ever to benefit the many women and girls seeking empowerment and opportunity. We have the capacity to help them, but we could do so much more with your help. If you're feeling generous this holiday season, please donate to our organization and help spread the word to friends: http://www.goodwillthailand.org/donatenow.
Goodwill Group Team
The Goodwill Ubon Ratchathani (Ubon) office is now celebrating our one-year anniversary at the end of August. After one year we have been organizing workshops, developing our training curriculum and promoting our projects in different villages in the province. We have been working hard to provide life skills information around migration awareness for young women in the school and vocational training for women in the village.
Our current programs in Ubon include:
During this past year, we've learned that most of the young women in Ubon high schools don’t know what to do with their life after school. They would like to continue studying in the university, but their family can’t afford to send them. They know that they have to work but no idea where to get a good job with decent work conditions. Many have worked part-time during school breaks in shoe factories, making bags, as sales-women. etc. We often found that they work long-hours (12-hours to 14 hours) for small wages (4,000 Bath/per month/6 days a week)
In the "How to Survive in Bangkok" workshops, we helped to educate them with knowledge of how to find a good job, advice on how to deal with potential hazards of living and working in a big city and providing contacts to government ministries, public services and NGOs that they can reach out to for assistance in Bangkok. We are also working with the Department of skills development in Ubon to help with job placement, and we are helping to find jobs for trainees in Bangkok.
After the workshops, young women have more knowledge about jobs available in Ubon and Bangkok. We have received positive feedback from different schools, who would like us to continue working with their students every year, and there is a high demand for our programs in other schools.
Apart from working with young women in schools, we are building our network to the women in different villages working in farms. Most of them used to work in Bangkok but return to their province for different reasons. Goodwill is providing different vocational workshops, in which we teach how to use sewing machines and making bags. Our jewelry and bead-making is always popular and full with participants. In addition to skills training, we aim to build their self esteem and inspire them to start a small business.
2. Career consultation and placement for Employment
We haven’t worked as much in this area as we would like to. Career consultation and placement activities need more time and trust. We need to work more in the community in the village. They still doubt our work as it all for free. Our job will be providing information at first and may consult with women and young women but they may not get placement by us. But at least they have knowledge about job career with them.
3. Computer training
Our computer training focuses on how to use the internet and basic computer skills. We also teach how computer skills can help them with their education and other opportunities. As our computer lab is in the office in town, it is not easy for villagers to come in and used them regularly, but it is always nice to see them enjoying new skills and finding out more information on the internet.
After one year, Goodwill can proudly state that our Ubon office has had significant success that we can build on. We would like to thank all supporters of our project for the generous contributions. Our project is going to have more activities and achieve more success, and that success is not possible without all of your continued help.
Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Thailand:
Arriving in Ubon Ratchathani, a town on the Thai-Lao border, I was greeted by Beer, Program Director, and Cookie. I had already visited the Goodwill Group Foundation office in Bangkok with Jay and witnessed the self-defense and English classes, but now I would see services and workshops for women at the source. Here, Goodwill Group Foundation can provide trainings to increase income and self-confidence to women before they migrate to the big city, Bangkok, giving options for women to stay close to home with their families.
The program began by providing English and computer training, but now it has expanded to include personal and career development. A majority of the women in Bangkok that come to GGF are nannies and domestic cleaners. In the rural communities, many are housewives of farmers and work in the rice fields, but when farming season is over they have nothing to do.
At the GGF office in Ubon Ratchathani I was able to observe the sewing workshop and jewelry-making workshop. One of the women attending the training shared with me that she decided to join GGF in order to improve her skills and income for her family. After this, we went out to the villages and met the women and their families receiving training and support from Goodwill Group Foundation. One woman was handicapped from an accident falling from the stairs of her house and now cannot use her legs. She knits purses and wallets to sell in the community. Another woman sews masks for the field workers to protect them from the sun, and others make decorations and handicrafts in the off-season. We then joined some of the women in the rice fields - I learned so much about all the work and patience it takes planting and harvesting rice.
Goodwill Group Foundation is addressing a serious issue where women, who are the main providers of families culturally in Thailand, have to migrate to Bangkok to make a living and are put into dangerous risky situations, or just separated from their families. With the support of GGF, women can make educated decisions on the jobs they take, can take higher level jobs, and even return home with new skills learned.
Happy June to All Supporters,
We are very pleased to update you on our ongoing activities: “Sewing skill workshop” and “Jewelry making workshop”. These training workshops took place at our second office in Ubon Ratchathani.
Sewing skill workshop
This workshop is aimed at training disadvantaged women and girls in Ubon Ratchathani on how to use a sewing machine to make products and increase income. The workshop provides basic sewing skills to make products such as shoulder bags, pencil bags and wallets in various styles. The workshop also aims to encourage disadvantaged women and girls to use their sewing skills (gained from this workshop) to make products from local Isaan fabric, which is easy to find in their communities.
So far we have organized 4 workshops already. We have received very good feedback from the trainees. The majority of them have never used a sewing machine before. Through this workshop we are giving them new skills and inspiring them to continue to learn more. The hope is that they will do this in their free time to earn supplemental income.
Some of the women who participated in the workshop have already started making fabric bags to sell. Even though this is done by hand and earns them a small amount of money, it’s the start to something they are interested in and want to do.
Jewelry making workshop
This is one of the vocational training programs we provide at our second office. The aim of this workshop is to provide women and girls with jewelry making skills so they can start their own small business after the farming season has ended. We expanded this project to offer help with marketing and developing their products to sell in various markets.
We would like to hear any suggestions or concerns you may have about our projects. Please feel free to share at firstname.lastname@example.org, as every comment will help us in developing better programs.
We will continue to keep you updated on all our projects in the next report. As always, we would like to extend a warm invitation to visit our offices should you ever visit Thailand. It would be our pleasure to welcome you and show you all our activities.
Have a great week!
Sarochinee and The Goodwill Group Team
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