DEPDC

DEPDC is a non-governmental, non-profit community-based organization that provides education and full-time accommodation to children in prevention and protection of being trafficked into the commercial sex industry and other exploitative labor conditions.
Mar 23, 2016

Update from the Swimming Home and Ban Klang Na

Ban Klang Na has reopened! This is such great news to all of us here at the Mae Chan sites. After receiving donations through Global Giving and private donors, we have been able to start the work of reopening our site for families and women in need.

As mentioned in one of our earlier updates, our two sites at Mae Chan were forged to merge for a longer period. Being able to start all over again at Ban Klang Na is great news both for the children and the adults at Mae Chan.

After a long time of not using the site as much as earlier, both the house and the ground needed a bit of refurbishing before letting the adults stay here over longer periods.

Lately, all the children and adults have spent their weekends at Ban Klang Na, making it sustainable to live there long term by having a nice resting place for everyone, a functional kitchen area, and a vegetable garden.

We have been able to fix a leaking roof and a broken door, the house has of course been cleaned, and new bed sheets have been brought to the site. It looks more and more like a home now.

During their weekends at Ban Klang Na, they have grown rice, corn, and multiple different vegetables. In February, we were finally able to make a new vegetable and flower garden. The future goal is to be able to grow enough vegetables here so the users of Ban Klang Na can sell their self grown vegetables at the local market, making a little income by themselves.

Your generosity has made all of this possible. To all of the supporters of the Mae Chan sites and DEPDC/GMS, thank you so much for your kind attention and generosity. We are forever grateful for all your help and hope you will continue following us.

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Mar 18, 2016

A student's view on CLC and other updates

Gee, 20, one of CLC
Gee, 20, one of CLC's long term students

Another three months have passed by and it is time for a new update on our Community Learning Center (CLC). After the holidays the CLC classes resumed to normal, offering eight weekly English classes and two Burmese classes during the weekend.

Owing to favorable circumstances DEPDC is at the moment setting up a PenPal­Project in cooperation with an Australian Elementary School. During this project the CLC's advanced English students will have the chance to exchange letters with the Australian students and use their language skills in real life for the first time.

After a break of a few months due to her final high school exams one of CLC's long term students, Gee 20, is back in class. She told us a bit about her motivation to join the advanced English classes three times a week: “I visit the CLC English classes at DEPDC because I know that English is important for me. I have to learn it. Private English classes are very expensive and my family can't pay them. I want to learn more because I want to study English at University to become an air hostess after university.” Now that she has completed high school, Gee is trying to get a university scholarship to make Bachelor studies possible. We wish her all the best and hope that she'll be able to go to university.

DEPDC would like to thank all the kind people who donated to our course in the past, present, and the future. Without your support our work wouldn't be possible. Thank you!

CLC
CLC's current advanced English class

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Mar 15, 2016

End of Term at DEPDC's Half Day School

Field trip to Pong Phrabat Waterfall
Field trip to Pong Phrabat Waterfall

The end of the school year is always a bittersweet time at HDS. At the end of each year we welcome the deserved break from all the hard work but we also say goodbye to our students that will graduate from the program. This year we had twelve incredible students graduate and we are so proud of their achievements. They will be greatly missed. Looking back on this last term, though, we have created some unforgettable memories and are happy to share some of them with you. In the last report, we left off with a small break for New Year's. The students resumed classes the 4th of January and the days after were very busy!

After the rice was harvested in November the soil was tilled and the fields were prepared for planting a vegetable garden. The students continued to build on their life skill training of farming and harvesting by planting and tending to many different vegetables. These vegetables, like the rice, contributed to the HDS lunch program and provided them with healthy, organic additions to their lunches. Admittedly, the students weren't too crazy about eating the vegetables raw but when the vegetables were cooked with chillies and different spices they seemed to be a hit!

The students continued to work hard in their classes and we had a new volunteer take over the English classes. The students finished their pen pal project and at the end were presented with a laminated book full of pictures of their pen pals along with typed translations of all the letters that were exchanged. The students were so excited when they saw the books for the first time. Our new volunteer also started an after school yoga program for the students and for many of the classes even the teachers and our school director joined in.

In January the center welcomed two groups of volunteers; one group from the University of Maryland and the other group from the University of Missouri. The groups consisted of 12-14 university students and as always, the volunteers were of great support to the center and the students. In their two weeks they repainted all of the playground equipment as well as painted the Carol House which had recently been refurbished. They even rallied together and gave the center's dog, Dum a much needed bath! This was a huge task in and of itself!

About the same time that the two volunteer groups arrived we had a film crew from the Polish Network TVN visit the center to do a documentary piece on DEPDC/GMS. The film crew was only in Mae Sai for a short week but it was enough time to film the many activities of the HDS. We were able to give them a closer look into the mission of DEPDC/GMS, the problems we face, the solutions we implement, and the children that we serve. We are really looking forward to seeing the documentary and hope to be able to share it with you soon.

In February the students were invited to participate in the annual event of Non-Formal Education Sports Day. This was then followed by HDS's own sports day. This year we had children join us from Baan-Nana, an NGO in Mae Sai that also serves at-risk children. For both days the students spent hours practicing and preparing for the friendly competitions. It is very obvious that these days are two of the most favored days of the school year.

The school year finished with a field trip to Chiang Rai. The students all gathered on the school bus and this year we made our first stop to learn about natural science at Discovery Center Chiang Rai. We then stopped at Wat Huay Plakang and climbed the 9 stories of stairs for a great view into the city and its surrounding landscape of rivers and mountains. After eating the lunch that was graciously provided by a former daughter, we made it to the final destination of Pong Phrabat Waterfall. The students enjoyed playing in the water and hiking to the top of the waterfall. On the way home almost every student was asleep on the bus using each other as pillows. It was a great end to a great year.

More than ever we want to extend our thanks and appreciation to all our generous donors. It is only because of you that we are able to continue with our mission to make a positive difference in the lives of our at-risk children. Your support provides opportunities that would otherwise not be possible. Thank you!

Yoga class at the Half Day School
Yoga class at the Half Day School
Sports Day Parade at Mae Sai Stadium
Sports Day Parade at Mae Sai Stadium

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