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.
Dec 30, 2015

Update from DEPDC's Community Learning Center

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from DEPDC’s Community Learning Center (CLC).

Sometimes little news can be good news; at the moment there is not much new going on at our
CLC. During this year’s holiday season most CLC classes take a break for a few weeks as our
Burmese English teacher is currently traveling back to her hometown to celebrate Christmas and
New Year with her family. Only the Advanced English classes take place during the holidays.

Some noteworthy news is that all students visiting the CLC were able to pass the English exams at
their regular schools without difficulty. Some of them even scored full marks.

After the Holiday season is over in January, the CLC classes will return to their normal schedule.
We will run 5 Beginner English classes and 3 Advanced English classes a week, as well as Burmese
classes on Saturdays and Sundays. We are looking forward to seeing all our students back and will
be happy to teach them for another year.

All of DEPDC’s staff, volunteers, and especially the children would like to thank all our former, cur-
rent, and future donors for their support.  Without this, our efforts against discrimination, under-
education, and risks caused by these circumstances would be impossible.

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Dec 30, 2015

Semester 2 progress and achievements at HDS

A lot of exciting things have happened at Half Day School (HDS) since our last report. Our crops have been harvested to support the lunch program, Carol House has been refurbished to prepare for a new community development program, and the kids have been studying hard and welcomed two more English teachers to the centre – one new and one old. We’d like to let you know more about them all and what they mean for HDS and the children it takes care of.

In the last report, we told you that HDS’s rice fields had been cultivated with the help of the kids. We waited 4 months for the rice to grow, and in November we successfully harvested 300kg of rice. This rice will support HDS’s lunch program by providing meals for the kids, and will also provide a great opportunity for the kids to develop life skills that will help them live safe, independent lives in the future. Importantly, this achievement also builds on HDS’s ability to be self-sustaining. This is especially critical since, although we are deeply grateful for everyone’s generous support, we know that we can’t be overly dependent on outside support, and want to use people’s generosity to build for the future as well as maintain for the present.

The kids have been working really hard in their classes, and have welcomed 2 new English teachers to HDS in the last month. They’ve started giving the kids weekly pop quizzes, and although the kids weren’t ecstatic about the idea at first, they’ve done extremely well so far, with lots of scores in the 90s and not a single fail! The kids have also been doing a pen pal project, coordinated by one of the new volunteers, and have been sending letters with people from Australia, the US, Mexico, Panama and England. Everyone has really enjoyed the experience, especially the kids, many of whom have never had the chance to speak with anyone so far away before. One girl, using very polite Thai language to convey respect and indicate that they think of their pen pal as their older brother, even said that they “think about and miss [their pen pal] a lot between receiving and sending letters each week, and really love that [their pen pal] speaks about real things and tells them about themselves.”

With Christmas already past this week and New Year’s Eve almost upon us, the kids and the centre are preparing for a short break during which everyone will spend time with their families. We’ll all be back into the swing of things at HDS on Monday the 4th of January, and we’re looking forward to what the next year has in store. We know that there remains a lot of work to do, and we’re more grateful to our supporters than we can fully describe, but we here at HDS feel very optimistic about the future and hope you’ll be with us to take it on together. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Links:

Dec 28, 2015

It's getting cold here, but we're still enjoying life - an update from our volunteer Linn

It gets cold in Thailand, too. As we speak, I am wearing woolen underwear, a thick sweater and a scarf while sitting inside. We don’t have the luxury of heaters inside, thus 15 degrees Celsius feels really cold. The children dread taking their daily showers, as I fully understand. You can imagine how cold it is after a cold shower, with no possibility to warm up again. That might also be one of the reasons why they like to sleep close to each other. This way, they keep each other warm.

Even though they would skip the showers if they could, they come running to me afterwards, smiling from ear to ear. The bad part is out of the way, it’s time to concentrate on what’s good! They have a place to stay, they have food and they have people who care surrounding them. And this is so crucial. All children need to feel loved, but these children might have a greater need than others. That’s one of the main reasons working with these kids is so rewarding. The little you give, you get back ten fold.

Lately, the older girls have been visiting me in the evenings. Mainly because they want to listen to some music, like most teenagers do, but also because it is a little bit warmer at my place than in the shelter. Even the younger, active kids are cold nowadays. The plan is to renew the shelter soon, making it more livable there. Through the donations given so far, it seems like we will soon be able to start the work. This is something that is highly appreciated by all the users of the shelter.

Just before Christmas, we watched some Christmas movies together. One of the children asked me if Santa is real, and I honestly didn’t know what to answer. To let children live with their fantasies is one thing, but this fantasy is just cruel to children that rarely get any presents at all. Luckily, one of our private donors sent us money to support the children’s spare time activities and we decided to buy them some personal gifts.

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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