Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future

by Foundation Phuket Has Been Good to Us
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future
Give 220 Disadvantaged Children a Brighter Future

Since the start of the new school year in June, due to COVID, we have not been able to have sports or cooking at the afterschool Coconut Club or host birthday parties or beach cleanups; the children have missed all these activities. Instead, in the afternoons, after class we set up at safe distanced tables outside in the fresh air, PHBGTU teachers and volunteers spent time with the children. It is a good chance for students to practice their English outside the classroom. In an informal setting we help the students with their homework. Our teachers show support and have positive interactions with the children. When students feel supported, they are more likely to trust their teacher, engage in the learning process and have better academic outcomes.

We want to be close to the students who have to live at school as, living away from their family for much of the year, they need positive role model, support, and someone they can trust. Our teachers believe it is crucial to build a rapport with the students and these relationships are more even important — and more challenging — than ever in uncertain times, like during this coronavirus pandemic.

In mid July Government schools were closed. Over 200 residential children remained living at school, where they are safe. However, they would be bored with nothing to do, so their PHBGTU teachers organized English Enrichment Classes. In the mornings we provide fun outdoor English sessions for small groups of students split according to their age. We set up fun engaging activities with a small number of children: between 5 and 10, in each group. This direct contact with their English teachers every day allows children to grasp and master their English skills faster.

With schools still closed, in August, as well as giving homework sheets, our teachers started Online Learning. This is important for the children living in the village who were missing interaction with their teachers and classmates and who could only revise topics, not learn new subjects. These are the first ever online classes for students attending Kamala School and we are hugely proud of the research and extra work our teachers have done to make them such a success. 

PHBGTU teachers are now teaching English, Mathematics in English and Science in English online lessons for Primary Year groups 1 to 6. Those students able to log on are excited to be learning with their teachers and classmates again. The teachers are thankful to be able to move on to new topics, explaining new concepts to the children and seeking their feedback.  After class the students send photos of their class and homework to their teacher via LINE groups.

Not all children living in Kamala village are able to join online classes. However, we are delighted to have seen an average of 68% of the village students logging in as their parents have, or are able to borrow, devices and wifi.  We are researching how many families need support to get online. Should online learning need to continue next term, we will put out a call in the wider community for second hand devices and lend them to students in need.

We will continue to do all we can to ensure the disruption of the children’s education due to COVID is as minimal as possible.

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Since the World Health Organization declared COVID a pandemic on 11 March 2020 unemployment and poverty has soared in Phuket. Kamala’s Government School offers a safe place for 230 children to stay, whether due to financial difficulties, a broken family or losing their parents.

In class, the children’s time is spent mainly on carefully planned, well-structured learning activities beneficial to their holistic development. While all organized systems genuinely help, the children also need their downtime where they can use their imaginations, choose their modes of ‘fun’, and at the same time, learn through different explorations through free play. That is where our after-school programme, Coconut Club comes in!

At Coconut Club, we set up safe spaces for the residential students to enjoy being who they are – children. They are given the freedom to relax. At our outdoor club they engage in healthy, physical activities through sports, skipping, hola-hoop, dance, twister etc.. They develop their problem-solving skills through puzzles and board games. Tap into their creativity through dress-up, making arts and crafts, and building designs with Lego. Our cooking and Bingo sessions boost their attention span without realizing them it.

Children learn through imitation and repetition. Giving them the opportunity to interact with their PHBGTU teachers and volunteers in Coconut Club enhances their confidence, speech abilities and vocabulary. Free play is also known to help minimize anxious feelings. This is especially valuable for the residential students when they first arrive at school and are still adjusting to their new environment. Their teachers help the children build trauma coping skills and integrate skills in solving conflicts through modelling and roleplay.

Coconut Club is also where we reach out to the children needing emotional and moral support. There are existing rules made with the children to ensure everyone benefits from Coconut Club. With these guidelines in place, the children are empowered to play in ways that feel right for them, as they feel validated with their identities, choices and decisions.

Thank you to all our supporters around the globe.  Your support means the world to us! With your help, we can continue to help the children living at Kamala School enjoy their childhood.

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Cooking at afterschool Coconut Club
Cooking at afterschool Coconut Club

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prevent tourists from traveling to Phuket more and more jobs are lost. Many families just can't afford to care for their children right now. Kamala School offers a safe place for children to stay, whether due to financial difficulties, a broken family or losing their parents.

Our after school programme, Coconut Club, is a fun place for these children to come to once school is over and their classmates have gone home to their families. The children have fun with cooking, games, crafts and sports. There is always something for the children to look forward to.

For the creative, there are arts & crafts projects and the opportunity to cook (and eat!) delicious snacks. To blow off steam after a day in the classroom the children can try skateboarding, badminton, basket-ball, skipping and much more. There are also quieter moments filled with board games, and the most popular - Bingo!

Due to COVID restrictions we are still not able to leave school grounds, but 80 Senior School students enjoyed a birthday party at school at the end of last year. The children chose between: basketball; a day at the fete games; T-shirt or Tote bag painting; jewerly making; K Pop and African dance! The children enjoyed party drinks, snacks and ice cream too so the children didn't feel they were missing out on a party by still being in school.

Although the students at Kamala School do not traditionally celebrate Christmas, they love to get into the festive spirit! At assembly on Christmas morning our team shared with the children that Christmas is the season of caring and giving.The Coconut Club Christmas party was great fun: we played musical chairs and pin the nose on Rudolf! Each child received yummy Christmas cookies.

We can’t thank our supporters all over the world enough for your support; it is only with your help, that we are able to continue to help children living at Kamala School enjoy their childhood and dream big for their future!

Giving second hand clothing to those in need
Giving second hand clothing to those in need
Coconut Club birthday party at school
Coconut Club birthday party at school
Coconut Club Christmas Party
Coconut Club Christmas Party
Playing Chess at Coconut Club
Playing Chess at Coconut Club
Making mini pencils in Coconut Art Club
Making mini pencils in Coconut Art Club
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Making mini books in Coconut Art Club
Making mini books in Coconut Art Club

Due to COVID19, schools all over Thailand started their new school year July 1st instead of the usual May 1st. This means that the children who live at Kamala School during term time had been away with families or friends for 3 months.

The continued effect of the pandemic has led to zero tourism and the closure of businesses all over Phuket. Families now have less, or no, disposable income.  More than ever the disadvantaged children need our assistance, as families send their children to live at Kamala School during term time to ensure 3 meals a day.

When term started, the school had measures in place to keep the children safe, distancing, hand sanitizer usage and masks were worn. As the Government has kept the boarders closed we have had zero COVID cases in Phuket for many months and school no longer practices social distancing.  This has helped us to offer a fun afterschool club for the children.  

Coconut Club Mondays we cook up a storm, always popular, especially when it’s time for the students to eat the treats they’ve made! Tuesdays we play games outside, skateboarding and twister are the current favourites. Wednesdays have indoor games and the ever popular Bingo. (When you win you get to choose a small prize… at the end of the club if you’ve been playing all that time without winning you get a small prize too!)  Thursdays are creative arts & crafts, a great way to finish a day of hard study.

Thanks to the easing of restrictions this month we were able to welcome a group of senior school children to run their CAS (Creativity, activity, service) activity at the club.  The CAS students ran great Coconut Clubs during the week and on Friday hosted a party with birthday games and cookies.  The most fun was had at the end with the pinata!

A huge thank you to our supporters all over the world; with your help, even during these difficult times, we are able to continue to help our children pursue their dreams without you!

Twister at Coconut Club
Twister at Coconut Club
CAS students' party at Coconut Club
CAS students' party at Coconut Club
Badminton at Coconut Club
Badminton at Coconut Club
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The COVID19 outbreak has severely impacted our work at Kamala School in Phuket over the last few months. Schools all over Thailand have been closed due to safety measures since March 6th 2020 and will only reopen on July 1st.

The closure of schools all over the island, together with unemployment, means families now have more mouths to feed and less, or even no, disposable income. 

During these hard times our team of teachers and volunteers has not stopped supporting the local community in any way they can. We have been helping a local restaurant pack and distribute free meals to all the families in need around Kamala, providing food and water for 600 people each day. More children from low-income backgrounds will need our assistance in the near future, as vulnerable families will send their children to live at Kamala School during term time to ensure 3 meals a day and a safe place to sleep.

Due to the safety measures required by the Thai Government to keep the children and teachers safe, classes will be smaller to ensure social distancing, and extracurricular activities are temporarily suspended. Our teachers have been setting up their classrooms to ensure the children will be sitting far enough away from their classmates, cleaning the rooms and rearranging their teaching equipment. Moreover, they have spent the last month planning lessons and adjusting the curriculum for our little learners who will start a new academic term in July instead of May this year.  Primary School will be taught in the mornings and Senior School in the afternoons to further ensure social distancing.

After three months at home, the reopening of schools is a milestone for Thai children.  Our teachers are beyond excited to see their students back safe and healthy.  We are looking forward to seeing the joy on the faces of our little learners as they see their classmates and teachers again!

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Organization Information

Foundation Phuket Has Been Good to Us

Location: Kamala Kathu - Thailand
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @PHBGTU
Project Leader:
Tina Hall
Thai registered Children's Education Charity
Kamala Kathu, Thailand
$296 raised of $5,000 goal
 
6 donations
$4,704 to go
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