Send 70 At-risk Children to School in Thailand

Kindergarten class
Kindergarten class

The Half Day School’s term break is coming up, just showing us how quickly time has flown by. The term break begins on October 3 and until then the students will be continuing their studies and preparing for the end of term exams.

During this term, the HDS has had many different things happening. The students with the help of a few teachers, planted rice to help support the lunch program and will continue to help and learn throughout the entire rice-growing process. The students also have been learning a new skill, how to play the Ocarina, with one of our new volunteers. The ocarina is a type of flute and the students are learning quickly. It will be no time at all before they are playing some full songs!

Another highlight of this term was our ISV (International Student Volunteer) groups that came to help out. We had four groups over a two-month period doing anything and everything they could around the HDS grounds. They worked on construction projects such as finishing the wall surrounding the grounds, helping to install new metal arches on the upper balcony and restored the front of the Canada House. The volunteers also taught all of the students English as well as some new games and activities like slack lining!

On June 11, DEPDC’s HDS celebrated this year’s Wai Khru Ceremony. This ceremony gives the students an opportunity to apologize for any misbehavior and show their gratitude for their teachers. The ceremony was held in the morning and we even had special guests this year as the ISV volunteers joined in.

All of DEPDC’s staff, volunteers, and students would like to thank all of our generous donors for their continued support. Without your support DEPDC’s work for the wellbeing of all our students would be impossible. Thank you!

Students learning to play the Ocarina
Students learning to play the Ocarina
A Kindergarten Student learning Thai
A Kindergarten Student learning Thai


HDS Kindergarten during Art class
HDS Kindergarten during Art class

Here at the Half Day School in Mae Sai a new school term is underway. The students have returned from their summer break and the Centre is filled once again with the sounds of play and learning. The 2016/2017 year brings us 43 students, a wonderful mix of old and new. The hot weather was at an all time high and the rainy season began later than usual. The usual English, Mathematics, Thai, and science classes resumed as the new term began. Cooking and agricultural classes were delayed just two weeks, until the first rainfall, and now are in full swing bringing lunch for our students.

The preparations of the rice fields have begun and as soon as there is enough water, we will be planting the rice. This rice will go towards the lunch program and will continue to bring DEPDC closer to being fully self-sustaining. The vegetable patch will also be planted and grow a variety of crops on a small scale. To grow our agricultural program even more, we have graciously been given the supplies to build a green house and hope that it will be able to be built soon.

Starting this week we will have International Student Volunteers (ISV’s) come to visit and help out around the Half Day School for the next month and a half. They will be helping in teaching English, as well as conducting maintenance on the DEPDC grounds.

Last but not least, the natural fun of happy, carefree children has returned to the Centre. Soccer balls fly, swings are swaying, and laughter and screams ring out all around.

To all of the supporters of the Half Day School and DEPDC/GMS, thank you for your kind attention and generosity. We love the work we do and we would not be where we are today without your support and are looking forward to the rest of the term ahead.

HDS Cooking Class
HDS Cooking Class
English Class at HDS
English Class at HDS


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


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!


Time is passing by quickly. On the 11th of May, a new school year began and we are already closing in on our first term break, starting on 10th of October. The first half of the school year was filled with many activities and changes.

During this term, DEPDC started to grow its own rice to support the school's lunch program. When the rice saplings had to be replanted, many students from HDS came to help out. With the help from all the students, the job was done within a few hours. Hopefully, we will be able to harvest DEPDC's first own organically grown rice by the beginning of December.

One of the term's highlights for the kids was a visit to the nearby Chai Lee Farm. Chai Lee Farm is a farm in Mae Sai that produces dairy products. For most of our students this was a completely new experience. They found it exiting to see and learn about the process of milk production, all the way from milking the cow until the product was ready to be bought at the supermarket. Furthermore, they had the possibility to try really fresh milk directly from the farm.

The arrival of a new group of International Student Volunteers (ISV) is always a highlight for the students at HDS. This year, DEPDC hosted five groups of ISV volunteers, whom mainly supported DEPDC by maintenance and construction work, but also supported the International Department by taking over English classes at HDS. The five groups from ISV helped to refurbish the area around HDS's refectory, worked on our schoolyard's wall, and paved the area at DEPDC's entrance gate.

We would like to thank all our former, current, and future donors without whose generous support DEPDC's work would not be possible.

Visit at Chai Lee Farm
Visit at Chai Lee Farm
ISV volunteers helping to replant rice saplings
ISV volunteers helping to replant rice saplings



About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information


Location: Mae Sai, Chiang Rai - Thailand
Project Leader:
Alinda Suya
Director of Mae Sai Projects
Mae Sai, Chiang Rai Thailand
$21,317 raised of $32,000 goal
233 donations
$10,683 to go
Donate Now Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.