Character and Leadership Training for Thai Youths

by Foundation for Life
Vetted
Laughing at ourselves- Being more self aware
Laughing at ourselves- Being more self aware

Training the Trainers - Back to Harmony

"B" (not her real name) as been serving as a volunteer for many years (19 to be exact) and what has kept her undauntedly pressing on, was her belief that as an adult who has a heart for the young people, she can help befriend them and give advice when in times of crises. At  the same time the task of running activites for these young people can sometimes be tiring and unrewarding, esspecially when misunderstandings occur between the volunteers and even among the clients (the young people as well).

In the Asian Culture, especially in Thai culture, seniority and hierarchy plays a major role in communications and conflict management (or rather non-management). Any disagreements are frowned upon and relationships sour, but are not voiced or cleared, leading to suppressed anger and bitterness.

"B" was experiencing just that, when she came for our Foundation's annual training and retreat for adult volunteers. The Theme for the Seminar was "Back to Harmony" which was conducted by Mr Lai, an expert counsellor and social worker (from Eagles Mediation and Counselling Centre, Singapore) , who deals in mediation matters especially amongst couples, and  family disputes. "B" sat in the seminar and was amazed at how the examples that were brought up were similar to what she was facing. In the duration of the training, she also realised that Conflicts amongst humans were inevitable and was infact not to be avoided, because conflicts helped her to be more aware of herself, and her "opponent" , and she also learnt how to approach the person whom she has conflict with, in a way that would invite a true conversation.

 By the end of the training, "B" related her story and shared that the training has helped her to look at conflict from a different angle and she even tried to apply the principles taught, immediately.

Her response when asked about feedback of the training, she said, "Even from the start of the first hour,I was tearing...how true that we need to be humble and repent of our pride as a start to reconciliation." 

This training is very successful and it’s very enlightening, very relevant and useful in our daily life...." Suzanne, another volunteer commented 

"It was the Group Activity that caused me to have to face and deal with a conflict situation...it was really a ön-the-job-training situation'!", Nit exclaimed, almost in disbelief.

Our Foundation certainly hopes that this practical and useful training would be the start of new culture within the Organisation, to help us learn to agree to disagree, and work harmoniously, using our differences as strengths.

We are grateful to all donors for your continued contribution, to enable us to seek help from experts who can guide and mentor us in our outreach to the children and youths who will also face various conflicts in their lives. We also value any feedback you may have to enrich our experience as well!

Best Regards!

"..very enlightening,..relevant..to daily life."
"..very enlightening,..relevant..to daily life."
"On-the-job-training" Activity
"On-the-job-training" Activity
Trainer emphasizing his point on Conflicts
Trainer emphasizing his point on Conflicts
Little Hannah hands over the Girly Bank
Little Hannah hands over the Girly Bank

Never too Young

It is the belief of the Foundation that it is never too young to begin the process of training a child in good morals and character, because we are confident that when we train up a child in the way he should go... when he is old, he will not depart from it. Indeed it is imperative to give the young ones a solid foundation to LIFE!

The Foundation therefore began pilot projects to reach out to the Pre-schoolers from ages 4 to 6 years, and developing a curricula that would be suitable for the littles to understand and participate in, in a meaningful and impactful way.

While the pilot project was going on, a little girl, Hannah from another part of the world was encouraged by her parents to save up so that she could present her efforts to Aunt V, whom she knows works with the little children living in the Slum Community in Thailand.

Hannah's parents caught hold of Aunt V one day and said that Hannah had filled up her Girly Bank and would like to present it. "The coins in this are for the kids in Thailand," said Hannah, feeling shy as she hands over the Girly Bank to Aunt V.

Meanwhile, Aom, the assistant manager and supervisor of the daycare centre in the Klong Toey slums, has this to say of her children under the program, "I noticed that the children now learnt to live, play and work with other children well!"

To all donors and supporters of our project :- you will never know how much  your efforts has helped the underprivileged children and youths in our projects. All of us, both Volunteers and Receipients would like to take this opportunity to Thank You and wishing you a Very Happy and Prosperous Year in 2016!

Best Regards!From All in The Foundation

1 of the receipents of Hannah
1 of the receipents of Hannah's gift
Thanks from Plern to Hannah!
Thanks from Plern to Hannah!
Teachi kids to be young leaders taking attendanc
Teachi kids to be young leaders taking attendanc
"Children now live, play and work together well"
"Children now live, play and work together well"
Leaders go through rugged physical training
Leaders go through rugged physical training

Leaders for the Next Generation

When it came time for our annual young leaders camps, our young leaders were all looking forward to the training, knowing that they will bring home tangible skills and know-how back to their local communities, and to put these leadership skills to practical use.

The camps are usually  run during the school vacations, which happen to be the rainy season as well. However, the Foundation was thrilled that even though there may be various challenges for them, 200 campers turned up for the camps.

In the camps they were taught on the skills of managing small groups, how to teach a craft (instructional skills), learnt how to care for others especially those younger members in the camps, and take some calculated risks like doing jumps off a tower. Meanwhile, they were also physically tested on their endurance and teamwork.

Karina a young leader who is now 16 years and has been in our leadership camps since she was 11 years old, says, "I have gained confidence and leadership skills from these camps.  A leader is one who serves and looks after others..". She even volunteered to go with the team of staff and volunteers to prepare the campsite, before the campers arrived!

As for Ice, he reflects,"Before, I didn't have discipline to do anything, but now, I have better discipline.." For him it overflowed into his daily life in simple things like getting up early in the morning, so that he is in time for school.

With all the challenges and distractions of the present world, it was not easy for pre-teens and teens to be able to even think of others,much less serve others. Therefore the Foundation finds this work challengeing and fufilling, to see young leaders take up their stand against selfish gratification and materialism.

The Foundation is grateful for all the support and partnership rendered to us and welcome any feedback that will enhance our ministry to the young people  who will leader their own generation!

Best regards!

Karina - a confident leader
Karina - a confident leader
Taking a calculated risk
Taking a calculated risk
Ice - leading in the early morning exercise
Ice - leading in the early morning exercise
Young Leaders getting to know each other
Young Leaders getting to know each other

Empowering Young Leaders with Character & Leadership

Every alternate year, the Young Leaders (from all over the country) with the Foundation for Life would be challenged to lead a National Camp for around 200 campers. These young and budding leaders would be mostly in their early teens, and adult volunteers would be their mentors in the planning, organising and running of these camps.

In order for these Young Leaders to begin to talk and plan for this camp, they were gathered together for a Planning Retreat. In this retreat, they were taught on leadership skills, how be people of integrity and responsibility, because they will have to "look after" so many other lives while at the camp.

These Young Leaders also had a time to challenge themselves in a rock climbing activity, for which they had to overcome their fear of heights, stretch themselves physically to make it to the top of the wall, and to be able to trust the person who is holding on to the other end of the rope, to keep them safe.

Ice's our young leader for about 3 years said, "This rock climbing challenge has shown me that if I want to make it to the top, I have to endure the aches and pains and overcome my fears. The encouragement of my leaders and friends were what kept me going!"

"The climb up looked so difficult at first but as I made the climb up, I learnt that I have to just climb up one little stone at a time, and to take time to look around for the best little stone to step on. I learnt that difficult circumstances can be overcome, one little step at a time!", Aryck commented.

At the end of the retreat, our young leaders were glad to have come, and made committments to do their best to help in the preparation for the coming camp.

The Foundation for Life is grateful to all donors for your partnership in enabling our young people in Thailand to reach their highest potential in leadership. Any comments and feedback is  welcome, to help us better our reach to the future of our Nation.

Best regards,

Vena

Activities to help the Leaders to "gel"
Activities to help the Leaders to "gel"
Group Discussion
Group Discussion
Ice making her climb up
Ice making her climb up
Aryck : 1 stone at a time
Aryck : 1 stone at a time
The wonderful and creative Australian Ladies
The wonderful and creative Australian Ladies

How It All Began ....

The Foundation for Life has a number of projects under her wing and one of them is "The Little Entrepreneur" Project, which aims to impart in the Girls and Boys in our care, Character and Leadership of themselves. In this Project, they are taught to make wise use of their free time to help earn some pocket money to be used for daily expenses like basic toiletries e.g. soaps, shampoos, sanitary pads, etc..

The story behind this  project is a moving one, deserving to be re-told once again...

Some 20 years ago, there was a school in Chiangrai (a local village school in the Northern province). This school receive children from the needy hilltribe groups that surround this area, who have poor access to basic education.  One day at assembly time, one of the teachers noticed some newspapers on the dirt field, that was stained in blood. It was later discovered that it belonged to a girl who had her monthly "period". This incident became the impetus for the teacher to do something for the underprivileged hilltribe girls who had no money to  get even the basic necessities. Knowing that these girls were good with sewing especially cross-stitching their tribal patterns, she encouraged them to cross-stitch their tribal patterns onto small pieces of cloths and she would then get some village ladies to use these to make into purses, bags, pencil cases, friendship bands etc. In doing so, she would get her friends and acquaintances to help buy them.

When the Foundation did some training in the north, we got to know of this and thus began to help the teacher and her students to spread the news and market whatever products were made. Some Thai representatives had the opportunity to attend a meeting in Perth, and as a result, this story was retold and a group of Australian ladies decided to  do something special for these girls.Firstly they bought the products that were made by this group of girls and then.. they went out and bought some packets of sanitary pads to be given to these girls!

I had taken a photo of these Aussie ladies with the sanitary pads that they bought, but unfortunately, due to computer breakdown, it was lost. However, I was able to dig up a photo of these wonderful and creative ladies amongst the files. These sanitary pads were then handed over to the girls in Chiangrai, who certainly received them with gladness.

I hope that this story warms your hearts as it has mine, knowing that though minuscule in the eyes of a business world, little kind acts of love goes a long way to encourage the heart.

We certainly welcome any feedback that can help us in our outreach to the needy.

 

Best regards

Vena Lung

 
Buying the Tribal Handicrafts
Buying the Tribal Handicrafts
The grateful receipents of the sanitary pads
The grateful receipents of the sanitary pads
 

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Organization Information

Foundation for Life

Location: Bangkok, Thailand - Thailand
Website: http:/​/​www.forlife.or.th
Project Leader:
Vena Lung
Volunteer to the Foundation for Life
Bangkok, Thailand

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