Character and Leadership Training for Thai Youths

by Foundation for Life
Vetted
Prepared with food,medicines,portable toilet etc
Prepared with food,medicines,portable toilet etc

Dear Donors and Supporters of the “Character and Leadership Training for Thai Youths” Project,

As you already know from our last report, we in Thailand have just gone through the worst flood in 50 years and many areas and victims are still reeling from its aftermath. At least 20 families that we know of were severely affected, with floods coming into their homes, some up to 3 m in depth, totally submerging the ground floors.

In the midst of the flood, the Foundation was able to round up the young people under the Character and Leadership Training in the preparation, the packing and the distribution of food and essential items to flood victims where they live, and also in evacuation centres. It was very challenging for them as they had to wade through dirty and stagnate waters for hours, to reach the victims.These young volunteers also gave their time and energies to travel to Nakhon Prathom to an Evacuation Centre to help shampoo the dogs of flood victims, who had been left there because of the floods.

In a sense, the flood disaster was a positive occurence, as it gave our young people hands-on, real-life experiences for all that we had prepared them for, in terms of giving back to society what they had gained. It was heart-warming to see these young volunteers coming out of their comfort zones to serve those less fortunate than themselves, knowing that they have to go through some difficulties to fulfil these tasks.

In addition,as soon as it was possible to visit the disaster areas when the floods receded, the Foundation sought for donors and volunteers to help pack and distribute Life-packs to the affected families of the children and youths under the Character and Leadership Training Project. A total of 50 families in the Chalongkrung and Lartkrabang districts benefitted from the distribution.

Your help in advocating for our work would mean that the children and youths get the help that they need. Please consider telling your friends and family about our project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email.

You may also see the video clip of the involvement of the youths in YouTube:

http://youtu.be/B2dgN4Tc7Dc

With gratitude,

Vena Lung

Wading through water to distribute lifepacks
Wading through water to distribute lifepacks
Happy to serve!
Happy to serve!
Dogs get a good rub-down with herbal shampoo.
Dogs get a good rub-down with herbal shampoo.
Bottled water is scarce during the flood
Bottled water is scarce during the flood
Water is deep and stagnant
Water is deep and stagnant
Giving Lifepacks to kids in Chalongkrung District
Giving Lifepacks to kids in Chalongkrung District
Lifepacks given to kids in Chalongkrung area
Lifepacks given to kids in Chalongkrung area

Dear Donors and Supporters of the “Character and Leadership Training for Thai Youths” Project,

 I would like to sincerely thank you for your previous donations through GlobalGiving for our Project. Indeed you are one of the elite few who see the value of the phrase “Better to teach a child how to fish than to give him a fish”, because the consistent training of a child, builds character and self-leadership.

 I would like to give you a special update of what has been happening in Thailand since our last report.

As you may already have known, Thailand is facing its worst floods in 50 Years. This year the floods came early in March and devastated several southern provinces. By July, floods started to affect the northern provinces and as the dams started to fill and water had to be released, the provinces below, started to be severely affected.

As a result, 63 of the 76 provinces experience flooding, with Ayuthaya, Nayok Sawan and Loburi being the worst hit. 6 industrial estates have been been submerged, some are about 3 metres underwater, with more than 14,000 factories destroyed.

The central plains of Thailand, also known as the Rice Basin, has lost 10 million rais of farmland. Where once rice fields used to be, is now a vast, enormous lake, some as deep as 5 metres!

3 million families or nearly 10 million people are left homeless, with 381 deaths to date.

It is difficult to estimate the exact cost in numbers, as the situation is truly 'fluid' and water barriers leak or are broken even as I write this email, and people have to flee their lives in the middle of the night.

This has resulted in cut-off of food supplies coming to Bangkok and the flooded areas. Because of the shortage, prices are increasing, eg vegetables and sandbags have increased up to 300%! And there has been numerous thefts of flooded homes, thus victims are double victimized.

Our Organisation had planned to run 3 Annual Leadership Camps in mid October, but due to the menacing advance of the enormous run-off from the north, we had to cancel the event 5 days prior to the camps as parents were beginning to be worried. As the waters travel into the capital city of Bangkok, the Thai government had to announce that the school term has to be delayed for about 3 weeks, as travel becomes almost impossible in flooded areas, and is becoming more and more widespread.

It is at these times of difficulties that the fruits of our efforts to train those under our care, manifests itself. As the saying goes, it is in a crisis that it shows what we are made of. As families face floods head-on or prepare for the onslaught, we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor. We hear of how our young leaders willingly help with the relief work that is near their homes and sacrificing their comfort zones for the sake of others in their community, by packing and transporting sandbags (a strenuous job) so as to strengthen neighbourhood dikes, and eagerly volunteer to help prepare and deliver meals for evacuees.

Due to the floods there has been much obstacles in reaching our children and youths, but once the situation improves, we will definitely seek them out to ensure that they are safe and will try to provide for their immediate needs, so that they can be given the care that they need.

Your help in advocating for our work would mean that the children and youths get the help that they need. Please consider telling your friends and family about our project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation.

Thank you again for taking the time to read this email.

With gratitude,

Vena Lung

 You may view the gravity of this year’s disaster on the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itnsMke4X1M&feature=email

PS: We will try to update on the Global Giving website, as long as our office can operate. According to the Thai government, most grounds in the capital city of Bangkok are  expected to flood, especially in these 2 days.

Learning and Planning
Learning and Planning

During the Summer Holidays, a group of about 50 young, energetic and enthusiatic leaders gathered at the Nong Bon Water Sports Centre for a planning retreat 29-30 April, 2011). They came from Bangkok and the upcountry like Chonburi, Khon Kaen and even Chiangrai.

Their task was to plan for 2 Nationals Camps :one for the girls and another for the boys, at the campsites in the southern province of Prachuab Khirikhan. These young lives have had various opportunities and trainings as young leaders in the past, and thus were quick to gel as a group, so as to plan for activities that were fun, build teamwork, and instill good moral values.

After a whole day of planning, learning the techniques of a good camp coounsellor and even producing an invitation video, these leaders were treated to a movie at night.

The next day, they were up early, to prepare for a full day of water sport activities, being trained by the coaches in the Water Sport Centre. They had tries in sailing the dinghy, kayaking and wind surfing. It was a physically tiring day for all, but rewarding and funfilled.

Mana said, " At last I can sail and control my boat!", while Mike sun-tanned and exhausted, smiled proudly at his efforts to steer his wind surf back to shore.

As the young leaders bade each other farewell, they were also looking forward to meeting soon, as each went back to his / her hometown, with a piece of duty assigned to them, for the coming  National Camp in July.

This is Cool!
This is Cool!
Ready to sail away!
Ready to sail away!
Small groups planning for different activities
Small groups planning for different activities
Surfing is tiring but really rewarding
Surfing is tiring but really rewarding
Serious talk about personal money matters
Serious talk about personal money matters

The Project Train the Trainers (Volunteers) on “Money and Wealth  in the New Millennium”

The Foundation started a pilot project on savings called the “S.M.A.R.T. (short for Stewardship of Money And Responsibility toward Treasures) Scheme” aimed at instilling the habits of savings and wise spending for children and youths, about two and a half years ago. It was so successful that the adult volunteers called for an in-depth adult version of the “S.M.A.R.T. Scheme” for themselves. Thus the Foundation decided to do a seminar on the theme “Money and Wealth  in the New Millennium” was organized from 21 – 23 March at the Petch Rim Tarn Resort, Phetburi. The 40 participating volunteers came from Bangkok and other provinces like Chonburi, Khon Kaen, Roi Et, Samut Songkhram, Samut Sakhon, etc

The topics discussed included emphasis on savings and the various creative means involved, living the sufficient life devoid of debts, and principles involved in buying insurance, etc. In a nutshell, the S.M.A.R.T. Scheme teaches one to GIVE, to SAVE and to SPEND wisely.

May, a volunteer who has been working with children and youths for more than 10 years said, " I will make it a point to save some money every month, even though my husband and I have to pay off a lot of debts, as I now see how important it is to save for a rainy day"

Pit said," Through this training, I have learned that I can afford to be sharing more in the "Give to Others" part of the SMART Scheme".

Participants left the seminar, determined to make changes in their lives, as they realize that being wise with their finances is actually a very "freeing" experience!

Sharing Experiences
Sharing Experiences
Question time
Question time
The proposed S.M.A.R.T.  savings house for launch
The proposed S.M.A.R.T. savings house for launch
S.M.A.R.T. Scheme - Simulation Game in Camps
S.M.A.R.T. Scheme - Simulation Game in Camps

Throughout the 17 years of working with youths and indirectly with their families, it has been obvious that the poverty cycle is a vicious cycle, where debts of the parents are passed on to their children, either through extreme poverty or financial ignorance and lack of self-discipline. The Foundation for Life's philosophy to "Teach a Child How to Fish" rather than just to give them a fish everyday, is the reason why the Organization persists on training our young generation with skills, a mindset of integrity and tenacity, together with self-discipline, so that they may be able to overcome the difficult times in their lives and to eventually be of assistance to others in their families and communities. For the past 12 years, many small scale projects was conducted so as to help instill financial education for both children and adults. An evolving curriculum on Financial Intelligence was written and re-adjusted over the years, so as to fit the local Thai needs. As a result, the S.M.A.R.T. (Stewardship of Money and Responsibility towards Treasures) Scheme was launched in 2009, as a pilot project for the children and youths. The S.M.A.R.T. Scheme was introduced in various camps that was conducted and about 900 children and youths went through this program.The young people were encouraged to begin a life of savings for the future and for what they wanted instead of just asking from parents or borrowing to buy what they want. In order for them to understand the principles taught, role-play was employed as a means to educate them and it was well received as a number of them began to use what was taught in their daily lives. The S.M.A.R.T. Scheme also taught them to give to others and this has borne good results as can be seen by Nok, our adult volunteer who said, " Of late, a number of kids who is using the S.M.A.R.T. Scheme, has come to me and donated on a regular basis, so that the funds can be used to help run activities for children and youths! This is amazing as it has never happened like this before in my 20 years as a youth worker!" The Foundation is grateful to all donors and supporters for their generous giving, that has empowered Thai kids with tools to overcome various obstacles in their lives. Any feedback, response and advice that will enhance our outreach to youths, is most welcome!

Play money used in one of the camps
Play money used in one of the camps
Youth who is practising SMART scheme in his life
Youth who is practising SMART scheme in his life
 

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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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