For two weeks in July, DEPDC/GMS was joined by a group of 9 student volunteers from the United States, Canada and Thailand. The group came through a programme organised by International Student Volunteers (ISV), a volunteer organisation that annually places over 4,000 students from more than 800 universities and colleges worldwide. Together, they contribute over 250,000 hours of volunteer work abroad in the fields of conservation and community development, and some of them are granted academic credits by their universities in return. To find out more about ISV click here. To find out more about volunteering at DEPDC/GMS, please click here.
During their stay, the volunteers taught English and Art classes at the Half Day School (HDS), and on one occasion they even took over the dance class which proved to be a big success with the kids. They also taught classes at the Community Learning Centre (CLC) and at the Kindergarten.
Danielle, one of the volunteers, is a student of the University of Texas Austin and is majoring in Plan 2 Honors, a special inter- disciplinary curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree. Let’s see what she has to say about her experience at DEPDC/GMS. “We came to make a difference but were forever changed by the kids and their joy. We were continually uplifted, challenged, inspired, and given hope of a brighter future. Most importantly, we now know that anyone can change the world!”
A major task of the volunteers, however, was not only to teach but to lay tiles in the classrooms. Within little more than a week, they tiled two HDS classrooms. As the students in the Half Day School sit on the floor, this is more than just a beautification but makes for a better study environment. But they didn’t stop at the floors! They also painted a wall mural with a rainbow, flowers and trees , all labelled with the equivalent English vocabulary. Please take a look at the photos below to see the excellent job the group did on the classrooms, but before that, let’s hear what the ISV project leader has to say.
“My name is Panita. I received a Bachelor degree of Economics from Thammasat University in Bangkok where I majored in Development Economics. This is my first season working as a project leader for ISV Thailand. To me, kids are the same all over the world. They should have the rights to realise their choices and choose to become whatever they dream to be. DEPDC/GMS is building the bridges for underserved children to come across over their burdensome constraints and toward promising futures driven by their own desires. It is our greatest pleasure to have become a part of this rewarding work and to continue to spread the word.”
Everyone at DEPDC/GMS would like once more to express their gratitude to the ISV group. You can read about a visit from a previous ISV group here.