Get to know some of our staff and volunteers in our series ‘Staff Profiles‘!
Since 2006, DEPDC/GMS has put a special emphasis on the use of the media as a method not only to raise awareness about human trafficking and child rights, but also to give the youth leaders of the Mekong Youth Net (MYN) and the Border Youth Leadership Training Programme (BYLTP) the tools and the forum to present their views on political, social and cultural issues that impact their own lives every day. In 2006, DEPDC/GMS launched Child Voice Radio. With the foundation of the Mekong Youth Union Training Centre (MYUTC) in 2009, the Child Voice TV and Child Voice News projects promptly followed suit.
P’ Korn*, working at DEPDC/GMS since 1995, is the Head of Child Voice Radio, and he is also closely involved in the development of the other two ‘Child Voice’ media outlets. P’ Korn is Thai and originally from Nonthaburi, where his family still lives. Before joining DEPDC/GMS, P’ Korn was working as an art teacher and organised many activities for children. When asked about the favourite aspect of his work, P’ Korn instantly replied that it is the joy with the children, witnessing and accompanying their growth over the years. By email, Facebook, or Hi5, he remains in touch with many of those that already left the programmes of DEPDC/GMS. Reflecting on the greatest challenge of counselling children at DEPDC/GMS, P’ Korn described convincing children to remain with their families, rather than choosing the fast track of money making by abandoning their education and opting to work, including work in the sex industry, or marrying a wealthy foreigner.
Since April of this year, P’ Korn is working on a special project, and the fruits of his work are already visible for all to see. Having single-handedly built an elaborate metal construction – “The Exhibition Cage” – into one side of the assembly hall of DEPDC/GMS’ main building, he has already put together as many as 300 photo frames to hold photos that document the past and the present of DEPDC/GMS, including the memorable visit of Princess Madeleine of Sweden at DEPDC/GMS in 2008 and the 20 Year Anniversary Celebration of DEPDC/GMS in 2009. Others show innumerable moments with the children over the years, on survival hikes through the mountains, at graduation ceremonies of the Half Day School (HDS), or at one of the many other activities organised for and by the children and youth leaders. While the exhibition is still a work in progress, children, staff and visitors can often be seen strolling down memory lane already.
This week, we celebrate P’ Korn’s birthday. Everyone at DEPDC/GMS wishes P’ Korn a Happy Birthday and hopes he will stay with us for at least another fifteen years.
Happy Birthday, P’ Korn, and thank you from everyone for your contagious smile – P’ Korn’s trademark – that cheers us up every day of the week!
*In Thai, a P’ is added to people’s names as a form of common courtesy. It is used to address older brothers and sisters as well as older acquaintances. It is common that people of roughly similar ages address each other using P’ in front of the name. The equivalent for younger siblings and friends is Nong.