“My name is Tina Belge and it’s been nearly one year since I left the United States to work a summer abroad at DEPDC/GMS in Mae Sai, Thailand. My time there was the best experience of my life so far. I met some amazing people and had the privilege of working with them on an everyday basis.
“While at DEPDC/GMS, I got to teach children English as well as Dance, and on occasion Art. I also used my artistic skills to help put together a newsletter, design a new slide presentation for visitors at DEPDC/GMS, and even created a film for fundraising events. Since I feel passionate about saving the environment, I introduced small recycling bins for the center.
“My favorite thing about DEPDC/GMS was teaching and seeing the kids every day. The children, no doubt the highlight of my work there, were some of the brightest, sweetest, and most talented children I have ever encountered, especially those I worked with the most, the children that participate in the Border Youth Leadership Training Programme. After class, we would often play games, in particular soccer, where I was not surprised to find myself the only girl on the field. Ha!
“Not a day goes by that I don’t smile when I think about DEPDC/GMS and all the people who touched my life there. I can only hope that my work there somehow affected someone else’s life for the good. My time at DEPDC/GMS was precious and ended up being a real catalyst for me in figuring out what I want to do with my life. I came to Thailand a determined but somewhat lost 19-year old and left with a great sense of direction and importance in my life. This experience has inspired me to work abroad after finishing law school to combat human rights violations in Asia. Eventually, I would like to enter the field of international diplomacy as a human rights advocate and to promote education as a universal right for children. DEPDC/GMS has shown me what great influence an education has on the lives of disadvantaged children and youth.”
If you are thinking of volunteering with DEPDC/GMS like Tina, please visit our website to learn about the work of DEPDC/GMS and the application process for prospective volunteers. We look forward to hearing from you.