Merry Xmas, Happy New Year, and welcome back to a member of the family!

To all of our wonderful friends around the world who are celebrating the Christmas and New Year period at the moment, we hope you enjoy this holiday season, whatever you’re doing and wherever you are! Family’s a big theme for us here at DEPDC/GMS, and we hope that this message finds you safe and happy with family and friends. From here at the Half Day School, the staff and children all send their love and wish you all the best.

Christmas isn’t particularly big in Thailand and the Thai New Year is in April, but we also have our own reason to celebrate. A former volunteer has come back to rejoin the family! Matt was with us from July 2013 to June 2014 and has come back for two months after finishing the university year back in Australia. He’s always up for a game of soccer with the kids and doesn’t mind being told to cut his hair and shave his face, even though he probably should!

aaron and i.jpg

Matt’s been helping our international volunteer coordinator Jorn teach English, helped prepare the centre at Mae Sai ahead of DEPDC/GMS’s 25-year anniversary, and has been heading down to one of our other centres in Mae Chan on weekends to help out with the kids at the Swimming Home. He can only stick around for two months before he has to go back home to study again, but it’s good to have him back while we can! There are always jobs to be shared around DEPDC/GMS and any extra hands are always welcome.

teaching english

He’s been running a new pen pal program with the kids and his friends and family from Australia. It’s been great for the kids to feel so connected with people around the world, and they’ve been really excited to try out the English they learn in class with their Aussie pen pals. It’s great to have volunteers return, it really reinforces the family atmosphere that we try to build and cultivate here at DEPDC/GMS. You never really leave, you’re always a part of the family and you can always come back any time.

You’re also free to join any time! If you’ve ever thought about volunteering, , please don’t hesitate to visit the volunteer information page on our blog and get in touch. Or if you’re thinking about making a donation, please visit our GlobalGiving donations page here to pick which of our programs you’d like to contribute to, like our sustainable agriculture project or our lunch program. Thank you for reading and for keeping up with what’s going on at DEPDC/GMS. All the best and happy holidays!

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