International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development

The 5th of December has a significant meaning for DEPDC.  It’s a little-known but very important UN day, the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development, which has a special place in our hearts here at DEPDC/GMS.

IMG_0977 (1)

We are very excited to honor this day as this week we welcome two different groups of volunteers from Kaya based out of the USA. The first group of twelve students, from the University of Missouri, arrived earlier this week. The second group of 14 students, from the University of Maryland, arrived just today.  Over the next couple of weeks these dedicated groups of volunteers will help teach the children English, paint our playground equipment, clean up around the center and, of course, take some breaks to play with the kids!  We are so appreciative of their work and the joy they bring to the children. The center is alive with a lot of hard work and laughter.

g6 class

We’d like to commemorate the UN’s day by thanking all the wonderful volunteers we’ve had at DEPDC/GMS from Thailand and abroad over the past 25 years. You’re too many to count, but you all know who you are, and we couldn’t be what nor where we are without all of the help you have given us over the years.

There are so many things that volunteers have done for DEPDC/GMS since it was founded by Khun Sompop, both as groups and as individuals, short-term and long-term. Volunteers have helped to build the Half Day School (HDS), shelters for at-risk persons throughout Northern Thailand and learning centres for hill tribe kids in Mae Chan, just to mention a few. They’ve taught the kids to read, write, cook, sew, build, fix and respect themselves and one another as equal human beings.

And not least of all, they’ve shown the kids and the staff at DEPDC/GMS that there are people all throughout Thailand and around the world who care about them and are willing to come and help them and DEPDC/GMS to make a positive difference in the world. The effect of knowing that there are people who care about you is more profound than people may realise. Especially when you come from a disadvantaged background, knowing that people care and are willing to come and help can make a world of difference.


If you’ve ever considered getting involved and volunteering, please don’t hesitate to visit the volunteer information page on our blog and get in touch. We always love having more members in our international family, and your help will go further than you can imagine.

me walking with the kids

Or if you can’t volunteer but feel like you’d like to make a contribution, 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.


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