Author Archives: DEPDC/GMS
From 22nd to 24th of October, the Swimming Camp was held at the Swimming Home Shelter in Mae Chan with 150 children from five NGOs in the nearby Mekong region including students of DEPDC.
According to recent research, drowning death rates in the Mekong area are on the rise during the annual monsoon season due to rapid climate change. And three-quarters of the drowning victims are children. Therefore, Mekong regional organizations and NGOs took this issue seriously and decided to work together in a cooperative way to host the Swimming Camp in order to prevent drowning of children.
During the three days of swimming lessons, the students were separated three groups depending on their swimming abilities and learned from basic swimming skills to advanced swimming techniques. The beginner group practiced how to float on the water, flutter kicks and dives into the water. The intermediate group had learned efficient flutter kicks with a swimming kick board and basic freestyle form. Lastly, the advanced group did skillful swimming drills and learned how to dive off a starting block. Although some of the children could not dare to dive into the water on the first day, they were enjoying swimming on the last day.
Not only did the the children have a chance to learn basic swimming safety skills, but also they had valuable time to learn proper social ethics, how to use the internet and smartphones properly and effectively, as well as how to handle emergency situations such as earthquakes, floods and tsunamis. They also learned about children rights, sexual abuse and child labor through various interesting experiments and funny games. Moreover, they sang popular Thai songs together in the evening. Their songs were so energetic, so it was enough to make us happy and joyful.
In the camp, all of students were always well organized, cooperative, and showed community friendly behavior. The children also participated in every learning session with passionate engagement, they were able to grow in a short period of time. Thanks to their remarkable decent attitude, the camp ended successfully without mishap.
This Swimming Camp was so meaningful and worthwhile for everyone. Above all, the children will be able to save their own lives in a water-based emergency as they learned vital lifesaving skills. Also, NGOs and organizations in the nearby Mekong area were able to create strong bonds and move beyond mere cooperation and engage in true collaboration to solve problems and reach common goals against human trafficking. Despite everyone’s efforts, this swimming camp would not be able to continue without your support. If you would like to support the HDS or any other project at DEPDC, please visit our project page on GlobalGiving.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away peacefully at the age of 89 on October, 13. At this time of sorrow and loss, all members of DEPDC/GMS would like to express their profound condolences on the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
He was the unifying national leader who worked tirelessly for a carrier of peace, unity and prosperity for the people of Thailand. DEDPC/GMS will continue to honour King Bhumibol’s legacy of commitment to universal values and respect for human right. So he will live in the hearts of our people forever as we would continue to follow in his footsteps.
Last Friday marked the end of term here at HDS. After a full semester the students spent the week taking their exams and enjoying their last week.
Since studying, and playing, hard since May, all of our students passed their mid-year exams and are taking a well deserved break. Our teachers corrected their exams and are also taking a holiday as well during this month. This past semester has been filled to the brim. From concerts, to guests, to new volunteers arriving and old volunteers leaving, there has been no shortage of excitement this term.
On October 31st the new term will start up and we are looking forward to see all of our students back and hope that they will be as successful during the second part of the year as during the first part.
We would like to thank all that have helped and supported during this past term. Us here at DEPDC would not be able to continue our work of educating our students without your support. If you would like to support the HDS or any other project at DEPDC, please visit our project page at GlobalGiving.
On September 22 at 9:00AM, in front of the Mae Sai Municipality Office, the Thai government launched a campaign to stop all forms of violence against women and girls under the concept “Stop Violence…LET’S GO TO ASEAN 2016”. The campaign involved more than 100 students in Mae Sai and more than 8 NGO that were arranged into 5 parades and 3 orchestral bands.
DEPDC/GMS has decided to join this campaign, which aims to educate people and increase awareness about domestic and family violence. This campaign was initiated by her Royal Highness, Princess Bajrakitiyabha. She is aware of the people’s problems and suffering, especially concerning violence to women, both physically and mentally. Her motto is “Say No to Violence against Women” to mark her designation as a Goodwill Ambassador in Thailand.
Violence against women and girls is a very concerning issue in Thailand. Experts in the field of domestic violence counseling say that many statistics fail to show the full extent of the problem due to underreporting; a problem many other countries in the world face as well. Many of the minority ethnic group victims are less likely to seek help in the face of violence because of their lack of legal status, inability to properly communicate in Thai, and limited knowledge of their rights.
DEPDC/GMS focuses on education with hopes of solving the issues of human trafficking, child labor, teenage pregnancy, and various forms of violence against children and youth. In order to continue our work, we need your kind support, concern and help. If you would like to give, please visit our project page at GlobalGiving.
Every year at the Half Day School, the students and teachers come together during the rainy season to plant rice. HDS grows their own rice to support the lunch program and help feed the students. Last year, the rice harvest was less than expected due to a dry rainy season. This year we are hoping for a better harvest.
Last week, the students harvested, cleaned and replanted the rice we had begun growing. Starting with a small plot the students, with the help of P’Noom, planted rice and allowed it to grow to create a start for the rest of the harvest. Once the rice grew to the proper size, as it was last week, all of the students and teachers got together for a full afternoon of harvesting.
All of our students worked to pull up the rice plants, clean the roots and bundle them together to make planting the next day easier. The next morning, all of them got back to work and replanted all of the rice plants from the day before. After the full day Friday, all three of the Half Day School’s rice paddies were filled with plants. Now we will wait for the next three months or so for the rice to grow to its full height. Come December the students will be able to enjoy all of their hard work!
Well… not all of our students helped out-a water filled paddy is too much fun to resist!
This week we had Happiness U Can Give, a foundation based in Chiang Rai, come visit us at the Half Day School. They came and performed all afternoon for our students and children from Baan Doi and Baannana. All the students also each performed a song and Ajan Sompop sang to close out the show!
All of our students enjoyed the show and were thankful to Happiness U Can Give for joining us! Well, maybe not all of our students…
Did you ever hear about the Marshmallow Test? This is one of the most influential psychological experiment about self-control by Walter Mischel. The test is quite simple. A small child was served a marshmallow and was given two choices: you can eat one marshmallow now or, if you can wait, you get to eat two marshmallows later. If you were that child, could you wait for that tortured moment? The research found that that the children who were able to wait longer for the two marshmallows were more likely to have better life outcomes and more successful life styles. The study emphasized that delayed gratification and self-control are major factors for a successful life.
Then, what about our children in the Swimming Home shelter or at the Half Day School? Although I have yet to conduct the same experiment so far, but I bet all of our children would eat the marshmallow in a second. It is not surprising at all. According to recent psychological research, a children’s attitude can be different depending on the financial circumstance. The children in a poor environment tend to take action to get a certain reward immediately instead of waiting for an uncertain future reward. In other words, the effects of poverty, hunger and homelessness on children may lower self-control and patience for delayed gratification.
Why talk about this boring psychology research now? Because this research is associated with us here at DEPDC directly. While we are teaching children about English, music or dance, the children cannot sit on a chair more than 20 minutes and want more games, want to listen to music and play recklessly. As this is a struggle for many a new volunteer here, Ajan Sompop brought forward some good advice. He suggested to understand the children instead of only focusing on teaching them. It makes us here at DEPDC remember that the children are our teachers as much as we are their’s and we must learn everything from them. As a second recent research study said when poor children may have low self-control, children’s learning attitudes may be influenced by their poor families and bad risky environments. Therefore, our children may have a bad educational attitude based on external factors. Suddenly, we recognize that we should learn understanding above all to become a good teacher.
DEPDC has had many teachers this term, from our new international volunteers to all of our International Student Volunteers, and all have learned just as much from our students as they have taught. All of our teaching here at DEPDC is about more than just teaching a subject, it is about teaching our children to understand, and in turn, learning to understand ourselves.
August 19th marks the United Nations’ World Humanitarian Day. Beginning in 2009, World Humanitarian Day has become a day to celebrate and recognize all humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes.
This day was designated from the efforts of the Sérgio Vieira de Mello Foundation and his family working closely with the Ambassadors of France, Switzerland, Japan and Brazil. Sérgio Vieira de Mello dedicated his lifetime, over 30 years, to the United Nations. He served in some of the most challenging humanitarian situations in the world to reach the voiceless victims. He died, along with 21 colleagues, on August 19, 2003 in Baghdad creating a loss of a great humanitarian leader.
With his legacy in mind, the Vieira de Mello family and friends founded the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation to continue his unfinished humanitarian mission to create and encourage dialogue between communities and victims of humanitarian crises. The Foundation sees World Humanitarian Day as a tribute to all humanitarian personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifices to make the world a better place for all victims of humanitarian crises and to encourage all those working to aspire to even greater heights in accomplishing their goals.
For over 25 years, DEPDC/GMS has worked for humanitarian causes. Providing education, training, protection and rehabilitation for those women and children who are at-risk of being exploited or trafficked, our founder Mr. Sompop Jantraka is a man much like Sergio Vieira de Mello. If you would like to join Mr. Sompop and the DEPDC team on this humanitarian mission, please visit our Volunteer Information page for information on our volunteer positions and how to apply.