Author Archives: DEPDC/GMS

A Helping Hand

Often, you give to others what you seek and need from others yourself. In this case, I believe it is true. I have repeatedly seen the children at the Swimming Home caring for and helping each other, caring for and helping animals and caring for and helping other people, myself included.

I came home after dinner one night, and started talking with some of the older children. They were eager to know more about me, to learn more English words and to tell about themselves. They were quite fascinated by the moon, and started to tell vampire stories. Not that I understood half of it. I told them I like the light from the full moon, because then it isn’t so dark around me in the nighttime. I struggled my way through telling them this in Thai, but obviously they understood what I had told them, cause moments later they followed me to my room. We said good night, gave each other a hug, and went different ways. What I realized when I came into my room was that they didn’t turn off all the lights outside during that night. That was highly appreciated! It was so thoughtful of them to care about this grown up foreigner that doesn’t like the total darkness in the nighttime.

cat rescueThe other day, we heard some noises from one of the rooftops. It turned out, one of the cats was stuck there and couldn’t get down on his own. The children rushed to the building, trying to help him down. One of the children climbed up on the roof and another one climbed up a tree to help out catching her on the way down. The cat refused to go down this way, she held tight to the girl on the roof. In the end, we found a bag to put him in, and then slowly got him down on the ground. All the children were involved in some way or another, wanting to help the cat down.

Our newest family member who is only two years old, has also gotten to feel how these children give of themselves all the time. He has always someone around him, either to help him eat, walk around with him, play with him or put him to sleep. They just care so much. They are so alert and knows exactly what to do in every possible situation. I truly believe he has found a perfect home, where he’ll grow up knowing that many people love him.

What you seek is often what you give.wpid-20150902_1920202.jpg.jpeg

GlobalGiving Matching Campaign 16th September 2015

On 16th September 2015 GlobalGiving runs its final matching campaign this year. Beginning at 9am EDT (8pm ICT Bangkok; 3pm CEST Western Europe; 2pm BST British Isles) GlobalGiving will start to match all donations by 30% and up to 1000$ per individual donor per organization.

DEPDC/GMS + GlobalGiving

The campaign will run either until 16th of September 2015, 23:59:59 EDT, or until the total amount of $70,000 in matching funds has been distributed.

If you have been thinking about making a donation to DEPDC before, 16th September 2015 would be a good time to make your donation and use the chance of GlobalGiving’s matching campaign to increase the impact of your donation.

At the moment DEPDC has five projects live on GlobalGiving that can receive donations (to visit the project’s description at GlobalGiving’s website click the pictures):

Send 70 At-risk Children to School in Thailand:


Safe Shelter for 16 Children and Woman in Thailand:


Irrigation system for our School’s rice fields:


Literacy Training for an Ethnic Minority Community:


Help To Provide Lunch For Half Day School Students:


For more information about GlobalGiving’s matching campaign and policy please visit GlobalGiving’s website.

Finally all children, students, staff, and volunteers from DEPDC would like to thank all former, current, and future donors, whose kind donations made DEPDC’s work possible. Thank you so much!!!

We have a new family member!

Recently, we got a new family member at MRICRH. The other day, we drove off to a small village close to the northern borders of Thailand. Just inside one of the houses, a big family were sitting on the floor. Four women and two children. Even more people arrived as we entered the house. Words were exchanged, papers were signed, everybody seemed pleased. After both some formal and informal talk, we had to go again.

But we had one more passenger on the way back home. Khun Kwaang carried the youngest of the boys in her arms to the car, and placed him on her lap. He seemed so trustful. Not a single tear on his chin. Well, that was not until he understood what was actually happening. He cried and shouted mae, he reached his arms towards the window, trying to get hold on the woman he called mom. The crying and sobbing continued for a long time, it stopped only when he was too tired and fell asleep.

weg2We arrived at the shelter, and he had started to trust Khun Kwaang a bit now. She had prepared some toys for him, but he was not interested in a single toy. He just wanted to keep close, he did not want to loose his grip around her. That was until one of the girls from the shelter came home from school. She and the other kids sat down on the floor, and suddenly he sat in her lap, like it was something he had done forever. A new friendship started in that moment.


For the rest of the evening, he wouldn’t let go of the girl, he even started calling her mae. At dinnertime, he calmed down when she was around. At showertime, he calmed down when she was around. The most amazing moment was at bedtime, when she went away to pick up her bed linens. He cried for mae the whole time, but when she arrived again, he calmed down and went to sleep in just seconds. Luckily, she is a girl with a big heart. How many teenagers do you know that would willingly give so much of themselves without getting anything in return?

Things are about to change here at the shelter. This little boy has come to stay with us. His parents are unable to take care of him, and the rest of his family is unwilling to take care of him. He is left with no one around him, like so many others in this area. It’s a great joy to have him here, but It’s also sad for him at the same time. We will do our best to give him all the love, nurture and support he needs, and I hope you can help us out a bit too. By pressing this

 Give Now

button, you can donate whatever suits you and help us do our work as best as possible. We appreciate all the support we can get!

Tai Yai language lessons at HDS

The newest development at DEPDC’s Half Day School (HDS) is Tai Yai language lessons on Friday afternoons. Thanks to the new cooperation between DEPDC and the Tai Origin Network (TON) HDS can now offer regular Tai Yai language classes on two different levels every week.

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Teacher Nogyungkham teaching the beginners class

This school year children from seven different ethnic group visit HDS. This are Tai Yai, Tai Lue, Akha, Tai Khün, Burmese, Thai, and Lawa. Currently the biggest group at our school are students from the Tai Yai group. They make up for nearly 50% of our current students.

The Tai Yai, in Myanmar often called Shan, are the biggest ethnic group in Myanmar’s Shan State and many refugees and labor migrants along the Thai side of the border belong to this ethnic group as well. Tai Yai people have their own language and script and as language is an important part of ones culture and origin there are increasing efforts to promote the language in all situations of live.

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Teacher Kaysaeng teaching the advanced class

Tai Khün and Tai Lue language are closely related to Tai Yai language and together this three groups stand for more than ⅔ of HDS current students. For this reason we were very happy when two teachers from TON offered to come to visit HDS ever Friday afternoon to teach Tai Yai language to our students. This classes include spoken and written language. DEPDC believes that literacy in the students own language is a valuable addition to literacy in Thai and some cases Burmese language.

Meet an International Volunteer: Linn!

The International Department would like to introduce Linn, who joined us in the beginning of August. Linn has been teaching in Norway for seven years after completing six years of Teacher Education in Oslo and Trondheim, Norway. In addition, she spent one of her years studying in Southern Thailand. She will be working at the center in Mae Chan, mainly at the Swimming Home. Since arriving at the Swimming Home in Mae Chan, Linn has been working on researching potential funders, networking, reading up on DEPDC’s work and updating social media accounts for the Swimming home and teaching English to the children at the shelter. She looks forward to get to know the children better and to learn more about the Greater Mekong Sub-region and the issue of trafficking in the region.


“During my time as a teacher in Norway, I have been blessed with leaders that encouraged me to evolve all the time. I love being a teacher, but what I love the most about it, is the social aspect. I love being there for the children, to see them grow both at school and personally. However, during my last year as a teacher in Norway, I realized that I needed bigger and different challenges”.

“While living in Thailand recently, I became more aware of the different aspects of human trafficking in the country. During this period, I read up on the subject, and I realized quickly that I truly wanted to contribute and work for an anti-human trafficking organization. Since I already know a lot about the Thai culture and have a connection to the country through friends and interests, I started checking out NGOs in Thailand. I came across DEPDC/GMS and read everything I could find online about the organization. Knowing that it was a well established NGO working to prevent human trafficking and to protect victims of human trafficking, I decided to apply as a volunteer”.

“Through working for DEPDC/GMS, I hope to gain more knowledge and understanding of the work that is done to prevent human trafficking and to protect victims of human trafficking. I hope that I can contribute to the organization through my teaching skills, administrative skills, interpersonal skills and intercultural skills”.


If you would like to find out more about volunteering with the Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities Centre in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (DEPDC/GMS), please see the information within the main VOLUNTEER tab and on the drop-down Opportunity tabs.

Visit from GlobalGiving #GivingSummer

This week we have had two lovely visitors all the way from the UK with us here in Mae Sai as well as at the Swimming Home in Mae Chan! Tapiwa and Alice, volunteers from GlobalGiving UK came to meet with our directors and volunteers, have a look at how we run our organization and give us a few pointers on how we could utilize our time and resources to the fullest, as well as working with us to help expand our supporters and donors through global giving.

Global Giving volunteers, Alice and Tapiwa, giving their presentation to DEPDC

Global Giving volunteers, Alice and Tapiwa, giving their presentation to DEPDC

The girls came as part of Global Giving’s ‘giving summer’, a programme where trained volunteers travel to organizations supported by global giving, do a short evaluation and provide information and tools to expand support and donations from the UK.

If you would like to learn more about our projects or to donate and support our efforts here at DEPDC, please click here to donate to our Community Learning Centre, here to donate to our Half Day School in Mae Sai, here to donate to our Swimming Home and Shelter in Mae Chan or here to donate to our lunch programme at Half Day School.

We greatly appreciate all donations to DEPDC, large or small, everything makes a difference.

International Student Volunteers at Mae Sai!

We have been very busy for the past few weeks so thankfully we have had a few groups of International Student Volunteers, or ISV here to help us. For the past two weeks, we have had our fourth group of ISV working with us here in Mae Sai but sadly we say goodbye to them today before they go off on their exciting adventure tour, and we look forward to the arrival of our next group, next month.

The kids say goodbye to ISV

The kids say goodbye to ISV

Since mid-May, we have had groups of ISV, who come in groups of about 15, mainly from Canada and America, and have stayed with us for two weeks at a time, working on building a wall, helping with cooking for the students, making crafts with, and teaching English to our students. While they are here, these volunteers contribute to the much needed maintenance and up keep of DEPDC, as well as providing help and support for the teachers, with the children. Having these volunteers is great for the staff of DEPDC, as it gives us extra staffing, and therefore a greater ability to provide the children with what they need, and give the children, the opportunity for different experiences and creative outlets.

Creative english classes with ISV!

Creative english classes with ISV!

During their time here, some of the groups like to make some traditional ‘American food’ for the kids, our second group found out that one of the iconic staples in an American child’s lunch box ‘PB&J sandwiches’, weren’t quite such a hit with our Thai kids, and the next group found out that their cheesy favorite ‘mac and cheese’, that even the fussiest of children in the States seem to enjoy, doesn’t go down quite so well over here. Our children were quite comical in their efforts to hide their dislike! Watching their reactions was incredibly amusing, and everybody appeared to enjoy the popcorn! This weeks ‘hash browns’ and ‘french toast’ was quite successful and went down a treat with most of the kids!

Student attempting to hide their dislike of the ISV's 'mac & cheese'!

Student attempting to hide their dislike of the ISV’s ‘mac & cheese’!

Harry Feldman, from Georgia Tech in America, has spent the past two weeks with us, very enthusiastically teaching and playing with the kids who have very clearly loved having him here!

‘I had so much fun at DEPDC. We played games with the kids, cooked Thai food, and helped finish a wall around the school. The best part was definitely teaching and playing with the kids.  It was very rewarding seeing them progress through the numbers. They started with 1,2, and 3, but by the end of the day we had them counting to 10. Seeing their faces light up with joy while playing with us was amazing! I will always remember my experiences at DEPDC!’

Harry playing footballs with some of our HDS pro-footballers

Harry playing footballs with some of our HDS pro-footballers

A rice field for education and food supply!

This year DEPDC decided to become more self-sustaining in food supply for our Half Day School’s (HDS) lunch program by extending DEPDC’s agricultural site with rice fields! The fields cover about 1¼ Rai (1Rai≙1600m²) and we hope that we can harvest at least 750kg of rice by Mid October!

Preparing the field for sowing.

Preparing the field for sowing.

The first step in order to prepare the rice field was done by a local framer that DEPDC hired. He used his tractor and equipment to break up the field that was an unused patch of land. To do this as well as form the mound encircling the fields took nearly one day and would not have been possible without the help of the tractor.


After the fields were shaped, the wait for the rainy season began. As the first rain was severely delayed this year, DEPDC started to pump water from a nearby stream into the fields. The flooding of the fields took a long time and could only be finished after the rainy season finally started.


When the fields were sufficiently flooded, they were ploughed and a small part of one field was made level to serve as a sowing area. The first rice plants sprouted after a few days, and after only one week, the whole field is now covered with bright green, young rice plants. These rice plants will continue to grow in the small separate field for another three weeks and then be replanted to the bigger main fields in order to gain a bigger crop.


Growing our own rice will not only help to supply DEPDC’s lunch program with rice according to organic farming standards, but also gives the children at HDS a chance to gain firsthand experience in rice farming and agricultural systems.



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