Category Archives: Half Day School

Founded in 1996 the Half Day School provides free education for the children of Patak village (the village surrounding the DEPDC site) and 6 other villages in the Mae Sai area. These children generally have no nationality (citizenship) or identity papers and are too poor to enroll in the formal education system provided by the Thai government.

A busy few weeks

It has been a busy last few weeks. We had a group of CIS Abroad of 19 students from the United States and 1 from Canada. They helped with teaching, playing and cleaning with the children. Together with the two professors of their University and our staff we put a lot of effort in cleaning a part of our Mae Sai grounds. We were very thankful for all their hard work and wish them all the best in continuation of their travels around Thailand and Cambodia where they learn about all the steps of the human trafficking, so they can in turn make a difference. There was also some fun, as on their day of they went to several tea plantations in the mountains that are run by ethnic minorities. Besides this they also got a brief bamboo flute instruction from our founder.

Another interesting moment came a few days ago, when it was the Thai day of the teachers. During this day the children sang songs and made symbolic offerings of flowers and incense to the staff of DEPDC in the morning. It went on with the teachers thanking the children in their turn with kind personal words for all the students. 1497253409044

But that’s not all; we were also presented with a large donation from Xin Yuan Trading Company (Thailand) Limited Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai. Who donated toothpaste, toothbrushes, school supplies and food for the children.  For which we are very grateful of course and so are the students. Xin Yuan Trading Company

And a quick final note: We are in need of new volunteers, our current volunteer is leaving in a few weeks and we haven’t got a lot of serious applications. If you know anyone willing to volunteer at this organization for 6 months, without having to pay all kinds of fees (what is a strange, but common practice at a lot of NGO’s). The only thing you need to pay for is your costs to get here and your food during your time here. Working here can

New shoes and a different parking place

 

Thanks to the kindness of former international student volunteers of DEPDC from the United States, we were able to purchase rubber shoes for all the children. This is a bare necessity that can not always be met by the parents of these vulnerable children. Walking around on flip-flops or barefoot is customary for them, however with the coming of the rainy season the need for shoes was made clear. As you can see in the picture above, the children are very thankful and are showing off the different colors.

IMG_20170530_120751Thanks to your great donations in the past the school bus is still driving and is able to pick up the children from remote areas to go to school. The bus gets regular check-ups to ensure that he will keep driving for many years to come. The bus isn’t currently parked at the school, as the bridge over a nearby stream is currently under construction. Now the bus is parked next to a police post a bit further from school, to make sure it will stay safe now it’s not at the school grounds for the moment. The progress of the bridge building goes slow but steadily. The bridge was previously a wide pipe that allowed the water to go through, however with the rainy season in the past it was never big enough. Currently they are using reinforced concrete pillars and walls to ensure that there is a wide and steady bridge that allows the water to go through. We are looking forward to using the bridge and drive our children safely over it again. We would like to thank you all for your donations that made it possible to use this school bus!

Links:

Beginning of the rainy season

As some of you all know, two weeks ago the rainy season has started. And that means, you’ve guessed it, rain.  After months with lots of sun and heat, the rain is welcomed like an old friend. The temperature is going down during the rain, but after it quickly rises again. The storm blows away the smoke that accumulates in this valley, which you can notice in the behavior of the children. They are more active and the boys are more active in playing football outside.1495696953405

The rain unfortunately also comes to show the repairs that needed to be done. During the first storm a tree fall down and took down a phone pole, fortunately it was quickly repaired by some local volunteers.  However the rain in the next days showed the holes in parts of the roof. Fortunately the holes aren’t located in a classroom, but it is causing a lot of water in the corridors. As can be seen in the pictures, the rain really pours down.  Repairs are needed; however this unfortunately does cost money. That is why we reach out to you all, our trusted readers and donators, in hope you will help repair the roof with your donations.1495696956281

Start of the new school year

FullSizeRenderAfter these few weeks of vacation the school has finally started again. The children were enthusiastic to start and even more so when they got a few presents. A former student from the first student batch donated 200 t-shirts for the children. Now all the students have a few clean white and black shirts, as can be seen in the picture. As these children mostly come from underprivileged families, new clothing is a rarity. Some of the children were given shoes and underwear, as their family couldn’t afford these basic necessities. They were also given backpacks, pencils and notebooks to write their homework in, this made possible by Lianne Rivera, a person who raised funds in the US. And even though we are a school and education is our main focus, we realize that we have to provide the conditions for children to be educated.

Starting the new school year also involves some extra cleaning. The whiteboards get an extra scrubbing and so do the desks. IMG_20170516_104736After this the students are eager to start learning again. During the English class the students were yelling out the answers with a lot of enthusiasm. And after a few months off, they is some need for revision, but we’ll manage. Yes, to conclude, we are ready again for a new school year, thanks to all your generous donations. IMG_20170516_104658IMG_20170516_104950

Exams, end of term 2016/2017 working through the vacation and a call for volunteers

Exams and then on Thursday the 16th of March it was finally there again… the 2016/2017 school year at DEPDC’s Half Day School (HDS) has ended and our students began their holidays that will last until 15th of May. The teachers and administrative staff are wishing our students a happy holiday!

In the week preceding the vacation it was naturally time for their exams. They had exams in the main subjects and sometimes with surprising results. There were a few that really stood out amongst the rest, others showed the points were we as teachers could focus on in the next period. And then on Thursday they had a day of helping to clean the school terrain and have a little fun. There was shaved ice as a treat, of which some children went for a second, third and even a fourth portion. And we gave presents and gifts to our children for celebrating their achievements what they have done during this semester. IMG_1619

IMG_1639

IMG_1622And now the HDS is closed for the summer period. But seeing that a lot of children’s parents are still working, DEPC/GMS helps to relieve strain on the families by providing two weeks of extra classes in English and Mathematics. This is popular not only amongst our students, but also amongst those from other schools. 30 children are following these classes, which focuses more on the fun and joy of English and math.

IMG_1660

Even though the HDS is closed, DEPDC still functions as a community learning center and gives private English lessons to 2 high school students and 20 elementary school students. Besides this, there is a business focused English classes for an adult, who goes from Myanmar to Thailand 3 days a week specifically for these classes.

Swimming training and music activities will be done during the first week of April. Not only for the children of DEPC, but with other colleague organizations in the province. So you can see that despite the school year ending, we still stepping up and work towards a brighter future.

IMG_1652

 

But all this work cannot be done without our dedicated staff and volunteers. And a new school year also means that we are in need of new volunteers. Are you, or do you know a person that would like to dedicate their time and love in this great work into stopping human trafficking through education, please contact us and fill out our form at: https://depdcblog.wordpress.com/volunteer/mae-sai/

IMG_1634

Successfully Completed The Y’ALL Art Project

DSCF1096As mentioned in an earlier blog,  we had two very special international teachers. Since last December, Danny DeBlasio and Catherine Hart were working here at DEPDC. They were funded through their project called: “The Y’All Project”. The YALL Art Project is a non-profit organization that brings a collaborative art process in photography and mural painting to communities in need of the arts.

New logo4Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 11.41.01 PM

Y’all project was a delight to have. They started with a class where they instructed the children about photography and naturally the children were very enthusiastic. The following lessons where the children could take pictures by their own and would discuss it in class. They learned more about art and the way they could interpret their surroundings, with some amazing results. Danny took the children on a walking tour with their cameras, where they had to take pictures of their surroundings.The following period focused on the making of two murals. This was interesting as some of the boys were hesitating at first, but Danny was quick to reassure them and they got encouraged to participate. Catherine gave the children lessons on how to mix the colors, work with primary and secondary colors. At the end we have a great mural and ever enthusiastic children who keep on looking at their work during the breaks and refer to the project in class. (You will better understand after see the slideshow below)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Danny also provided a great website were the photographs of the children are displayed and people are able to purchase them from all over the world. Catherine and Danny asked the children what they would like to do with the money that their pictures made on the website. The children decided to donate this money to our organization. Naturally You All can look at the amazing pictures made by the children and even purchase them here: http://www.yall-art-project.com/buy-prints/

이미지 1

We would like to thank Danny and Catherine for all their efforts and time they have put into this project and their bond with the children. We wish them all the best on the next location of the Y’All project and hope to see them soon again.

The Annual Summer Camp

Last week was a rather fun week, as it was once again time for the annual summer camp. The children were camping overnight on the school grounds. Of course it was very exciting for them, as there were a lot of activities planned, they were all fun, but some with serious themes. This camp gave the opportunity to discuss the more serious topics, whilst being in a safe environment. One of the first activities for the older children was the second lesson in sexual health, again taught by the same organization as last time. All the children were given raw eggs with their names on them and at the end of the camp they would show that they were responsible and give them back in one piece. Most children did return them, but some eggs did fall on the ground. Later in the day it was time to set up the tents and roll out the mats to prepare for the night. Most children had a hard time getting to sleep, but none the less they had to wake up early the next day as they had swimming lessons.img_20170221_101031

img_20170221_154524img_20170221_095323The children were divided into 3 groups, depending on their swimming abilities. Some were quite good and remembered their previous lessons. But the most of the children had to start at the very beginning. Beginning with peddling the water, whilst sitting on the side of the pool and slowly building up to peddle across on a foam rubber floaty. At the end of the day some of the beginners were even able to swim on their own thanks to all the teachers and volunteers who helped them. After a long day of swimming the children returned to the school grounds, where they got meals and some extra treats. In the evening there was a campfire and in its light games were played. They started with a clapping song and then a form of musical chairs.8031980333dscf9575dscf9574

The last day started with a team work game, where they one by one had to turn around until they were dizzy and then cross the field to fill a bottle with water from a spoon. This was a great way for the children to wake up and get ready for a new day. After the lunch another serious topic was discussed namely, domestic violence. After a lesson on the topic and discussing examples they were divided in groups where they had to make posters on that subject.dscf9559

So now after these three day and two nights of fun activities, learning important life skills and being able to discuss the harder subjects the camp came to a close. Once again we can look back on a successful camp and we are reminded on how we are able to do these thing thanks to your donations. That’s why we would like to thank you all for your support.dscf9597-2

Meet an international volunteer: Peter

img_1245The International Department would like to introduce Peter. He joined our organization almost three weeks ago. Peter teaches English to the children here at DEPDC and the Community Learning Centre, but he also helps the other staff with documents and these blogs.

Peter is from the Netherlands and got to know Thailand during an elective track in “Human rights and security” at Thammasat University in Bangkok, whilst he was doing his master’s degree in Global Health. Peter has previous experience working with children, whilst doing his bachelor in Social Work and his education in becoming a group-home worker, which does comes in handy working here. Peter has quite an extensive resume, from which he draws inspiration for this organization.  img_1254

Peter says that he is inspired to help change the situation for the best for these children. And that he knows that education can be the key for this change. The children really seem to like him and are amazed about his size and they often come up to him to compare their length. During the last Sports Day he was part of the black team and even though he wasn’t very athletic during most events, he was skilled at the tug of war. fullsizerender_4

%d bloggers like this: