Rice Harvesting with the Patak Half Day School
At the end of November, DEPDC/GMS’s Half Day School in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai, Thailand began harvesting its small but healthy rice field. After the reaping was completed, the school children waited the next two weeks for the rice to dry. This is called “field drying”. This last week, the children learned about the “threshing” stage of rice harvesting. This stage consists of beating stacks of rice to separate the paddy grain from the rest of cut crop. The two oldest groups of children were able to participate in this activity, while the others had the opportunity to watch and learn for later years. Needless to say, it was a fun few days of “learning-by-doing”!
What’s next? After cleaning, the children get to eat the rice they grew entirely on their own. What could taste more delicious than a simple bowl of rice produced with your own hands and newly acquired knowledge learned together with your classmates and friends!
Background on why the Patak Half Day School grows its own rice:
The rice harvesting project, completed once per year, was initiated for two primary reasons. First, growing the rice is to increase the self-sustainability of the school and teach the children about the importance of self-sustainability in their own lives. Second, the project helps improve the children’s understanding of traditional farming techniques and the culture of this region. For this reason, no machinery is used other than hands and a simple rice sickle. It is kept just large enough for all the children to be able to take part but small enough to keep the workload minimal, as learning is the main focus of this activity. Finally, the rice field is located on school grounds, which allows the children to watch the rice grow all throughout its life cycle.
Want to help keep this project running? You can help by donating to the “Half Day School’s Lunch Program” on Global Giving, link found here!
Additionally, please, do not hesitate to contact the International department (email@example.com) if you would like to learn more about DEPDC/GMS or if you have been looking for the right organization to volunteer with. We love hosting visitors, volunteers, and interns, and greatly appreciate any interest in fighting human trafficking of at-risk, vulnerable youth and children.
As always, thank you for your time and happy holidays!