Category Archives: Visitors
For the past couple of weeks, we have had 28 international volunteers from both the university of Missouri and Daemen college in the US, and were busy working on building a tree house which will serve as a therapy shelter, painting a wall, helping with cooking, and teaching English to our children.
Two groups of international student volunteers came here at DPEDC with different programs, which were called KAYA and CIS Abroad. Both shared similar visions to support and help children from DEPDC as well as understanding about the current human trafficking situation alongside the Thai-Burmese border. International volunteers were split with tasks divided between teaching and construction works. During the teaching sessions, they provided opportunities for spontaneous interaction and fun challenges with various playful games, encouraging our students to be fully engaged in the English classes. These games evoked their learning motivation into learning English and maintained their interests and curiosity.
Moreover, our international volunteers contributed to repaint our school’s old wall and build a new tree house shelter, called the “Play Home in Nature” which will provide a therapeutic environment for our children like healing, personal development, personal discovery, and positive change.
We would like to thank our dedicated and passionate volunteers, as our children have had a great and joyful time with them. They have done amazing works help cleaning our class rooms and built a tree house therapy shelter. International student volunteers’ charities, supporting and helping are the greatest of all, because all of us are directly witnessing their good work and how these efforts have a powerful effect on people and society in general.
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. 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.
Someone once said that whatever we possess becomes of double value when we share it with others. Looking around us at the difference your support and donation have made to our projects, We know that to be true.
We really appreciate your support and donation in 2016
Wish that the new year bring to your warmth of love, and a light to guide your path towards a positive destination.
Happy New Year!
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…
On Thursday 12th and Friday 13th July DEPDC/GMS was visited by Liam Davies, a travelling film maker, studying Global Media studies in the UK. He has been travelling around Asia, making promotional documentary videos for charities, free of charge.
There was great excitement when Liam arrived on Thursday to teach six students from the youth group about filming and editing their own news reel. The morning consisted of the students researching news stories for the film they made which consisted of world news, entertainment news, a report on DEPDC/GMS and a look at Wat Doi Waw on of Mae Sai’s tourist attractions. Thanks to Liam they were able to try their hand at writing a script for the news reel, learning how to present and researching pictures and videos relating to their news story.
On the second day Liam taught the students how to use the professional video camera and set up the news room. The students then proceeded to take shots from around the DEPDC/GMS Mae Sai centre and Wat Doi Waw to use in their film. The afternoon was spent in the media room filming and putting all the pieces together.
Liam said that these were a great bunch of students to work with and that their filming and researching skills were excellent!
DEPDC/GMS and the students would like to say a big BIG thank you to Liam for sharing his skills and time with us! All children should be given the chance to have new and exciting experiences that challenge and inspire them.
This link will take you to our MYUTC youtube page to view the DEPDC news reel they produced!
Check out our album on facebook for more pictures!
At the end of this Half Day School (HDS) term, the students were able to participate in a DEPDC/GMS tradition – Annual Sports Day! Sports Day only happens once a year, and it is a day where the HDS students are broken up into teams and are given the chance to partake in some friendly competition. This year, Sports Day happened to occur while DEPDC/GMS was hosting two volunteer organizations. Volunteers from Generation Peace Academy (GPA) and Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) were able to participate, which provided the Half Day School students with even more fun than usual.
The day started out with an opening ceremony where some of the HDS students performed a skit and the GPA members performed an original dance number. Then there was an exchange of speeches and kind words from the directors of all organizations involved. After the opening ceremony had finished, we broke off into our teams. This year we had four teams competing: red, yellow, light blue, and dark blue. DEPDC/GMS staff and volunteers, GPA members, and WFWP volunteers were evenly split among the teams and allowed to participate in the events!
The teams were actively participating in competition for the entire day; students were either running around the field, partaking in events, or on the sidelines cheering on their teammates. And even towards the end of the day during the final competition, tug-of-war, no one seemed to tire or give up. While the yellow team did end up winning Sports Day, I think that it is safe to say that every team won! Snacks and prizes were handed out to all the participants after each event and again at the closing ceremony. Overall, it was a successful day for the students, GPA, WFWP, and the DEPDC/GMS staff!
At the end of February, DEPDC/GMS welcomed the Generation Peace Academy (GPA) – a Christian-based volunteer organization from the U.S. in cooperation with the Thai branch of the Women’s Federation for World Peace. We were delighted to host these groups along with Mr. John Gehring, GPA’s project coordinator, here with us for a week.
The group of 30 young people, aged 17-21, were here to help build a plant nursery along with planting seedlings as a part of an agricultural project. The nursery will be a great addition to the centre because it will be used to sprout seedlings and grow trees that will be planted for DEPDC/GMS’s use. The GPA group, along with the help of some of DEPDC/GMS staff, built the nursery in only a few days! The rest of GPA’s time, was spent working with the Half Day School (HDS) students. They spent a whole morning cooking a lunch and snacks with the children at the HDS. The food was delicious! The kids also enjoyed a whole day of activities taught by the GPA group including Frisbee, hip-hop and ballroom dancing, Taekwondo, English, origami, bracelet making and hair-braiding.
GPA strives to help build a better world by preparing the leaders of tomorrow through character development, service work and developing faith. As an educational and leadership training program, GPA has worked in many countries across the world.
GPA spent their last day participating in DEPDC/GMS’ annual sports day. It was a great opportunity for the HDS children, GPA and DEPDC/GMS staff and volunteers to get to know each other a little better by competing and having fun. All the teams actively engaged in the competition, running their hearts out and cheering their teammates on throughout the day, tiring but never giving up. At the end of the day, everyone reaped the rewards of their hard work taking home many tasty snacks provided as prizes for the games.
DEPDC/GMS would like to thank GPA for their hard work and participation and hope that they had a great time while visiting our headquarters here in Mae Sai. On behalf of everyone at DEPDC/GMS, we would to extend a warm thank you and wish you the best of luck in your future projects. Please come visit us again in the future!
Thailand celebrates wan dek, or Children’s Day, on the second Saturday of January every year. At our headquarters in Mae Sai, children from our Half Day School and other surrounding areas came to the Centre to celebrate the day with food, games, toys, and fun!
The morning started off with some of the students singing and dancing to Akha and Tai Lue songs in between games. We had special visitors from Childline Thailand Foundation (CTF)*, who came to celebrate the day with DEPDC/GMS and our children in Mae Sai. Donations for the day were made by different people and organizations, including food and snacks, toys, school supplies, jump ropes, and stuffed animals among many others!
After lunch, the singing and dancing continued, highlighting both groups and individual students from our Half Day School. The children had the opportunity to engage in various activities throughout the day: balloon-popping games, races, laughing contests, bracelet making, getting free hair cuts from a local beauty salon, and the most popular of all, playing on an inflatable moonbounce slide!
Laughter could be heard throughout the entire village surrounding our Centre as we honored the children at DEPDC/GMS. From all of us here in Mae Sai, we wish you a Happy Children’s Day and hope that your days are filled with as many smiles as ours!
**Childline Thailand Foundation (CTF) runs a nationwide 24-hour telephone helpline with an easy-to-remember number – 1387. Childline provides its services for any child under the age of 18. The foundation works with various government and NGO stakeholders to safeguard the rights of every child as outlined by the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC).
As the current school term was nearing an end for the Half Day School students, fun activities were arranged around exams to keep spirits high and stress levels low. Half Day School students had a unique visit preceding the first day of exams in early October. Michael (age 50), Ciska (age 50), Jesse (age 15), and Sammy (age 13) Verhage – a Dutch-Australian family – made a visit to DEPDC/GMS to speak to the students about their very interesting and unconventional lifestyle.
The Verhage family have been traveling the world by bicycle for numerous years. Michael and Ciska first discovered their joy of bicycle travel in 1989. Over the years, their family grew and international bicycle travel became a way of life for the Verhage family. To date, they have bicycled over 30,000 kilometers covering such areas of the world as: Australia; Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos); South America (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Columbia); South Africa; Europe (Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, France); and the United States. Their latest family bicycle tour started in September 2008 and they are currently back in Southeast Asia for more bicycle exploration!
After meeting one of our international volunteers in Chiang Mai last month, the Verhage family decided to cycle to Mae Sai to visit DEPDC/GMS’ headquarters, learn about our projects and meet our students. They gave a presentation about their traveling experiences around the world including numerous photographs and videos and also showed our students and staff their tandem bicycles and camping gear.
As we here at DEPDC/GMS had the unique opportunity and privilege to meet the Verhage family and learn about their incredibly interesting lifestyle, they, in turn, had the opportunity to learn about the work we do here at DEDPC/GMS and the problems we face in this border region. It was a wonderful and educational exchange for everyone involved and we are honored and grateful for the Verhage family’s visit. We wish Michael, Ciska, Jesse and Sammy the very best as they continue on in their adventures! Be safe and enjoy the ride!
For more about the Verhage family’s bicycle adventures, please visit their blog, Crazy Guy on a Bike.