A (Temporary) Farewell to New Friends & Teachers from Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Youth Expedition Project (YEP) returned to Singapore today after a two week stay at DEPDC/GMS’s Coordination Centre and Half Day School in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai, Thailand.
Last Photos and Goodbyes
Twenty-seven students and their three team leaders spent the last 14 days renovating the Patak Half Day School, teaching English in individualized groups, and leading team and character building exercises. These were tasks undoubtedly expected when they signed up to spend their Spring break volunteering abroad. They most likely did not expect to bond so quickly to other youths from Mae Sai, Thailand and Shan State, Myanmar. In the final hours of their journey, it was evident that meaningful relationships had been formed and a farewell would not be welcomed nor easy for YEP volunteers and the Half Day School and SYSTERM students. Many shared contact information, hugs, and tears as they said goodbye to their new friends early this morning.
But during this time, it is important to remember the last week of their journey and the many ways in which they taught and learned from the many youth attending DEPDC/GMS’s program.
Last Saturday, YEP and SYSTERM students visited the Hall of Opium Museum in the Golden Triangle National Park. Here they learned about the history of the Golden Triangle, the opium war, drug trafficking, the fight against opium and poppy growing, and the steps taken to improve the living conditions of the ethnic minority groups who lived in this world famous drug trafficking region. The students enjoyed the opportunity explore outside the DEPDC/GMS Centre and to learn alongside their peers.
On Monday, YEP students organized a community celebration to mark the end of their journey. The students were able to share their culture’s mutual love for the culinary and performance arts. SYSTERM, Half Day School, and YEP students performed traditional dances and sung songs which they felt represented their nation and/or state. Each group cooked a dessert and savory dish or two that allowed the students to taste something unique from their new friends’ world.
As always, thank you for your time reading our update! We are excited to see what the future holds with our new friends from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and invite you to join us as well in our mission to combat human trafficking along the Thai-Myanmar border in Northern Thailand.
Dear YEP Leaders and Students:
On behalf of the entire DEPDC/GMS team, SYSTERM and Half Day School students,thank you for the many hours of planning and hard work, but most importantly, thank you for your sincere generosity and willingness to open your minds and hearts to the youth at DEPDC/GMS.
We hope to see some familiar faces during NAP’s next Youth Expedition Project in September or on your own volunteer trips. Until we meet again, we wish you the best of luck on the road through your academic and life journey. Remember that you always have a home in Mae Sai, Thailand and in the hearts of those you touched during your 2018 Youth Expedition Project.
Support DEPDC/GMS’s mission to prevent human trafficking and other forms of exploitation of ethnic minority groups who live along the Thai-Myanmar border through online donations or volunteering. Donations can be given using PayPal, Global Giving, and other tax deductible methods. Email the International Department at firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries.