Category Archives: Volunteers
Volunteering at DEPDC can be very rewarding for the volunteer, DEDPC staff and the children. Volunteers are always welcome at our main DEPDC site in Mae Sai or our other centre in Chiang Kong. We have had volunteers from America, Canada, Europe and Japan and some have stayed for up to 3 years. There are approximately six foreign volunteers at any one time here who stay for 6 months or more.
The 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.
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.
Last week we had many special educational activities and classes for our children.
Aside from our regular classes, our children have creative and special classes such as creating and playing musical instruments and art & drawing classes. Each of these unique classes aimed to inspire their creative entitlement and help creating an emotional rounded person with a deeper sense of identity. As this organization aims to prevent children to fall victim of sex-traffickers, it is important to talk about this subject. This starts with basic understanding of another subject that we have to teach, namely ‘Sexual and reproductive health’.
- Sexual and reproductive health
A specialized organization came to teach sexual and reproductive health education. The sexuality education class taught our students the names of the sexual parts of the body and bodily functions in order to help them to communicate more clearly and thus contributes to their safety and wellbeing. But also more difficult subjects have been discussed, such as intimate relationships, sexual orientation, abstinence and contraception. And most important, the children were thought reproductive rights and responsibilities, to help prevent and reduce the risks of adolescent pregnancy, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections. Hence, ultimately they will be able to protect themselves from human trafficking in Greater Mekong Region.
- Music class with Khlui
Since our children got their own traditional Thai bamboo flute, the Khlui, they have learned note reading and finger placement. So they are able to not only make beautiful sounds, but also play simple music completely. As they found their own voices and practice it patiently, we will soon hear beautiful traditional Khlui songs.
- Art & drawing Class
The photograph class finished successfully and we are so proud of the amazing accomplishments and grateful for the amazing volunteer teachers. Through their camera lenses, they would understand their worlds, its people and they have learned how to communicate this to the outside world through a different form of communication. After the photograph class, our children have started the mural painting of some of their pictures. The students will select their favorite photos and paint on the wall their own story and view.
Check out the below video clip how they made great photos.
Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese artist, philosopher and writer said that education is a bow, and child is a living arrow which can be sent forth. We have a strong faith in that our education will decide a major part of our children’s future lives and their quality of happiness. Education is the key to prevent human trafficking and it can cut the link of poverty in this generation. Therefore, as the archer, we will target at the path of infinite, shot our precious arrows to go swift and far, and admire the trajectory of arrow silently and patiently.
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.
Danny DeBlasio and Catherine Hart, cofounders of The YALL Art Project came to DEPDC/GMS in the last week and start their project from this week. 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. (More information and donation about The YALL Art Project )
They are teaching and guiding our students taking photographs and ends with a collective mural inspired by their images for six weeks. Each student will be given their own camera and guided through a series of exercises. After the group of students will be challenged to collaborate on a mural inspired by the learning from their photographs. Not only we are highly looking forward to see our marvelous artistic achievement, but also we are expecting our students to find their authentic voice and individual self-expression as well as to know each other’s voices, perspectives, and ideas.
Please check out their first Video clip
During these past 4 weeks at HDS, DEPDC students received the company of Sun students to attend a class activity taught by Phor Sompop’s daughter which focused on life skills, where learning how to gain self-esteem and life philosophy teachings were at the center of class discussions.
The first chapter of the exercise was for the students to choose and cleanup the scraps of wood on which they would be able to write the quote.
The second chapter focused on the students’ presentation in which they explained why they decided to choose that quote in particular. This exercise had as main goal to help them develop their speaking skills in front of an audience.
The final chapter of the exercise focused on how the students exchanged their thoughts and opinions in front of the class.
This task taught them the concept of critical thinking and how, as a fact, develop research skills. They learned how to check various sources of information using resource books, going from the Buddhist teachings to the teachings of the Bible, and readings from different ethnic cultures.
The motivation behind such a class was that, taking note of the many important topics and concepts such as tolerance, prestige, love, the environment and poverty can teach children think for themselves. It teaches them how to effectively participate in class and to be assertive in their work.
Just by amusing children with the often both entertaining and meaningful life philosophy teachings, you may give them an edge in becoming generous, compassionate, virtuous, responsible, and self-reflecting beings.
Hello, my name is Midori. I am learning about international society at a Japanese university, and I have been studying abroad in Chiang Mai this August. Because I’m interested in children’s education, I have chosen to expanded my studies at DEPDC for about 2 month. To receive an education is a right equally given to children, and children can notice their favorite things and their existence value by receiving an education. Actually, I am one of them.
The children of DEPDC are very fun, bright and I live with a few of them here at the school. Although it is a limited time, I would like to fulfill my time spending it with my children. I would like to learn about myself at DEPDC and make use of it for my future learning.
The International Department would like to introduce Theodora. She joined our organization this past month. Theodora is from Brussels, Belgium and has been living in Bangkok for the last 6 years. Following her Master’s degree in International Relations in 2013 from Webster University, she has spent her time working in the environmental sector both in Thailand and Hong Kong. She has recently completed a two-year work experience in wildlife conservation issues for a Bangkok-based anti-wildlife and anti-human trafficking non-governmental organization where she co-worked on projects that provide legal-based solutions to combat transnational wildlife trafficking in Southeast Asia.
“While studying my Master’s in Bangkok a couple of years ago, I experienced my first exposure to the issues of both wildlife and human trafficking. Throughout the years I became even more aware of the extensive atrocities committed in the region in total impunity. It is then that I decided I wanted to work on projects that are geared towards helping to save endangered wildlife and humans from the growing problem of trafficking.”
DEPDC definitely caught my eye. The organization has been around for so many years now, having as main objective to tackle child prostitution and child labor by providing alternative education to girls at high risk of exploitation up north. I was very much impressed by its achievements and it was then that I decided I would join the team, and leave Bangkok for a short while.”