Peter’s International Volunteer Experience
The following is a review written by Peter, a former International Volunteer of DEPDC/GMS, who dedicated six months to working with children and youth at-risk of being trafficked into exploitative labour conditions, most notably the sex-industry:
“Let me start by saying that this is a great place to volunteer.
The administrative director, P’Noom (Somporn Khempetch), who was also named one of the 100 women of the year 2017 by the BBC, was my main contact while I was in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai. She helped me not only with getting started, but also with questions I had in day-to-day living in a new country. Other staff members tried to engage in conversation with me, despite that there is a bit of a language barrier.
The work I did consisted not only of teaching English to children aged 4-19 during the day, but also impoverished adults and high school students who wanted to expand their knowledge. Besides teaching, I got a chance to develop my administrative and writing skills. I helped write project proposals, maintained the social media profiles, conducted volunteer application interviews, and gave presentations about the organisation to visiting programs. These extra tasks prevented the time there from becoming monotonous, especially when I also got the chance to join the director and staff on training sessions and school outings. The director is also open in letting the volunteers offer an additional class if a person has such a specific class they would like to teach.
The staff is very friendly and caring. You can see that they all take that extra step to help not only the children, but also the volunteers. This is also noticeable in the vegetarian food they serve at the school and then supply the most impoverished of the children the leftovers and donated food.
The city is a great and safe place to be. Some people might look at you in amazement when you go into the rural areas, but it is always friendly. You can go and travel around by night and pop into a 7/11 for some food and nobody will bother you. I enjoyed the surrounding nature and after buying a cheap scooter I was able to explore it even further. I drank coffee from a mountain village where it was produced and met friends for life in a coffee place on Namon road. Unfortunately, I had to stop a month earlier than expected due to my career progressing in the time that I had spent there. I would say go and apply and have an experience you’ll never forget.”
– Peter, An International Volunteer
Thank you, Peter, for your generosity! We are grateful for the time you dedicated to helping the children of the Patak Half Day School and raising awareness of DEPDC/GMS’s mission! You are dearly missed by all the children and staff! Best wishes to you in your doctorate studies.