Exams, end of term 2016/2017 working through the vacation and a call for volunteers

Exams and then on Thursday the 16th of March it was finally there again… the 2016/2017 school year at DEPDC’s Half Day School (HDS) has ended and our students began their holidays that will last until 15th of May. The teachers and administrative staff are wishing our students a happy holiday!

In the week preceding the vacation it was naturally time for their exams. They had exams in the main subjects and sometimes with surprising results. There were a few that really stood out amongst the rest, others showed the points were we as teachers could focus on in the next period. And then on Thursday they had a day of helping to clean the school terrain and have a little fun. There was shaved ice as a treat, of which some children went for a second, third and even a fourth portion. And we gave presents and gifts to our children for celebrating their achievements what they have done during this semester. IMG_1619

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IMG_1622And now the HDS is closed for the summer period. But seeing that a lot of children’s parents are still working, DEPC/GMS helps to relieve strain on the families by providing two weeks of extra classes in English and Mathematics. This is popular not only amongst our students, but also amongst those from other schools. 30 children are following these classes, which focuses more on the fun and joy of English and math.

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Even though the HDS is closed, DEPDC still functions as a community learning center and gives private English lessons to 2 high school students and 20 elementary school students. Besides this, there is a business focused English classes for an adult, who goes from Myanmar to Thailand 3 days a week specifically for these classes.

Swimming training and music activities will be done during the first week of April. Not only for the children of DEPC, but with other colleague organizations in the province. So you can see that despite the school year ending, we still stepping up and work towards a brighter future.

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But all this work cannot be done without our dedicated staff and volunteers. And a new school year also means that we are in need of new volunteers. Are you, or do you know a person that would like to dedicate their time and love in this great work into stopping human trafficking through education, please contact us and fill out our form at: https://depdcblog.wordpress.com/volunteer/mae-sai/

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The Annual Summer Camp

Last week was a rather fun week, as it was once again time for the annual summer camp. The children were camping overnight on the school grounds. Of course it was very exciting for them, as there were a lot of activities planned, they were all fun, but some with serious themes. This camp gave the opportunity to discuss the more serious topics, whilst being in a safe environment. One of the first activities for the older children was the second lesson in sexual health, again taught by the same organization as last time. All the children were given raw eggs with their names on them and at the end of the camp they would show that they were responsible and give them back in one piece. Most children did return them, but some eggs did fall on the ground. Later in the day it was time to set up the tents and roll out the mats to prepare for the night. Most children had a hard time getting to sleep, but none the less they had to wake up early the next day as they had swimming lessons.img_20170221_101031

img_20170221_154524img_20170221_095323The children were divided into 3 groups, depending on their swimming abilities. Some were quite good and remembered their previous lessons. But the most of the children had to start at the very beginning. Beginning with peddling the water, whilst sitting on the side of the pool and slowly building up to peddle across on a foam rubber floaty. At the end of the day some of the beginners were even able to swim on their own thanks to all the teachers and volunteers who helped them. After a long day of swimming the children returned to the school grounds, where they got meals and some extra treats. In the evening there was a campfire and in its light games were played. They started with a clapping song and then a form of musical chairs.8031980333dscf9575dscf9574

The last day started with a team work game, where they one by one had to turn around until they were dizzy and then cross the field to fill a bottle with water from a spoon. This was a great way for the children to wake up and get ready for a new day. After the lunch another serious topic was discussed namely, domestic violence. After a lesson on the topic and discussing examples they were divided in groups where they had to make posters on that subject.dscf9559

So now after these three day and two nights of fun activities, learning important life skills and being able to discuss the harder subjects the camp came to a close. Once again we can look back on a successful camp and we are reminded on how we are able to do these thing thanks to your donations. That’s why we would like to thank you all for your support.dscf9597-2

Education is the key

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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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2017 International Student Volunteers

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.

img_0929Two 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.

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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.

img_0951    img_0952img_0950img_0955    img_094616106077_1318268428195337_3019901780444002242_nWe 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.16106063_1317698694918977_7451770073537731428_nimg_094816003161_1317699108252269_8328957234247479823_n

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.

Children’s Day 2017 in Thailand

On Friday, January 13th, we celebrated National Children’s Day (Wan Dek) in Thailand at DEPDC Mae Sai. Everyone had a great and enjoyable day with lots of funny games and joyful performances, and marvelous gifts. Below photos are a brief description of how we spent the day. img_0966Before staring the children’s day celebration, everyone prepared a small gift, marked number on them, and exchange them later in the day. Students played all sorts of games, drew numbers in order to win prizes, and ate lots of sweets. Many of the children performed dances, sang lovely songs for everyone. Thanks to International university volunteers, we had various events, games and performances and lot of gifts for our children. A fun time was had by all, especially our students, as you can see in our photos!

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Children’s Day is not simple a day to celebrate children for who they are, but also to bring awareness to children around the world that have succumbed to violence in forms of conflict, violence, abuse, human trafficking, child prostitution, exploitation and discrimination. In Thailand, every year has a different motto for celebrating children’s day, and the motto for 2017 Children’s Day is “Thai Children who pay attention to study, will bring about national stability.” As this year’s motto, the entire staffs of DEPDC are doing our best for teaching children well and preventing them from human trafficking and children abuse.img_1160

We get our own Musical Instrument, Khlui

Last week, Khun Sompop made a traditional Thai bamboo flute for the all  students and teachers in DEPDC/GMS.

Khun Sompop Jantraka is well-known for being a great leader and educator, not only for fighting against the sexual exploitation and trafficking of women and children, but also for protecting the rights of the child. But many people do not know he is a great musician too. He was a musician in a band and he used to sell a traditional Thai bamboo flute, Khlui that he made to make a living (More Information about Khlui).

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Still now, he is a great musician and both encourages and inspires HDS students to learn music. Based on his experience, he made Khlui with more than 10 year old bamboo for all of the students and teachers in DEDPC/GMS. Many researches have revealed music education can help children relax, develop emotional intelligence, understand complex emotions related to specific events or situations, and enhance adolescent brain development. But above all else, our children were so happy and excited to have their own musical instruments to play their own melodies. You can see their happy faces below in the pictures.  

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Jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker once said, “Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” Khun sompop may understand that inspiring quote better than anyone. All children deserve to have music in their lives! Thanks to his great lesson and his Khlui, we are sure that our children will have a better quality of life.

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We would like to thank you for all your support and help. Us here at DEPDC would not be able to continue our work of educating our students without your support. If you would like to support the HDS or any other project at DEPDC, please visit our project page at GlobalGiving.

The YALL Art Project begins

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 )14249890_1225611620824826_6985526399771123205_o

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 

Harvest our organic rice

Last week at the Half Day School, the all students and teachers came together and harvested our organic rice crop.

15356716_1272578382764342_5476025180768527935_nThis harvest activity is providing children with access to nutritious, high quality local foods at the same time enriching their connection to local cultures by learning traditional farming techniques. Also, children had been learning about the rice plant and its growing cycle, the advantages of following a simple nutritious diet as well as working on art projects to gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty of the plant. Next year we are hoping for a better harvest.

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The New Term has Begun!

Our second term began at the Half Day School last Monday, October 31.

dsc01422This beginning of term was a beam of light in this dark time the nation is facing. Seeing the smiling faces of all of our students coming back showed the joy that there is for the future. With three new students joining us, we have 42 students this term.

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Our students were re-divided into four classes, A through D. The teachers are hopeful that these smaller classes will help our students to learn more. Their vocational training classes also became smaller and the students have been able to have more one on one attention in their afternoon activities.

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The students also had some added activities in these past two weeks to allow for mourning and reflection on the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Last Friday afternoon, all the students and staff joined together to honor His Majesty in a ceremony. Some of the older students have also spent a few afternoons viewing old videos of His Majesty and are still deeply saddened by his passing.

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We would like to thank all of our supporters for their kindness and generosity. This new term would not have been possible without you and we are forever grateful. If you would like to support the Half Day School, please check out our GlobalGiving page here.

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