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
Our second term began at the Half Day School last Monday, October 31.
This 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.
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.
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.
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.
From 22nd to 24th of October, the Swimming Camp was held at the Swimming Home Shelter in Mae Chan with 150 children from five NGOs in the nearby Mekong region including students of DEPDC.
According to recent research, drowning death rates in the Mekong area are on the rise during the annual monsoon season due to rapid climate change. And three-quarters of the drowning victims are children. Therefore, Mekong regional organizations and NGOs took this issue seriously and decided to work together in a cooperative way to host the Swimming Camp in order to prevent drowning of children.
During the three days of swimming lessons, the students were separated three groups depending on their swimming abilities and learned from basic swimming skills to advanced swimming techniques. The beginner group practiced how to float on the water, flutter kicks and dives into the water. The intermediate group had learned efficient flutter kicks with a swimming kick board and basic freestyle form. Lastly, the advanced group did skillful swimming drills and learned how to dive off a starting block. Although some of the children could not dare to dive into the water on the first day, they were enjoying swimming on the last day.
Not only did the the children have a chance to learn basic swimming safety skills, but also they had valuable time to learn proper social ethics, how to use the internet and smartphones properly and effectively, as well as how to handle emergency situations such as earthquakes, floods and tsunamis. They also learned about children rights, sexual abuse and child labor through various interesting experiments and funny games. Moreover, they sang popular Thai songs together in the evening. Their songs were so energetic, so it was enough to make us happy and joyful.
In the camp, all of students were always well organized, cooperative, and showed community friendly behavior. The children also participated in every learning session with passionate engagement, they were able to grow in a short period of time. Thanks to their remarkable decent attitude, the camp ended successfully without mishap.
This Swimming Camp was so meaningful and worthwhile for everyone. Above all, the children will be able to save their own lives in a water-based emergency as they learned vital lifesaving skills. Also, NGOs and organizations in the nearby Mekong area were able to create strong bonds and move beyond mere cooperation and engage in true collaboration to solve problems and reach common goals against human trafficking. Despite everyone’s efforts, this swimming camp would not be able to continue without your support. If you would like to support the HDS or any other project at DEPDC, please visit our project page on GlobalGiving.
“Shan Life Skills and Family Issues”
Sound clip from the Shan programme on Child Voice Radio, our very own radio station at DEPDC/GMS. ‘Shan Life Skills and Familie Issues’ airs daily from 5.00 to 6.00pm on our local frequency FM 90.0 MHz.
The Shan are a Tai ethnic group of Southeast Asia. They live primarily in the Shan State of Myanmar (Burma), but also inhabit parts of Mandalay Division, Kachin State, and Kayin State, and in adjacent regions of China and Thailand. Though no reliable census has been taken in Myanmar since 1935, the Shan are estimated to number approximately 6 million.
Child Voice Radio (CVR) broadcasts to Mae Sai and the surrounding area. Alongside the issues of human trafficking and forced labour, the shows cover everything from AIDS awareness to Thai cooking and cater for a wide range in musical tastes, from local traditional music to Thai and Western artists. CVR provides a unique opportunity for our children and youth to have their voices heard in the community. Most shows are call-in shows where DeeJays and DeeJanes take calls from the community live on the show.
#11 in our series “ImPressed by DEPDC/GMS” featuring impressions from our children, youth and staff.