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
Last week at the Half Day School, the all students and teachers came together and harvested our organic rice crop.
This 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.
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.
This past Monday, November 14, on the evening of the full moon of the 12th lunar calendar month, Loi Krathong was celebrated.
Loi Krathong is an annual celebration taking place in November. Originating as a Indic festival, it was around 150 years ago that it was adopted by Buddhists under the ruling of King Mongkut (Rama IV). In this version of the festival, people make various lanterns and other vessels to float lights down the rivers, symbolizing the release of bad luck and misfortune.
These vessels are known as krathongs. They are traditionally made from banana leaves and wood, and are decorated with flowers, a candle and incense. It is also known to put a coin, or even some hair or a nail clipping, in the krathong.
Another tradition here in Northern Thailand is Yee Peng. Very similar to Loi Krathong, Yee Peng is the celebration of the full moon of the second month of the old Lanna calendar. With this festival, people hang or send off beautiful illuminated lanterns. As with the krathongs, these lanterns are a way to discard bad fortune.
Here at the Half Day School, the students spent the afternoon Monday making krathongs out of paper. By taking 12 pieces of paper, by folding them intricately, the students created flower shaped krathongs to send down the river with their families later that night.
To learn more about Loi Krathong and Yee Peng, read more here.