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.


  • 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.


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.


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

Thank you for your donation and support to DEPDC/GMS in 2016

Someone once said that whatever we possess becomes of double value when we share it with others. Looking around us at the difference your support and donation have made to our projects, We know that to be true.

We really appreciate your support and donation in 2016
Wish that the new year bring to your warmth of love, and a light to guide your path towards a positive destination.
Happy New Year!


The Swimming Camp

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.



Human Rights Day

Human rights are today enshrined in international law. They’re no longer restricted to people with status and wealth, and have been designed to provide protection for everyone, especially the world’s most vulnerable people, namely women and children. However, we all know that the world isn’t a perfect place, and there are many issues which undermine the human rights that the people of the world have won.

Everyone's a winner

Poverty is a major issue. It creates environments in which crime, corruption and desperation can thrive. Impoverished people find themselves in positions where they feel that to survive they have to violate the rights of their fellow human beings, while others feel that to survive they have to accept that their rights are going to be violated.

Poverty is a core issue which has downstream effects on other issues as well. It can sharpen class divides, provoke and escalate animosities between people and groups, and encourage people to do what they must to get by, often with the consequence that women and children are viewed and treated as commodities to be used for the family’s financial benefit. This, of course, is largely the cause of human and child trafficking in the Greater Mekong Subregion and around the world.

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We all condemn actions which threaten and curtail human rights. But only by understanding the dynamics which generate these issues can we hope to address and eliminate them. Fortunately, DEPDC/GMS’s founder, Khun Sompop, realised 25 years ago, as others have also noted around the world, that education as a source of personal and community development and empowerment is the key to addressing poverty and eliminating the threats to human rights which it produces.

Our daughters and sons come to a safe place to learn, eat, play and grow. They gain the knowledge of history, science, maths, and language that they need to be informed citizens of the world. They practice the life skills that will enable them to look after themselves and live independently and self-sufficiently, such as cooking, understanding nutrition, sewing, building and repairs around the house. And they learn that they are all members of the same human race, equally entitled to the same rights and opportunities as each other. This is extremely important for all of our children, especially our young daughters.

Training the youth leaders of tomorrow

Bit by bit, day by day, child by child, this is how human rights are defended for the future. We couldn’t be prouder of our history of standing up for human rights, and we invite you to join us on the journey. 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, like our sustainable agriculture project or our lunch program. Thank you for reading and for keeping up with what’s going on at DEPDC/GMS, just keeping aware makes a meaningful difference.

Happy World Food Day!

Yesterday was World Food Day. With the issue of hunger a problem that affects many of the children we serve, we decided to write a little post to keep our readers informed. The day was announced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1979, first observed on October 16, 1981, and is a time to strengthen the political will to end hunger around the world. This is important not only in your own community or country but also around the world, because the solidarity which underlies the day is meant to grow and reach everyone and all hunger everywhere! It is one of the cogs in the machine that is working to one day eliminate hunger from the world and we are extremely happy to be talking about it.

 So, as we said, today is for talking about the issue of hunger and what we as a world community can do about it. To do our part, we wanted to take a little time out to talk about our lunch program at Half Day School. Food is important for kids. They need it to be able to play, and grow up healthy and strong. Sadly, many kids don’t have food to eat every day and may have to go hungry, including some of our kids at Half Day School. Indeed, many of our children who do have access to food at home either don’t eat breakfast in the mornings or still don’t get all the nutrition they need from the meals they’re given outside of school. 

In a recent post we mentioned that our lunch program gives kids a reliable meal Monday to Friday so they have energy to focus on learning and so they don’t have to worry about where their lunches will come from during the week. The meals are simple, but they give our students full bellies, big smiles and make a real difference in their physical and mental health, giving them one less thing to worry about in their daily lives. But it’s not always easy to pay for the food for the kids, so every donation made by you goes such a long way! 

We know hearing about these things is hard and it can feel like you’re too far away to have an impact, but you can do big things when lots of people work together in small but important ways. You could also help us continue to fund this amazing project by providing monetary donations and by following our Facebook and Twitter, using them to spread both awareness and information about our work to your friends and families. Thank you for reading! 

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