Beginning of the rainy season

As some of you all know, two weeks ago the rainy season has started. And that means, you’ve guessed it, rain.  After months with lots of sun and heat, the rain is welcomed like an old friend. The temperature is going down during the rain, but after it quickly rises again. The storm blows away the smoke that accumulates in this valley, which you can notice in the behavior of the children. They are more active and the boys are more active in playing football outside.1495696953405

The rain unfortunately also comes to show the repairs that needed to be done. During the first storm a tree fall down and took down a phone pole, fortunately it was quickly repaired by some local volunteers.  However the rain in the next days showed the holes in parts of the roof. Fortunately the holes aren’t located in a classroom, but it is causing a lot of water in the corridors. As can be seen in the pictures, the rain really pours down.  Repairs are needed; however this unfortunately does cost money. That is why we reach out to you all, our trusted readers and donators, in hope you will help repair the roof with your donations.1495696956281

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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

The Annual Sports Day

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A tradition here at DEPDC is the annual sports day, a day that allows the children to exercise and learn important skills. Skills like teamwork, discipline and respect. The children were divided into two teams, the black and the blue team for which they cheered fiercely.img_1189

This year’s Sports Day included the usual activities such as the sprint, sack hop and the spoon race. There were also some less conventional games, like a game where a Ping-Pong ball needed to be hit across the Finnish line by hitting it with a bottle of water on a string around their hips; a hurdle run, where every hurdle was something to do or eat.  The games started and all the students cheered on their classmates as they ran, hopped, and occasionally ate their way across the finish line. And even towards the end of the day during the final competition, tug-of-war, no one seemed to tire or give up.  Snacks were distributed to all the participants after each event and again at the closing ceremony.

img_1254At the end of the day, we recognized our winning team, had closing ceremonies, and sent the kids off happy from their day’s exertions and fun.img_1227

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.

Work Productions Participatory and Integral Learning Program

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.

photopicpic-3Just 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.

 

Meet an International Intern: Midori

Hello, my name is Midori. I am learning about international society at a Japanese university, and I have been studying abroad in Chiang Mai this August. Because I’m interested in children’s education, I have chosen to expanded my studies at DEPDC for about 2 month. To receive an education is a right equally given to children, and children can notice their favorite things and their existence value by receiving an education. Actually, I am one of them.

untitledThe children of DEPDC are very fun, bright and I live with a few of them here at the school. Although it is a limited time, I would like to fulfill my time spending it with my children. I would like to learn about myself at DEPDC and make use of it for my future learning.

Meet an International Volunteer: Theodora

The International Department would like to introduce Theodora. She joined our organization this past month. Theodora is from Brussels, Belgium and has been living in Bangkok for the last 6 years. Following her Master’s degree in International Relations in 2013 from Webster University, she has spent her time working in the environmental sector both in Thailand and Hong Kong. She has recently completed a two-year work experience in wildlife conservation issues for a Bangkok-based anti-wildlife and anti-human trafficking non-governmental organization where she co-worked on projects that provide legal-based solutions to combat transnational wildlife trafficking in Southeast Asia.

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“While studying my Master’s in Bangkok a couple of years ago, I experienced my first exposure to the issues of both wildlife and human trafficking. Throughout the years I became even more aware of the extensive atrocities committed in the region in total impunity. It is then that I decided I wanted to work on projects that are geared towards helping to save endangered wildlife and humans from the growing problem of trafficking.”

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DEPDC definitely caught my eye. The organization has been around for so many years now, having as main objective to tackle child prostitution and child labor by providing alternative education to girls at high risk of exploitation up north. I was very much impressed by its achievements and it was then that I decided I would join the team, and leave Bangkok for a short while.”

End of Term at HDS

Last Friday marked the end of term here at HDS. After a full semester the students spent the week taking their exams and enjoying their last week.

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Since studying, and playing, hard since May, all of our students passed their mid-year exams and are taking a well deserved break. Our teachers corrected their exams and are also taking a holiday as well during this month. This past semester has been filled to the brim. From concerts, to guests, to new volunteers arriving and old volunteers leaving, there has been no shortage of excitement this term.

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On October 31st the new term will start up and we are looking forward to see all of our students back and hope that they will be as successful during the second part of the year as during the first part.

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We would like to thank all that have helped and supported during this past term. 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.

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