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DEPDC Hosts Mekong Youth Network Conference in Udon Thani

Retreat rejuvenates teachers’ body and mind

Department of State Issues Record Number of Visas to Students to Study in the United States

DEPDC Hosts Mekong Youth Network Conference in Udon Thani

The Development Education Program for Daughters and Communities (DEPDC) is a non-profit community based education and human trafficking prevention NGO located in Mae Sai. DEPDC offers free education, a safe shelter and accommodation to at risk women and children in order to prevent their being trafficked into the sex industry or other exploitative labor situations. The organization also reaches out at the community level to raise awareness of human trafficking and the need for education and job training as preventative measures to trafficking. The Foundation for the Education of Rural Children (FERC) has supported the educational efforts of DEPDC through funds raised at its annual gala.

A volunteer worker speaks to participants on the dangers of human trafficking and the need for education and job training as preventative measures.

DEPDC has organized volunteer groups in the six countries that border the Mekong River. The Mekong Sub-Region, which is comprised of Myanmar, Laos, China, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, is known for its human trafficking networks. Thousand of adults and children, many from ethnic minority groups, are trafficked from these countries through Thailand into exploitative situations every year. The goal of the Mekong Youth Network is to train young leaders to combat human trafficking in all of its forms.
The MYN held a weeklong conference and training seminar at Huai Luang Reservoir outside of Udon Thani last week. Work focused on strengthening English language skills as well as problem solving and skills training for the volunteers.

Participants exchange views during at the discussion group session.


Retreat rejuvenates teachers’ body and mind

Archarn Varee Pattaravanitch, right, congratulates Nong Ying, Ms Ploypapas Thanachaikarn, a Mattayom 4 student, who was chosen as Miss Teen Thailand 2007, from the school in Chiang Mai during the retreat program.

Varee Chiang Mai School and Varee Kindergarten recently held its activities entitled the Varee Chiang Mai School Teacher Retreat Involvement in School Mission at Phu Ingfah Resort, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai with the aiming of developing minds and health of the teachers, so as to boost more visions on the education and work among them. 
Led by Archarn Varee Patravanitch, the school license owner, said that the retreat was the fifth to be organized, and this time Archarn Pakdee Wattanachantarakul was invited to be as a guest speaker during the retreat.


Department of State Issues Record Number of Visas to Students to Study in the United States

At the end of the International Education Week, which was held on November 12 – 16, Department of State of the United States of America announced that they had issued a record number of visas to students to study in the United States, which exceeded the pre-9/11 levels.
During the fiscal year 2007, the Department issued more than 651,000 student and exchange visitor visas – 10 percent more than last year and 90,000 more than were issued in fiscal year 2001.
As Secretary Rice noted, “In this celebration of international education and exchange, the U.S. Department of State joins with the U.S. Department of Education to highlight the critical role of education in our efforts to secure a bright future based on international partnership and understanding.”
“The number of foreign students attending American institutions of higher learning continues to grow and the Department of State, in partnership with the Institute of International Education, academic institutions, and American colleges and universities, continues to spread the word to international students that we welcome them. Embassy and consular officials meet with prospective foreign students to explain the student visa application requirements and process and they participate in overseas college fairs providing information about education opportunities available in the United States. All consulates offer special appointments in an effort to ensure that foreign students do not miss their classes in the United States while waiting for a visa interview. International students have heard us and are choosing the United States as a premier destination for higher education.”