ACADEMIA NUTS
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Foreign students teach Thai massage to disadvantaged kids

Dusit D2 hotel staff make underprivileged children’s day

A Day of Discovery at Prem Tinsulanonda International School

Foreign students teach Thai massage to disadvantaged kids

Students and teachers at Suksa Song Kroh School
with the ITM foreign students and their teachers.

George Powell
During the weekend of September 13/14, the International Training Massage School (ITM) visited Suksa Song Kroh School in Chiang Mai with the aim of teaching disadvantaged kids the art of Thai Massage.
Suksa Song Kroh School, located near Nakornping Hospital, looks after 960 children from various backgrounds. Some are from Hill Tribe villages, some from poor Thai families, some are orphans and some have social problems. Also housed are children who have been in trouble with the law and are awaiting their sentences. Adisorn Phuangtong, the director of the school, is committed to teaching the children skills which will be of use to them in their adult lives as well as delivering the basic curriculum. Traditional Thai massage and other trainings will enable students to find jobs when they leave the school.
ITM holds various courses, including teacher training, at their centre on Morakot Road, Hai Yaek Santitham, Chiang Mai. For the weekend visit to the school, 4 teachers and 18 foreign students who were just finishing their courses were invited along for an opportunity to use the knowledge they had gained in order to teach Thai Massage to 32 kids. The weekend proved so popular that four of the teachers from the school became willing students along with the kids. As Kate, who organised the event, said, ‘It’s great to give something back – everyone is happy. Plus, hopefully, we have given some of these kids a future.’


Dusit D2 hotel staff make underprivileged children’s day

Everyone agreed
the spaghetti tasted yummy.

George Powell
Recently, representatives of the management and employees of the Dusit D2 Hotel in Chiang Mai visited the Integrated Ministries for Ethnic Minorities Foundation in T. Nong Pra-theep in order to make a donation to the foundation’s ‘House of Love’ project’s building fund. The children the foundation supports come from differing and distressing family backgrounds which include violence, the absence of parents, HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, and physical and emotional abuse. During their visit, the Dusit D2 representatives provided a delicious lunchtime treat for children from poverty-stricken ethnic minority families attending the foundation’s House of Blessing day care facility. Everyone agreed that the day’s visit had been a great success.


A Day of Discovery at Prem Tinsulanonda International School

Jean-Pierre Kirkland
On Tuesday September 9, students from Prem Tinsulanonda International School, Mae Rim, involved themselves in a “whole school” initiative which included the local community.
Each term, Prem’s senior school students participate in a ‘Day Out’ where they learn from experiences outside their normal classes. Linking in to curriculum issues, students went out into the local area or welcomed visitors from the community to their premises. Initiatives included groups visiting the elephant village, going to a local Thai cookery school and welcoming local people from the villages to the school, where they were taught Information Technology skills, art techniques and sporting activities by the students.
Of particular note was the involvement of Grade 10 (aged 15) students in aspects of health education often sadly neglected at this crucial point in their development – namely, increased awareness of drugs and alcohol misuse. The school planned a highly successful day, with students spending time in a local prison talking to inmates serving sentences which had resulted from offences related to alcohol and drug abuse being committed. Students, in groups of three, interviewed individual prisoners and learnt about the mistakes they had made and the often long term prison sentences meted out by the courts. Students said this was a fascinating and interesting first hand insight into an aspect of life frequently forgotten or ignored. The students also had opportunities to learn about and discuss the work done by the Mae Rim Drugs Rehabilitation Unit from two of its psychologists who specialized in this field. Members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) talked to the students about how alcohol, at some earlier point, had ruined their lives, and how, through AA, they had recovered to lead a more normal existence. Overall, the students said that they had gained a lot from the day, particularly about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, the way it affected not just the addict but the whole family, and how the government and other organizations were both dealing with offenders and helping those who were willing to be helped.
This crucial aspect of health education is one often neglected in schools – it is excellent news that Prem places such a high emphasis on these life threatening and sadly increasing problems. More importantly, it shows great initiative when a school involves the whole community in its work, benefiting the students by hearing about first hand experiences and showing others living and working locally that young people do care about life at all its levels within the community.