Foreign students teach Thai
massage to disadvantaged kids
Students and teachers at Suksa Song Kroh
with the ITM foreign students and their teachers.
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
the spaghetti tasted yummy.
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
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.