Education for high mountain villages
No matter How Far, We’ll Reach
of Education Dr. Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech met with hilltribe students who
had taken part in the education project to aid residents of highland
By Nopniwat Krailerg
“No Matter How Far, We’ll Reach” is the government program to expand
educational opportunities into the high mountain villages of 17 Provinces in
the North that was held from 2008-2011. The Minister of Education Prof. Dr.
Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech presided over the opening ceremony of the
exhibition of the project at Lotus Hotel Pang Suan Kaew on September 29,
Dr. Suchart said that the project was a bid to give mountain villagers the
same opportunities in education as those in the city. Even the country’s one
child one tablet policy faces difficulties in these villages due to lack of
electricity. The Office of Basic Education vowed to continue to reach high
mountain wilderness areas, 24 districts and 62 schools with over 3,000
students participated in the project.
The Minister said that the project is fully supported, adding that it is
hoped that one day every child in the highlands will have access to a good
education and opportunities to attend university and achieve their dreams.
Community Service projects at Traidhos Three-Generation Community for Learning
By Joy Huss
Many visitors pass through Chiang Mai airport … but not all are tourists.
The Visiting Schools Program (VSP) based at Traidhos Three-Generation
Community welcomes over 3000 students a year. Students engage in a number of
programs to open their minds to new things, to challenge them physically and
to allow them to complete field-work or community service. One of our recent
schools was Yew Cheung International School (YCIS) from Hong Kong.
from Yew Chung International School in Hong Kong enjoyed their visit to
Chiang Mai and their community service project.
It was the second morning of the community service project with YCIS at the
Akha village of Huay Pong. Everyone had a new friend. The atmosphere was
alive, it was contagious and students were transforming before our very
eyes. What had changed since the previous day when we had been working just
as hard? I think it was the addition of so much laughter.
The previous evening we had been treated to a performance of traditional
Akha dances by the village children. In return, the students from Yew Chung
Hong Kong performed with true spirit and humour the side-splittingly funny
song and dance routines that they had been taught a few nights earlier by
the VSP staff. How the Akha kids laughed! The Akha boys returned the
compliment with a display of their breakdancing somersaults and backflips
that impressed the audience.
The next day continued with a new energy as the Akha and Yew Chung students
were keen to carry on the fun, realising that despite the many differences
between their two lives, at the end of the day everyone just wants to have
Yew Chung students were keen to practice some Thai words to communicate with
the Akha children and enjoyed teaching them endlessly useful English phrases
such as “Hi five!” It came as a surprise to the Yew Chung students that it
is not Thai, but rather the Akha language that is the villagers’ first
language. The building that they were painting and for which they were
making furniture would be used to teach Akha and Thai language, as well as a
place to learn the dances that we’d seen the night before. It is important
for the village to keep the Akha traditions alive and vibrant in the minds
of the children. This was something new for the Yew Chung kids as many of
them could see how the traditions of villages like this are fast dying out
as the struggle to develop countries imposes modern forms on the old.
Fittingly, the day ended with more dancing and singing in the finished
building and this only went to show how comfortable the Akha kids had become
around their new friends. When the time finally came to bid farewell it was
an emotional time for everyone involved and something that both parties
would remember for a long time.
Traidhos Programs give great value to the time that visiting students can
spend with local people here in Thailand. Each new meeting brings new
knowledge and insights in to the lives of people so strikingly different
from themselves. For almost all of the schools who join a Traidhos VSP
program, Community Service is their favourite experience! Building
friendships, discovering new cultures, working as a team and breaking out of
their comfort zones are just parts of the journey. Empowering the students
to provide new facilities, furniture, teaching resources or playgrounds that
will be used to improve the lives of many disadvantaged communities for
years to come, is an achievement that can never be taken away.
Coffee needs a home
Coffee is a gorgeous one year old chocolate
colored female that would make a great family pet. If you are interested
in Coffee please contact [email protected]
Hand to Paw Temple Dog Outreach is looking for a forever home for Wat
Huay Sai dog “Coffee”. Due to a recent mass killing of many of the dogs
at the temple from poisoning we are desperately searching for a loving
foster or permanent home for her safety. Coffee is just over one year
old. She is a small (10kg) short-haired, chocolate colored female;
rambunctious and full of energy. She would make a delightful family pet.
She gets on well with other dogs and children. She loves to chew on a
bone, to be held and pampered. Coffee has been sterilized and fully
vaccinated. If you are interested in Coffee please contact
Hand to Paw is a group of animal loving, service-oriented students from
the Prem Tinsulanonda International School who believe the temples are
an integral part of our community and the dogs that reside within those
grounds are a community responsibility. With love and care we hope to
provide these homeless street dogs a secure and healthy environment in
which to live. Our long-term goal is to educate both students and locals
against animal cruelty and stress the importance that dog
sterilizations, immunizations and basic healthcare can have on our
Required immunizations, sterilizations, medical and healthcare supplies
and emergency medical treatments are all paid for by Hand to Paw
fundraising efforts and donations from the public. We hope to spread the
word about this program so that other schools or individuals around
Thailand will follow our lead and adopt a temple to care for in their