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Education for high mountain villages

No matter How Far, We’ll Reach

The Minister of Education Dr. Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech met with hilltribe students who had taken part in the education project to aid residents of highland villages.

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, 2012.
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.

Students 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 fun!

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 [email protected]
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 community.
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 community.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]]

Education for high mountain villages

Community Service projects at Traidhos Three-Generation Community for Learning

Coffee needs a home