Creating positive change through service is a core component of the ISAK curriculum. To that end, all students participate in a variety of service initiatives. [email protected] is a long-term service project which aims to enhance educational opportunities for children in rural Thailand. The [email protected] team members are G-11 students, Belle, Pechdee, Jaymee, Kanna, Wesley, Hadi, Jim and Yuna. The group is advised by Ms. Hasham, ISAK’s History and Social Studies teacher. You can learn more about ISAK service projects here!
Over the February break, four members of [email protected] traveled to the Wat Sai Yoi Municipal 2 School in Cha-am, Thailand with Ms. Hasham to lay the groundwork for a return visit in October.
Team member, Belle (Class of 2017), explains the purpose of the trip and what the team has planned for the future in this interview:
What is the objective of [email protected]?
This project aims to broaden the horizons of children in the rural areas, starting from Thailand and hope for an expansion throughout the Southeast Asian regions. We hope to open another door for the student through fun and educational activities, with collaboration, sustainability and leadership!
How did you get connected to Wat Sai Yoi Municipal 2 School?
Initially, we planned to work with Mercy Centre, an orphanage in Bangkok. However, due to timing and scheduling, as well as the focus of the project, we were not able to move forward. Fortunately, our Thai project members had previously visited Wat Sai Yoi Municipal 2 School, which happens to be searching for broader opportunities and access for their students, particularly grades 5 and 7. The school and [email protected] were able to negotiate and came up with preliminary agreement, which is exciting for both parties.
Please tell us about some of your activities and accomplishments at Wat Sai Yoi.
We spent a day and a half in Wat Sai Yoi school. We have established the connection between us and the school, by going through the overall of the project, as well as interacting with students. We have also looked through the facilities of the school, and visited kindergarten (Kanna was dancing with them), elementary school (We were given an hour to teach basic English to the 4th graders), junior high school students (we participated in their English class, and helped them with their work). It was a memorable visit and we are looking forward to go back again to implement our Project AtHome’s camp in October.
How did you pay for the trip?
[email protected] and all of the other G-11 projects were designated a budget. We’ve planned our expenses out for the next three years. Part of our project will financed by the school, and part will be acquired through our team’s fundraising efforts. On this trip, we allotted Y50,000 from our budget for each member who participated.
Where did you stay while you were in Thailand?
For the first night and last night, I stayed at my house and the other members, including Ms. Hasham, stayed at Pechdee’s house. When we reached Cha-am, we rented an apartment in the local area for 2 nights.
Was this the first time to Thailand for anyone in your group?
Yes, this trip was the first time for Ms.Hasham to visit Thailand!
After this experience, what does the group hope to accomplish next?
Now that we have actually seen the local school, talked to teachers and students, and discussed the needs of the school, we feel like we can finally start with the real work. Together with the school, we came up with the idea of organizing an educational camp for the students, in which we will focus on teaching them English, environmental awareness and leadership. Coming up with concrete plans for the camp and actually running it is going to be quite a challenge, but all of us are very excited about the prospect of running our camp and having a meaningful week in October with the students from Wat Sai Yoi Municipal 2 School.
Click through this photo slider to see pictures from the trip. All photos credited to Pechdee, Class of 2017