Children here in Thailand have their school summer holidays for 2 months and a half from early March until mid May. As usual, it is a long school break that every child anxiously looks forward to. For the children HSF works with under our Family Rehabilitation & Family Preservation Program at Nakhon branch office, of whom around 600 of them are under HSF educational support, the social workers always encourage them to spend quality time during their school holidays on purposefully planned activities either the ones organized by HSF or others of their own interests. In order for our colleagues working with children in other countries to get some ideas on what the children in Southern Thailand do during their school holidays, let us share with you some of the activities our children did during the most recent school summer holidays.
This is what nud; 15, wrote on his diary: “Hello, my name is Nud. I am a youth volunteer at HSF Learning Center for Children & Families in Tasala. During this school summer holidays, I attended a training program on Potential Development of the Core Volunteers on Prevention, Warning & Rehabilitation of the Community in Crisis from Disaster for 7 days and 6 nights. I learned about growing vegetables under the concept of sufficiency economy and practicing living in crisis. I was very excited to practice on rock climbing, swimming across an island and living on an island with no facilities. There were 2 activities that impressed me the most. Firstly, it was to swim across the island. Since I am not good at swimming, I had to swim about 500 meters to the island but I could swim only half way and reach the shore with help of my friends. Secondly, it was the first aid on a case of a broken leg that I learned the basic treatment, which could apply to do at home. For this training, I thought it was very useful. I could spend useful times during school holidays. It created a rewarding experience in my lifetime, which could not find in the classroom.”
“Our Water, Our Life” HSF organized a field trip for a number of 20 children under our educational support from Ban Sa Bua, which is a fishing community in Tasala District, to Ban Khiriwong in Lan Saka District. Khiriwong is the community on the mountain about 45 km far. The children learned the way of life of Ban Khiriwong, the headwaters community with plentiful resources of forests and orchards. Ban Khiriwong has been very well-known for the strengths of their villagers in helping to conserve the waterway that feeds them throughout the year. They gain an income from their fruit orchards as well as live a simple life according to the concept of sufficiency economy. The children could gain knowledge of the importance of the waterway from upstream in the mountain to downstream in the village. They were inspired to help caring for the nature because the water resource is a part of life.
Benefits from the vegetable garden
Pak-bung and Kung-nang aged 11 years are twin sisters going up to 5th grade this new school year. After school and at weekends, both help their mother selling vegetables at the market. When they were studying in the 4th grade, the parents started giving them some extra money in addition to their daily pocket money for their help on selling the vegetables. Since then, the girls have had savings in a bank. Both want to earn money on their own. Pak-bung said, “I will try to have savings up to 5,000 baht before finishing the 6th grade.” Kung-nang said, “I want to have a lot of money in order to be able to study in the high level”. Both sisters are members of HSF’s Kids Love Plants’ Club. During school holidays, they began growing young plants for selling such as eggplant and chili, etc. Their grandfather raises cows so the children can also have manure for selling at 40-50 baht per a sack. Their mother said, “I am very proud that my children developed the habit of saving, have goals in their life and can spend useful times. This is what they get apart from growing vegetables. Growing vegetables, plants and trees does not only provide pleasure or food but also train the children to love nature and share things with other people. It is really worth on learning.”
As for Hasan, his grandmother said that growing vegetables could change Hasan’s behavior. Previously, he dislikes doing housework and spent times only on watching TV. He rarely had interaction with his family members. After encouraging him to do the vegetable garden, Hasan likes and enjoys growing vegetables in various containers. When arriving home from school, the very first thing he always does is to water his vegetable garden. He also gains an income from selling the vegetables he grows. He can have his own pocket money without asking from his grandmother. He also saves some money in his piggy bank.
Time to do handicraft for our sponsors can be fun!
These beautiful artworks are made of paper in various forms such as hearts, flowers and butterflies, etc. that the children and parents did together during the school holidays with an intention to send to the sponsors in order to represent love and best wishes from all families under HSF program.