By: Karsten Gillwald
How can you determine the wealth of a nation? Is it through something as simple as adding up all the money in the banks or evaluating the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)? Or is it through something else entirely? After spending a month in Thailand in some very remote locations, one thing stood out more than anything else: discrepancy in the equality of education. In Bangkok, there were several schools with beautiful buildings that looked well supplied and prepared to teach its students. Then, as we traveled to Kalasin, and later to the Ban Toong Ting school, two things happened, the overall poverty increased, and the accessibility to education decreased. In Kalasin, we visited several schools, all of which, with the exception of the Pattana School, were small, one or two room schools with many needs. The school in the Kokjaruen Village was a one room school, with a kitchen, and two bathrooms that is responsible for 40 students. Continue reading The Value of Education
By: Tiffany Henry and Katherine Stoner
As we reflect on the past month and all of our experiences in Thailand, two inspirational men stuck out to us. Mechai and Michael taught us the importance of thinking outside of the box and taking action.
The center we visited in Mae Sot is a non-profit organization that trains backpack medics. The goal of the backpack medic is to administer healthcare services to villages in Burma who have no access to medical care. The medics must travel long distances across strenuous terrain and courageously sneak into high risk conflict areas to help serve the people in these remote villages. They bring crucial medical supplies and educate the people on sustainable health care.
Continue reading Thinking Outside of the Box & Taking Action
By: Siri Wieringa and Kaylene Moulton
Today we went to the Learning Center in the village where there was a welcome ceremony. From Kaylene’s view point, there is no need for words to communicate. Although it would be a lot easier, I believe I connected with some of the Children on a whole different level. The children were very accepting of us being in the school and were so happy to see us. I don’t think I have ever felt so loved and welcomed by complete strangers. From Siri’s perspective, the learning center is the focal point of the entire village. The school provides a happy and secure environment that can build individuals who can help this village to survive.
Even though there is a language barrier, we found ways to communicate and connect with the children of the Learning Center and our host families. It seems that nonverbal communication could be more powerful than verbal communication. We were encouraged to play with the children and were immediately accepted. When I first walked into the school and sat on the floor with the children, this boy immediately came and sat in my lap. Even though we couldn’t speak to each other I felt so welcomed and so much more comfortable. With my host family, they do not speak any English and I believe that it has made us closer. We will try to speak to each other, especially the younger daughters, and since we can’t we look at each other really confused then just start laughing.
Continue reading The Learning Center