September 2019 Newsletter
The event was held to give farewell ceremonies to the departing spirits of the deceased families at the end of the tenth lunar month. This peak event was part of earlier small rituals held at Buddhist temples across Thailand at the beginning of the same lunar month (on 13 September) when spirits of the deceased were welcomed for a 2-week stay at homes. During that time, the living families obliged to do good deeds and merits as the spirits looked over them at all times. Today was the end of that stay. To respect the departing spirits, families and villages performed various farewell festivities.
In Kapong, villages prepared colorfully designed offerings and carried them on palanquins in a parade. Along the way, the participants sang songs, struck gongs, and lit firecrackers. The loud, deafening sounds were part of the enthusiasm.
In the evening, the crowds flocked the local market especially opened for this event and where families bought favorite cakes or cookies and later presented them as offerings. And at that market, the district also held creative competitions like singing, dancing, and storytelling for anyone. Here our children won a first-place prize in aerobic dance.
Cultural events like this one are embedded in Thai communities. However, different places celebrate them differently. If you want to see other events in Kapong, contact us at email@example.com as we can accommodate your stay here and provide you with the information.
Khun Koji, a lecturer in aviation management at JF Oberlin, brought another group of his students. Good at spoken English, these Japanese students could take part in many school activities.
Some students joined kindergarten classes, where our international volunteers also taught. Others were in English and art classes. And they also helped Khun Koji and his wife cook Japanese foods and desserts for the children.
On Sunday, accompanied by Yaowawit’s children, the group bought some food at a local market and ate it at a nearby waterfall in an outdoor picnic. Then when they got back at Yaowawit, they played various fun activities like hide-and-seek games with the kindergartens, dancing and sing-along as well as swimming together with the primary school students in our outdoor pool.
If your group wants to do fun, educational activities with Yaowawit’s students, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our students always look forward to filling in their free time with such activities.
Funded by Kapong district, the workshop team went to all schools in Kapong to educate students about the prevention of drug abuse. Today the team, consisted of local police officers, arrived at Yaowawit.
The key point of the workshop was to help the students realize the dangers of drug abuse through various real cases in several presentations. As this workshop was also part of the To Be Number One program sponsored and popularized by Princess Ubolratana (a sister of the current King of Thailand), the activities thus included various interactive dancing and sing-along sessions, which were performed by the participants including the teachers and police officers.
With a lot of such fun sessions, the children enjoyed the workshop and hopefully also developed a deep understanding of the prevention guidelines and messages that the police officers sang to them. The workshop is a continual event, and the police officers will come back and repeat their messages next time. And Yaowawit’s family also helps drill in the messages to the children. As they are growing up, they must know how they can empower themselves to stay clear from any drug abuse.
The education ministry holds an annual talent competition in various skill categories, from Thai poem recitation to digital drawing, for school students. The competition starts first in a district level, then in a provincial level, and finally in a national level.
Forty-five of our students, who wanted to try their talents, competed in 15 categories in Kapong district. They won first-places in 10 categories including aerobic dance. And on 21 September, they (then only 32 students left) went to Phang Nga province to compete against other students from 50 other schools.
Our students won the first place in aerobic dance, and the team got an invitation for a national level competition in January 2020. However, our other students most won second or third places, which were not bad because we managed to get more students to the competition this year than we did last year.
We hope a competition like this will continue to inspire our students to study hard, evaluate themselves, and improve their skills. They must train themselves to be lifelong learners.
Today Yaowawit hosted a drowning prevention session with 15 kindergarten children from Kapong’s Child Development Center and their parents. This training session is part of Yaowawit’s outreach program as a community in Kapong.
On weekends, many children and their parents from the villages in Kapong often come to our swimming pool. To make sure they know the safety procedure, we gave them this training to prevent any drowning incident, or what to do if such an incident ever happens.
Helped by our selected grade-6 students, our sports teacher informed the parents about the structure of the swimming pool including its depth and length, showed them how to go in and out of the pool, and demonstrated best practices to rescue a child who was drowning. After the training, the parents and their children then went on swimming as usual.
Aside from swimming, our pool can also be used as a place for an outdoor evening event like a party by the pool. A restaurant (although inoperational at the moment) equipped with a stove for pizza making is just next to the pool. Surrounded by a green area, the pool is a place for relaxation and chitchats with friends. For any further information, please contact us at email@example.com.
A group of nursing students from Phang Nga Child and Elderly Care School organized Yaowawit’s grades 4-6 students for the event. It began with a guessing game of “what is what” based on the photos shown on the laptop. Then a short tutorial about the risk of accidents that often happens to a child followed.
Accidental falls from running could lead to all kinds of wounds. The nursing students showed how our children could take care of their friends if any got into an accident. The care demonstrations were performed in various accident scenarios. Once the tutorials were done, the nursing students played several fun games with our children, such as egg-on-spoons race, group dancing, and sing-along.
As requested, the event was entirely planned, organized, and sponsored by these nursing students. They brought with them snacks, cookies, food, and drinks for the participants. And the children, who did not join the event, got ice creams and snacks at the end of the event.
If your group wants to do any such educational activities with our children, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can discuss your plan for the event.