May 2019 Newsletter
Thailand. The mere mention of the name conjures up images of white sandy beaches, great food, and luxurious hotels. But there is another side to this country and culture – one that is deep rooted in the Buddhist tradition of doing good, helping others, and giving back to society.
For many travelers, this side of Thailand is seldom seen, but if you are looking for a genuine experience to connect with real Thai people, then consider Yaowawit Lodge in Phang Nga, Thailand.
Yaowawit Lodge is a 15-room hotel in the middle of a rainforest surrounded by nature and a world away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The lodge was built to support Yaowawit School and is home to 140 Thai children from disadvantaged families. The school provides children ranging in age from 4-18 years with a home, education, and life skills to break the cycle of poverty into which they were born.
The Lodge is modern and comfortable and located close to villages where locals live relatively uninfluenced by modern life and lifestyles. Staying here is a total immersion experience where you live in nature, eat real Thai food, and are surround by the smiles and laughter of locals who happily welcome you into their lives. As one guest wrote in Trip Advisor, “Being a guest at the Yaowawit Lodge was a wonderfully moving experience. This was one of my nicest holidays ever. Everybody made me feel so welcome, and I feel privileged to have learned so much more about the Thai culture.”
If you are looking for an escape from the ordinary and want to experience something extraordinary, then a side visit to Yaowawit Lodge awaits. It is not for everyone, but those that make the effort are rewarded with memories that last a lifetime. You will return to “civilization” feeling better, and isn’t that what a holiday is all about?
Banbangneaw School sent another group of students for our English Camp before the start of a school term. We always strive to make the camp activities different from any regular school activities, so many outdoors activities covered the topics about environment and pollution, clean and free energy, and the weather patterns in addition to hands-on permaculture workshops.
Although it repeatedly rained during the days, the groups managed to seize every moment of clear skies to be outdoor. The classes took place in the farm, school ground, swimming pool, and theatre area. This time permaculture workshops were held in the theatre area in which the lessons included making seed balls, goat milk soap, floral decorations on paper, and papaya salads followed by a cooking contest for a title of Junior Masterchef.
The event was also enriched with various games, sports, and dances. In the end, the rain did not limit the English Camp activities but kept the groups close together making them practise their English even more intensively. If your school is also interested in our English Camp, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The camp programme can be customised to meet your school’s goal.
After learning about Yaowawit through a friend, the staff and General Manager Khun Femke from Elite Havens in Phuket came to visit us. The team was curious to find out what Yaowawit is all about. They enjoyed a delicious lunch and toured the farm and lodge. The guests especially enjoyed the dance performance of our children.
Besides a generous monetary donation, they brought various back-to-school items, such as shoes, bags, and shirts – perfect timing, as the children had just come back from a long school holiday the day before and started school the following day. We sincerely hope to see the team of Elite Havens back soon.
If your company is also interested in the idea of supporting Yaowawit, please contact us at email@example.com.
After several hours on the move from Hong Kong to Phuket and to Yaowawit, ICS (International Christian School) students and their teachers arrived exhausted late in the afternoon. But some of the students who had been here before soon went out looking for the children they had made friends with the year before. The reunion was full of laughter and hugs.
A week-long scheduled activity began the next day. Beside hanging out with the children, the ICS students had several reconstruction projects to complete in the farm. The projects included replacing the bamboo roof of a garden house, building a bamboo bridge, and digging up a drainage system around the poultry houses along with removing any hay from the area to make sure it would quickly dry up after a rain. Despite being city teenagers, ICS students quickly learnt how to use the farm equipment. The hard work would soon benefit our children as their permaculture classes could later be held there.
The ICS group also visited a local market and popular sites in the region – James Bond Island for kayaking, Bang Sak Beach for a picnic, and Songpraek River for water rafting. This experience is uniquely Yaowawit’s, valuable not only for ICS students but also for other international school students.
So, if your students are looking for some experience in intercultural exchange activities combined with excursions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The activities can be customised to suit your goal.
This second STEM Workshop was held for teachers teaching in Grades 1, 2, and 3. A total of 41 teachers from 13 different schools in nearby districts attended the workshop. The training goal was how to use zoo themes effectively to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) to students in Grades 1, 2, and 3. Aided by fun games, cute animals could help young students keep their attention on STEM lessons.
This workshop was one of many other STEM Workshops given on the same days throughout Thailand by the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST), which is also the ministry agency that had trained and certified Yaowawit teachers to become qualified STEM mentors. In this three-day workshop, the training involved drawing animal cartoons and sticking magnetic animal stickers on magnetic whiteboards alongside storytelling and various simple games.
However, this workshop was entirely done in Thai so far, and the teacher participants were all Thais and lived in short distances from Yaowawit. Therefore, they did not stay overnight at Yaowawit, although Yaowawit could have easily accommodated them in the lodge. If your organisation intends to hold outdoor events (either workshops, seminars, or retreats), consider Yaowawit. Yaowawit is a green area fit for such an outdoor event. For any further information, please contact us at email@example.com.