Thailand: Baan Unrak Childrens Home & School
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THE CHILDRENS HOME
THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
In 1998 Baan Unrak started an education center for children and women run according the principles of Neo-Humanist Education. It was relatively informal but grew in popularity, so we had to fundraise for new buildings.
In 2005 we completed building the new school buildings and we opened our private school for children in grades 1 through 6. In addition, we opened a nursery school and a kindergarten for children ages 2 to 6. Dozens of children from the local community have enrolled in our school in addition to the children from the home.
Now, the school has 250 students, 15 teachers and 6 assistants. For more details on our project,click here
Baan Unrak is located in Sangkhlaburi, in the Kanchanaburi province in western Thailand. It's a remote area, near the rainforest, where tourists like to ride elephants and have trips into the jungle. Because of its peacefulness, and beautiful environment (mountains, lakes and waterfalls), the local tourist industry is expanding.
However, Sangkhlaburi is also ravaged by poverty and disease. In 1988, the government built a dam on the lake to bring electricity to Bangkok. This caused flooding so the local community faced relocation and lost their jobs.
Sangkhlaburi is a border village. It is only 22 kilometers away from the Three Pagoda Pass which marks the border between Thailand and Burma.
The border is quite porous, so it is easy to come into Thailand. After arriving, most of the migrants are kept in the border area as they cannot travel due to their illegal status. An influx of refugees and immigrants, fleeing war and slavery in Burma, has added to the region's economic problems, including high unemployment statistics.
Most of the refugees in Sanklaburi area are from the Mon and Karen States which are targeted by the military’s terror campaign led by the Burmese government. According to UNHCR, half of the displaced people are children, and 15% are under five years old.
Didi Ananda Devala (above) is the project director of the children's home.
She is assisted in her communications by Anne-Cecile who is the current volunteer coordinator residing at Baan Unrak.
Didi Ananda Anuraga (left) is project director of the school.
They will communicate with the volunteers. They are a very friendly, warm and hospitable. They speak very good English and will make you feel at home right away. They are also open to change and new ideas as far as the management of their project is concerned.
The Neo-Humanist philosophy is the guiding principle of our project. Stated simply, we believe that we should love and care for all beings in the universe.
To provide a foundation for the mental, physical and spiritual development of our students, we practice yoga and meditation on a daily basis.
In addition, the curriculum is taught in a way that incorporates movement, creative arts, and the usual academic subjects, in order to nurture the whole child.
We teach the students about kindness and living in harmony with all forms of life from the smallest beings to the largest forms of life. We seek to instill the values of service, helpfulness and concern towards others.
Who do we need?
Both males and females are welcomed. Those willing to stay in the home
should be highly motivated to work with the children. You must present
a good, moral character and respect the local culture.
Your job as a volunteer
Volunteers can help in any of the following areas:
Three vegetarian meals are provided daily and a room to sleep. A volunteer
must eat only vegetarian food while voluntering with us and must not
smoke, drink or use any kind of drugs.
We are awaiting feedback from volunteers now. Many international volunteers have visited this project over the last years, but it is relatively new on the Kids Worldwide site.
8 Volunteers at the Childrens Home (4 females / 4 males). 2 Volunteers at the school.
© KIDS Worldwide Last Updated: 19-Sep-2011