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Monday, May 28, 2007

Childlife Exhibition - Monday 4th June at Nana Buffet !!!

Come and join Childlife in a celebration of the creative and artistic talents of our children. Please join us for our:

Art and Photographic Exhibition

At Nana Buffet
Monday 4th June, all day

Available on the day:
Food (buffet, burgers, BBQ, roti)
Live Music
Art corner - create your own!
Have the opportunity to purchase art and photographs made by our children

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Wedding at Baan Nana !!!

On Friday 25th May the children of Childlife were treated to a wedding celebration. The bride and groom from Bangkok, selflessly decided to celebrate their happy day at the shelter to give the children a unique experience.

Staff at Childlife worked tirelessly for weeks in the lead up to ensure the day was special for the couple, guests and all the children.

The Childlife hall was transformed to a beautiful setting for the occasion with lots of flowers and love. The children looked gorgeous for the occasion, getting dressed in their best clothes and dancing the night away!

Microsoft donate

Childlife would like to extend a big thank you to Microsoft and Hewlett Packard for donating 120 000 Baht and computer equipment to Childlife.

The new computer and printer will be well used by the staff and children at Childlife.

We would like to thank Microsoft for their continued support of our children.

University girls volunteer

A big thanks from all the children to Aerin and Gow who volunteered at Childlife for 2 weeks during their university break. The girls provided lots of smiles around the shelter and lots of fun for the children, especially for those who do not attend school. The girls taught Japanese at the Childlife Half day school, made origami, created a time capsule and generally provided lots of help to the staff at Childlife.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Akha culture and education

Akha culture and education

Most of our children at Childlife belong to the Akha ethnic group and come from Burma and Thailand. We’re not sure how much you know about the Akha people so we have dedicated this blog to the Akha and mountain minority groups. Hopefully it will enlighten you a little about one of the cultures at the heart of our work.

Childlife has partnered with MPCDE and Global Youth to ensure that our Akha children are provided with Akha education as well as Thai education. In addition, our young people are being trained to manage our project in order to pass on leadership and community development skills. We hope that our children will take their skills, knowledge and ideas back to their villages to give hope for a brighter future. We work to prevent the occurrence of more and more street children in Maesai.

Childlife Cultural Activities:

Swing Festival:
Last year Childlife, in partnership with Global Youth and MPCDE, hosted an Akha festival to coincide with the Akha swing festival. We are happy to announce that this year we will be hosting another swing festival, and hopefully increase our knowledge about this festival! Watch this space for more news on the swing festival coming this August.

Akha education:
This year, as well as the swing festival we have invited two Akha teachers to come and help us read Akha language and learn about our geneology.
On Saturday we had our first lesson and were visited by two Akha teachers from MPCDE – Mr Aju Jupoh and (Mr) Aqbawr Lawgaw Mangqpo. For our first lesson in Akha education MPCDE brainstormed ideas with the young people about what they know and want to learn from our Akha education programme and we talked about the villages we come from.

MPCDE bought with them 10 books of each level, 1, 2, and 3 that they have produced to teach people how to read and write Akha. We are very excited at the prospects of learning to read and write Akha language and would like to say a very special thank you to MPCDE for taking their time to visit us.

Akha People and education

The Akha are an ethnic group, traditionally based in the highlands of the mountain range spread over Yunnan, Burma, Thailand, Laos and Vietman. Their culture has developed over 1000 years of knowledge, history, and has strict laws on environment, society, morality and tradition. The Akha, and other mountain ethnic groups, such as Hmong, Yao, Karen, Lisu and Lahu are considered indigenous people of this mountain range although they have never officially had their own country.

Akha history and knowledge has been passed down by memorised words from generation to generation. Various members of the community memorise the words of their predecessors, and their predecessors and their predecessors. In this way, by using their memories the Akha managed to keep their histories, traditions and philosophy alive for more than a thousand years without writing it down. It is not easy to memorise this knowledge and the accuracy of passing down this knowledge depends on very, very good memories and years of study and practice.

Just one of the keepers of the Akha history and knowledge is the village teacher called Pirma or Boemaw. To become a Pirma an Akha person must live with the Pirma for 10 years or more and memorise exactly the words of their teachers as well as the rituals associated with performing specific ceremonies. Other keepers of this knowledge are the council of elders, with the “cultural specialists”, like the dzoema (village-leader), the pirma or boemaw (reciter/teacher), the baji (Technician), each with their own specialized memorizations passed down from generation to generation.

Another interesting way in which the Akha have passed down their history is through their genealogies. In the past, every child memorised their fathers name, their grandfathers name, their great grandfathers name and so on for up to 60 generations. Because of this, the Akha people can trace their families as far back as 60 generations to Sm-io.

Taken from research by Dr. Leo Alting von Geusau on See the link for more detailed information on Akha people.

Over the past 50 years, the Akha in Thailand have faced rapid changes to their highland environment. To cope with these changes more and more Akha are leaving their villages to find work or an education to sustain their livelihoods. The lack of support for Akha communities to adequately adapt to these changes has had many serious negative consequences for Akha education, history, knowledge and society. Even now in Thailand, in 2007, very few people can read and write Akha language, most cannot access Akha knowledge and have difficulties accessing Thai education.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Origami !!!

Last week Pee Keiko and Pee Meena from Japan visited Childlife to do some fantastic origami activities with the children. The children followed the instructions very intently making some great origami cranes, boxs and boats !

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Back to School

This week the primary school aged children of Childlife went back to school for the new school year.

Many of the children were very excited to be going back to school...even if it did mean waking up at 6am for breakfast (instead of 7am during the holidays)!!!

Childlife have a great partnership with the local Sankong School who provide our children with the opportunity to recieve an education despite not having Thai ID cards.

Also a big thanks to all those who helped Childlife with the costs for the children's education by donating to our Thai bank account or online.

Thanks and farewell

This week Childlife said farewell to 4 fantastic students from Mae Sai Vocational School.

Pang, Rat, Jan and Tim spent the past 6 weeks in and around the offices of Childlife helping out in various areas as well as learning new skills and about working with an NGO.

They always added a great happy feeling and buzz to the office and their presence will definately be missed.

New bed for Nana Buffet

A big thanks to our international volunteers Emma and Christophe who donated a big pile of bamboo for the children and staff to use. The first thing they set out to make was a new bed to go in the guest house rooms at Nana Buffet.

The very sturdy bed is now in Nana Buffet and being well slept in. The bed was build over 2 days with the help from various children.


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