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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

BNN Post - Edition 3, July

Please click the following link to read the latest edition of the BNN Post, a newsletter about the activities of Childlife, Mae Sai.

A feature of this edition is the launch of our 'Dream of Border Children' campaign to raise funds for our new shelter.

We are very excited to let you know we have reached an agreement to purchase the land for our new home. It is now urgent that we raise funds to build on the land as our current rental contract expires in less than a year.

Please support our Dream of Border Children campaign to help us build our new home and continue to provide our children with opportunity and hope for the future. The estimated cost of building our new shelter, including our expansion to provide a greater depth of vocational training services, is 17,000,000 Baht (Approximately £270,000, $US 550,000, $AUS640,000, €400,000, ¥67,000,000). To read more about how you can help, please read our newsletter by clicking the link below.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A sad farewell to Pee Pee

There was not a dry eye at the shelter when the children said good bye to one of Childlife’s very dedicated members of staff.

Pee Pee came to Childlife in 2006 on an agriculture study project and was then convinced to stay and become a member of staff. Pee Pee’s role involved mentoring the student council and overseeing the shelter’s agriculture programme.

The programme now include pigs, fish, chickens, ducks and an ever growing range of vegetables. As part of this programme he has educated many of the children about agricultural practices and their enthusiasm and enjoyment for their work is no more evident when you see them watering the plants before 6am in the morning. His role with the student council has been significant and has helped shape and grow many of the children’s skills to now run the shelter.

His impact at the shelter was not only limited to these programmes. He is an amazing role model and friend to all the children at the shelter, someone everyone respects and loves. He got to know all the children and was a good source of advice or just a big hug :)

Pee Pee is off to Chiang Mai to continue further studies in agriculture and fisheries. There he will also volunteer at the soon to be established Chidlife Chiang Mai office.

Pee Pee’s great amazing heart and beautiful caring nature will be sadly missed by all the children and staff at Childife. We wish his all the very best with his studies and hope to see him back a Childlife in the future.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New drying area for boys and girls

This week the staff, volunteers and older children have been busy fixing the drying areas for the boys and girls. Both drying areas are now protected by plastic to ensure the childrens' clothes can dry after washing. This is especially important as the rainy season sets in.

All the children are responsible for washing and caring for their own clothes at the shelter. All the clothes they wear are from generous donations.

Chris and Mocca fly by visit

At the beginning of the month the children at Childlife were thrilled by the surprise visit of Chris and Monica. Chris and Monica spent 6 months volunteering at Childlife in 2006 before saying a very sad goodbye after the new year to continue their travels. We were lucky enough that they fit in this surprise visit before returning home.

In their short visit they cleaned the bathing areas for the girls and boys, fixed the girls drying area, started an English curriculum for the local Sankong School, updated volunteer information, developed materials for the Nana Buffet and Restaurant, visited a centre in Burma and provided a heap of support in the office.

As well they worked on developing the concept of their new organisation ‘Karma Projects’ which will assist Childlife to become more self sustainable. Keep your eyes on future newsletters and the website about how you can support Karma Projects to support Childlife.

Everyone at Childlife misses them very much and hopes they can return another time in the future.

Thanks Adam and Sarah

A big thanks to Adam and Sarah who volunteered for a few weeks a Childlife. They spent alot of their time at the border getting to know, playing and giving basic first aid to the street children at the bridge.

Following thier experience they presented to the Childlife team about their observations at the bridge and future suggestions.

Adam first came in contact with Childlife during a field trip with Thammasat University earlier this year.

Their great energy will be missed by all the children at the bridge and the shelter.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Goodbye Elizabeth

This week Childlife said goodbye to Elizabeth who volunteered with Childlife for 4 weeks through i-to-i. During her time Elizabeth completed some research and did a presentation on Human Trafficking issues. In addition to researching human trafficking she did some great craft activities with the children, sewing bags, coasters and helping the children mend some of their clothes.

Elizabeth’s sweet nature and smile will be missed by all at Childlife.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Som Tam madness!!

Today a Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad) competition was held at the shelter. Som Tam is traditional Northern Thai food that all the children love to eat. The competition saw 3 children from four teams up against each other to see who made the best Som Tam. They were scored on taste, teamwork, cleanliness and neatness, appearance (display). The competition also saw the Japanese Superstar join in the fun with the green team.

Prior to the Som Tam competition the Japanese superstar took part in some traditional Akha dancing with some of the older children. The younger children also displayed their talents to the cameras.

Afterwards the children were treated to Som Tam for dinner.

Happy Birthday

Thanks to a family from Mae Sai who chose to celebrate their son's birthday by bringing some food and sweets to our children. The children really appreciated the extra food and got a further treat when the ice cream man visited and our guests purchased ice cream for the children.

If you are looking for a good birthday gift for someone why not contact us about providing the children with a special treat for the occasion.

A day of fun and mud!

Yesterday a very fun and muddy sports day was held at the shelter. The children were separated into 5 groups – Red, yellow, orange, blue and green. There were many sports and activities ensuring the children had lots of fun!
There was a round robin soccer (football) competition, Takraw, volleyball and swimming races. Novelty events included a water balloon relay, who could find and hit a tin whilst blindfolded, and a race to complete series of tasks including finding 1 baht under some flour with your mouth, eating some sweets and blowing a balloon till it burst!

This day we also had a visit from Leelong, who is currently wheelchair bound and being cared for by Childlife. The visit brought a big smile to his face as it was his first visit back to the shelter. The Japanese superstar also dropped in, getting stuck into it not afraid of the mud!

A star in the making!!!

One of the children at Childlife has been chosen to star in a Thai film! A-Song, a
beautiful and photogenic boy was chosen to star in the film which also stars one of the Thai princesses. He has been to 2 filmings so far, one in Bangkok and one in Chiang Mai and will continue to film over the next year.

All the children and staff can't wait to see the completed film and see A-Song in action!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Japanese Superstar visits Childlife

In conjunction with the visit of the Japanese TV Program (see previous blog article), a Japanese superstar visited the shelter for 2 days. During her visit Azusa Yamamoto (Japanese model/actress) toured the shelter, spoke and played with the children, ate at the shelter, got involved with the sports day, learnt some traditional Akha dancing and competed in the Son Tam competition.

The children and Azusa were very sad to day goodbye with tears all around.

Childlife bound for Japanese TV Screens

Over the last 10 days Childlife has been under the camera lens with a TV crew from Japan visiting. Childlife will appear in a TV show about different shelters for children across the globe. Shelters from Indonesia, Mongolia and Mexico will also be featured in the show.

Childlife was chosen to be a feature in this TV show due to the role of the Children's Council* at Childlife. The crew spent their time learning about how the Children's Council run and manage many of the activites and operations at the shelter.

The show also aims to educate people about Childlife and the impact we can make with children's lives - from street children to running the shelter and teaching other children.

We are all looking forward to seeing the finished product, which will be screened in Japan in October/November.

* The Childlife Childrens Council is a group of the senior children at the shelter. They meet weekly and discuss isues at the shelter and are heavily consulted for any major decisions ensuring the children are empowered and have a significant input into the running of their shelter.

Recently the Children's Council has been given greater responsilities and now oversee the major operations at the shelter. This move has seen many of the older children step up to the responsibilities and develop some great skills for the future.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Learning from Pee

Yesterday at the shelter mini workshops were held by the children's council* to teach the younger children a few of the things they have learnt over the years to improve practices at the shelter.

The workshops included:
- How to wash clothes
- How to wash dishes
- Caring for minor medical issues
- Respect and polite behaviour

The children were split into 4 groups and rotated through the workshops, learning from the older children at the shelter.

The Childlife Children's Council is a group of the senior children at the shelter. They meet weekly and discuss issues at the shelter and are heavily consulted for any major decisions ensuring the children are empowered and have a significant input into the running of their shelter.

Recently the Children's Council has been given greater responsilities and now oversee the major operations at the shelter. This move has seen many of the older children step up to the responsibilities and develop some great skills for the future.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Exciting news!!! Our new home :)

Childlife are very excited to let all our friends and supporters know we have reached an agreement to purchase the land for our new home with the land owners and a very generous donor.

We are very sad that we need to leave our current premises as it provides a safe and loving environment for our children and holds plenty of great memories of achievements and milestones.

Our new land is located next to Sankong School which will allow us to build a stronger partnership with the school and the community. This relationship has already been fantastic for our children providing them with the vital education that they would otherwise not have the opportunity for, due to their identity status.

We are now working very hard to raise funds so that we can start to build on the land. We have 1 year left at our current premises and desperately need the help of all our friends and supporters to ensure our children have a safe home.

To donate to our building fund please click here
Otherwise keep an eye out for our new building campaign coming soon!


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