We now have Extra-curricular English classes offered to our children thanks to McGraw Hill Education!
At Baan Unrak Children’s Home, we always try to give our children exposure to important skills and experiences that will help them realize their potential and be able to live satisfying and responsible lives. English-language skills are very valuable for our children, and through one of our donors and volunteers, we were introduced to McGraw Hilll Education. Our volunteer and donor proposed the idea of the Baan Unrak English Language Academy, and McGraw Hill became interested in helping to advance the concept Our idea was to develop classes that could supplement the English classes offered at Baan Unrak School and be taught by volunteers after school or on weekends to our children who wanted to take extra English classes and which could serve as a pilot program for possibly other similar locations where students and teachers were moving around and were learning outside of conventional school situations. McGraw Hill Education became devoted to developing class outlines and teaching materials, as well as raising money to support the project. McGraw Hill also invited Hong Kong University to join the Academy effort and Hong Kong University provided two student teachers to kick-off the first lessons at the Academy. The leader of the program at McGraw Hill inspired many other McGraw Hill Education staff members and they put a lot of energy to start the first lessons of the Baan Unrak Language Academy. They offered the same gifts to Baan Unrak School as well. The children are receiving knowledge in English from all directions such as from school, from home, from the care givers and from the volunteers. The program started during the first weeks of June. We hope to continue it throughout the year.
After weeks of intensive classes we had a beautiful party where our children showcased their English by taking guests around, guiding and introducing them to the different facilities and faculty of Baan Unrak. In the party, the children enjoyed festivities and performed for the guests. They also played games with our guests, tutors and teachers. We received beautiful and interesting teaching aids such as ipads full of interactive resources. Among the other gifts included earphones, very special blankets and many different toys. The party was superb. The children were excited through-out the event, and continue to improve their English. We are very glad that the launch of the Baan Unrak Language Academy could serve as an example for other similar situations and we are very proud of our children who are making an extra effort to study and improve their English skills in addition to their Thai, Karen and Burmese.
After 3 months, the teachers had to depart, leaving our children thankful but emotional. Our current staff and volunteers treasured the contribution of McGraw Hill Education and will follow in their footsteps to guide the children’s ongoing development. Our sincerest thanks go out to McGraw Hill as well as Mel and Kat; you played a special role in our home.
We have been lucky enough to have two of our children return as adults to share their love of music with their younger friends. Johnny and Lochoy teach Guitar, Piano, and Drum lessons in small group settings and one on one tutoring.
The English Academy aims to immerse the students in English from all directions, so even the care givers have been shown how to use the I-pads; they will be in charge of them, in order to keep them safe. Our volunteer trained the caregivers and the nursery teachers so the children can continue to utilize the tools.
Baan Unrak has a new ‘Flash Mob’ created by Lochoy, one of our former children who studies in the University. We wanted to send a message of love to the public, sharing it with all of our guests. On 15 July, we showed this new ‘Flash Mob’ to our guest for the first time.
“You are not alone, love is around you.
And you are not alone, love is inside you.
Salimah has been a volunteer in Baan Unrak for years, before opening her own metal workshop to teach her art to the children of Sangkhlaburi.
Read her story:
“For several years now, I have spent a few months each year in Sangkhlaburi, Thailand, a small town on a beautiful lake near the border with Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. This crossroads town became a refuge for many displaced children and families from various ethnic groups who had to flee ethnic civil wars and discrimination in Burma, but were never truly welcome in Thailand either. Stuck between a country from which they are fleeing oppression, violence and extreme poverty and another, where they are barely tolerated, the precariousness of their situation exposes them to all sorts of exploitation, including human traffic. They have few rights and live in a permanent insecurity. It goes without saying that it is difficult for these vulnerable people to envisage any future when the present is already so worrying. After much time as a volunteer at Baan Unrak Children’s Home, , one of Sangkhlaburi’s major charities that cares for displaced children and single mothers, and spending a lot of time with the children, my attention was drawn by the older children who were no longer in school, but neither in any professional training,because of lack of money, identity papers, or other limitations, and seemed to have nothing to do, so no possibility to picture a future for themselves. As a decorative painter, welder, and designer of metal light fixtures, I thought it would be interesting and usefull to transmit my skills to this group of slightly older children,to teach them to weld and to work the metal, and thus to be empowered by the knowledge that there was a new productive action they could take in their lives over the longer term, something concrete they could do. And so I decided to create a workshop. I thought new technical and artistic abilities will allow them to create sculptures, lamps, furnitures, or other items popular here, like side cars for exemple and to become self-employed craftmen, and/or to create a common atelier. I believe in the virtues of work, that one can choose, if one has such a chance, not the forced underpaid labor that one must accept or tolerate when there is no other choice to survive,which is unfortunately the usual situation here. The workshop is, therefore, for these young people to have access to a technical and enriching training towards more professional opportunities in a tense and hostile socio-economic context.”
To learn more and support this beautiful and meaningful project, click here.
Our dear Salimah is going back to her home country for a few months.
Before her departure, she organised a pancake party with the kids.
Salimah created an artistic soudure workshop and she teaches her art to some children from Baan Unrak. She also uses to visit our children’s home every week to spend the day with the kids and cook delicious crepes.
We wish her good luck back in France and we look forward to seing her again in November!