That day, the night sky stars are very bright, the children's smiles are very bright.
About 6 PM last Friday, my classmates,teachers,and I arrived at the orphanage in Chiang Rai. It was a bumpy ride. We have not got off the car, we saw the children have come to the roadside waiting for us. When I saw them, all my fatigue vanished.
I got out of the car with nervous and excitement.The children first stood around me, looking timidly at me.But when I held out my hand, they squeezed my hand and looked at me and smiled.Slowly we got familiar with, we began to play games, we surrounded a circle, hand in hand, their palms very warm.What struck me most, though, was when the kids climbed into the trunk and one of the boys stood in front of the car playing a guitar and everyone was singing together.What I regret most is not being able to say goodbye to them and hug them more.
I really miss them and I can't wait to see them again.
Last weekend I went to the orphanage in Chiang Rai with my classmates and teachers. I felt happy every day because of those lovely children during the two days we were there.
I like those children very much. They are friendly and clingy. I remember that when our car got close to the orphanage, the children would come out to meet us. As soon as we got off the bus, they would hold our hands and would not let go. They enjoyed the warmth we gave them, and we enjoyed the happiness they brought us.
My favorite part is the bonfire party on Saturday night. Everyone is very happy. It was unforgettable to eat the roasted marshmallows carefully prepared by the teachers and dance around the bonfire with the children.
Although those children lost their parents, they had simple happiness because they had partners. I remember that on the first night, the children together to sing Thai songs, play guitar and clap their hands. They were very happy, which moved our volunteers very much.
Thanks to the school for giving me this opportunity to meet so many lovely children. I hope the children can grow up happily and carefree every day.
This experience taught me a lot of things; especially about me, how grateful I should be with everything I have in life, especially my family. This experience also taught me how someone can have so little and still be so happy, from that I realized- it's not about where you are or what you have- it's about the people you're with- that's what makes you really happy.
Before I went on that trip, I didn't know it was possible to have such a strong connection with someone in such a small amount of time you've known each other. I miss these kids so much! I just can't wait for May to see them again!
It's been a week since my interact club trip to Chiang Rai, and the memories are still in my mind. I can't forget the childish and simple faces of the kids.
I was so excited to think of the first day I had just been there that after a long drive to the hotel I immediately dropped my bag and went to see the kids.The first night I talked to the kids, I knew they all wanted to know the outside world, what our life was like. Everyone listened to my stories very carefully. They also made friends with me. Some of them were very good at music, and I was deeply moved by their singing on the first night. They played instruments and sang and danced together like a big family, regardless of each other.
During these three days we did a lot of activities with them, I was mainly responsible for playing with the 13-17 years-old children, we created a beautiful wall painting together. When the wall painting finished, everyone smiled. They were really kind, although they were not very rich，but they regard us as their most honorable guests.Give them their best to us. They didn't let us suffer a bit. When we gave them the pillows we had collected from school, everyone thanked us and everyone smiled! On the morning of the last day, they sent us off by singing and dancing to express their thanks, and they wept. We wept, too. Although our lives were totally different, we were like a family for these three days. Finally they gave us their own tea and their own sewing bags. Thank them very much!
After this trip, I think the biggest reward is to look at the children a happy face! Look at them happy I also feel very happy! I also understand that I should cherish the living conditions my parents bring me now, study hard, and grow up to reward them! I will remember this trip for a lifetime, and now I look forward to meeting them again next year！
109 Photos · Updated about a month ago
These three days are the highlight of 2019 for me. I'm so happy to be here again and meet these cute and sweet kids for the second time. They have much grown up from last year. Not only their heights, but also their personalities.
There's also new buildings, rooms, beds & pillows now. I can see they are very happy about it and appreciate it. I hope they can keep growing happily and healthily, love each other and always don't forget to thank God.
Next time, I wanna prepare better than this time, and make unforgettable memories with them together in every single minute.
They are one of the biggest motivations to study hard and always do my best. I hope I can be their comfort and power as well. I Love them so much! God bless them and love them.
“When you sow goodness into the lives of others, you reap in abundance the joy that the act of giving brings.”
UCIS Interact Club Community Service Trip Reflections - Baan Pak Dek Phraporn, Chiang Rai
By Miss Shelagh Li, Interact Club Teaching Supervisor
On May 24th – 26th, 9 high school students from the Interact Club and 8 members of staff headed up to Mae Suai, Chiang Rai, on our first ever Interact community service trip to bring donations to and visit the children at our partner charity, Baan Pak Dek Phraporn, after months of planning and preparation. Including the donations of food, clothes, etc., we also raised and donated 32,000 Baht.
Baan Pak Dek Phraporn has been around for about five years, and currently is home to 54 children ages 4-17, and 10 members of staff, who are all from the Lahu hilltribe. Many of the children who were brought to the home come from extreme poverty, broken families, where one or both parents are either deceased, addicted to drugs, or in jail, and were in high risk of exploitation (it is not uncommon for girls as young as the age of 12 to be married off, and boys to be at high risk of being sold into human trafficking). Living at the orphanage with Pastor David, and his wife Sanglar, offers these children and youth the chance to receive an education, food, and a safe environment to live in. What struck me the most on this trip, however, was how happy the children there were even though they had so little.
The first night we arrived at the orphanage to meet the children, they ran out to us with their hands together, giggling and greeting us with “sawasdee’s” and the biggest hugs. We later found out that we were the first team to actually go to them and spend quality time with them in the past five years! It was heartwarming to see how well they were cared for and how much love they received from Pastor David, Sanglar and all the other staff at the orphanage. They are taught to love God, love others, and this was so evident during the tome we were there. When they were given snacks, they insisted on sharing with us and even fed us the snacks to make sure we were eating as well, even though something as simple as a bag of chips was a rarity for them. I couldn’t help but feel so overwhelmed by the amount of love that surrounded us for those three days even though we were complete strangers.
This was most of the UCIS students’ first trip of this kind and most of them had no common language with the children. However, their will to make the children’s weekend memorable and joyful was so strong that it broke all the barriers that were standing in their way of communicating with the kids at the orphanage. It was absolutely amazing to see how inclusive the UCIS students were, and how they were able to get big group games going without using any spoken words, but rather, very enthusiastic body language and physical touch. The students also had a debriefing session after our Saturday day-camp and unanimously agreed that this trip was eye-opening, life-changing, and that they couldn’t wait to return again. They realized that the comfortable life they lived was not a given, and that there were so many things they considered “basics”, such as a bed to sleep in or the ability to take a hot shower, were a luxuries for the kids who live in the orphanage. The troubles they face were trivial when put into perspective with the troubles the kids face, such as not having enough food to get through the day. Needless to say, I was the proudest teacher this weekend, watching my students selflessly give their time and love to build up those who are less fortunate in our community, and being able to reflect on their own lives and what they can do to help others!
This is just the beginning of our partnership with Baan Pak Dek Phraporn. They still have so much need that we, as a school community, can help out with including: - Quality time and love which we, on future trips, can bring - Support for daily necessities such as rice, eggs, and other nutritious foods - Support for basic medication and hygienic products, such as sanitary napkins for the girls - Support for school supplies (the Thai Government provides free education for all children, but they are responsible for purchasing their own uniforms, books, and stationery items) - Funds to complete their dormitory buildings to ensure a safe environment for them to be living in (they are currently living in shacks made of tin which leak during heavy rains and become rusty, posing all sorts of potential health threats).
I would like to take some time to say some special thank-you’s to those who made this weekend possible. Firstly, thank you to Miss Elaine, our school nurse, and her husband, Ajarn Paris, for linking us up with Baan Pak Dek Phraporn and giving our students the chance to do something bigger than themselves. Thank you to our administration staff, everyone who had a part of helping us finalize our weekend plans, corresponding with the Ministry of Education, keeping our finances on track, supplying our students’ paperwork, and so much more. Thank you to the teachers, students, P Su, P Aek, and Ize, for selflessly sacrificing your weekend, coming along on the trip, and being a part of such wonderful memories. Lastly, thank you to our amazing community of selfless students and parents, who have given their thoughts, supplies, and monetary donations from Pajama Day to better the lives of the children at the orphanage; you have made this world a better place with your love and care and we hope that you will continue to join us as we continue to partner with Baan Pak Dek Phraporn in the future!
All photos provided by UCIS Photography and Media team.
Our first ever official school-wide fundraiser was a massive hit! Thanks to our generous Unity family, we are immensely grateful to have been able to raise a total of more than 40,000 THB for our partner orphanage in Chiang Rai from both U1 and U2 campuses. This amount will be going towards their dormitory buildings and will be presented to Pastor David during our community outreach trip in mid-May.
Interact Club had our first ever fundraiser in the form of a bake sale this past week! Well done to our club members for their contributions and hard work.
Welcome to official UCIS Interact Club blog! We are so excited to have you join us on this platform!
The Interact Club of Unity Concord International School was established in 2018 as an extracurricular club for high school students that focuses on community service and volunteerism. UCIS Interact Club is an official charter club of Rotary International, an international service organization whose aim is to provide humanitarian aide and promote goodwill and worldwide, and operates as a student club under Chiang Mai International Rotary Club.
We currently partner with 2 charities, namely Connie's Home in Hang Dong, Chiang Mai, and Baan Pak Dek Phraporn in Mae Suai, Chiang Rai. Information for each charity can be found in their respective tabs on this website. We also make an effort to connect our school community with local projects and annual fundraisers in hopes of educating younger students about the importance of helping those who are less fortunate. Interact students are encouraged to step up to be school community leaders who are responsible, kind, empathetic, and have a heart to serve their greater community.
We will periodically updating this website with our latest news and photos from our students' community outreach efforts, so please check back every so often to see what our wonderful Interact students are doing for their community! Without your support, we wouldn't be able to do what we do!