Ladies work team [14.Feb.2007]
Every day is full from the time we get up, until we tumble into bed at night. We ladies have been teaching at different migrant schools each day. What fun! The children are so well behaved and eager to learn. We have been teaching them about Canada - - they love looking at the pictures we brought. The pictures produce questions like, How do you keep your food from spoiling, when your houses have heat, and Why do you get snow? We also brought a craft for them, as well as games. They have had so much fun. We too have learned at lot this past couple of days. Karen, a pharmacist from Prince Albert gathered a lot of medical supplies, so we went with her early this morning to deliver them to the clinic. This afternoon we were priming the desks that the men had ready for us.
Back in Canada [28.Feb.2007]
We're all safely back in Canada. The Feb. work tour was a huge success. Our team of 16 people built 104 desks which were delivered to several different migrant schools, taught English at 3 different schools and designed and build playground for the kids at Hsa Thoo Lei School and Orphanage. The construction of the Kids Orphanage and Daycare got underway just as we were leaving. All the plans are finalized and the digging of the pilings has started. We have already had a request to have 2 children to be placed into the new orphanage. A 5 year old boy and his 3 year old sister have lost their mother and their dad has T.B. There is no one to look after them. We will be placing these children into the Dorm with the older kids along with a caregiver who will look after them during school hours. Another objective on these work trips is to expose the team to the plight of the illegal migrants on the Borderline. While we were in Mae Sot our team saw first and the challenges that these people face each day of their lives and the difference that we can make in their lives. Saying good bye was hard to do. There are strong bonds that are built between the kids and our team members during the time we spend at Hsa Thoo Lei. The kids put on a farewell evening which included songs, gifts and lots of hugs. We left a piece of ourselves in Mae Sot. Our next work tour is in November, 2007
Donation by the Frank Flaman Foundation [20.Mar.2007]
Global Neighbors Canada is the recipient of a generous donation from the Frank Flaman Foundation. Please visit the gallery on this website to see the photo of Steve Flaman presenting a cheque for $10,000 for the construction of the new Orphanage and Daycare Center in Mae Sot, Thailand to Luc April and Dave Heppner. The Frank Flaman Foundation has been established to help the poor of this world improve their lives through creditable charities. Global Neighbors is honored to have been chosen to represent the Flaman Foundation to fulfill this mandate.
Construction update [22.Mar.2007]
The construction of the new Orphanage and Daycare Center is progressing well. The roof will be completed by April 2. The workers are working very hard to complete the exterior before the rainy season comes. Two children arrived this week in anticipation of the opening of the new orphanage. The ages of the kids are age 3 and 5. Their mother passed away and the father is sick with T.B. They will both be staying at the orphanage for older children until we have completed the new building. Thank you for helping this new project become a reality!
I was introduced to the school near the garbage dump today. [19.Apr.2007]
I am back in Thailand help with the budgets and staffing of the Daycare and orphanage, as well doing some logistical work for our fall and spring work tours. I was introduced to the school near the garbage dump today. We delivered rice, cooking oil, chili powder and fruit to the 50 families who live and work at the dump. When a garbage truck arrives every one heads out to find any recyclables. They get 3 Baht per kilo for the newer plastic. The filth and smell would be hard to live in. The children were very dirty and some had no clothes. I will add some pictures to the gallery on our website: www.gnci.ca . It is difficult to know how one can help. The Thai Engineer is working on the plans for the Modular Migrant schools we hope to start building this fall. They can be disassembled if the land owner decides they can not stay. The only thing that would be left would be the construction is progressing very concrete pad. The construction is progressing very well. The exterior and interior walls are being built and the washroom pad is being poured tomorrow. There are a total of 10 men working on the site along with one 14 year old boy and the contractor's wife. Every body is working very hard and don't seem to be troubled with the 37 degree heat. I met with a potential helper at the new orphanage. She is a 25 year old woman who has two small children of her own and is caring for two other orphaned children. Her husband left when she became pregnant with her second child. The two other children came to her when a retarded woman in the area became pregnant twice from rape. She has now died and there was no one to care for the children. She is the kindest lady with a heart melting smile. I will be delivering the school supplies tomorrow which were collected by the Carlton High School Travel Club. There are 80 zip lock bags of various supplies. I'll try to get those pictures posted tomorrow
A big thanks to the Carlton High School Travel Club from Prince Albert for making an effort to help! [20.Apr.2007]
There were 80 zip lock bags of school supplies delivered to a migrant school near the Thai - Burma Border today. The Carlton High School Travel Club from Prince Albert, Sask., collected supplies with the intent of helping a migrant school while on a recent trip to Thailand. Many of the children attend this school travel three days to get to school. They cross the Moei River and travel another 5 Kms to get to the boarding school. About seventy kids stay at the school. The kids were very excited to get these supplies. One girl received some silly putty with her supplies. She thought it was candy until I showed her how it works. A big thanks to the travel club for making an effort to help this school!
One for the Nov.07 team [12.Nov.2007]
Our team arrived in Mae Sot on Sunday. We spent the afternoon touring the orphanages and the migrant village near the school. As we experience with most of our travelers, the team members were overwhelmed at the poverty of the migrant people. We are looking forward to helping them out with clothes and other supplies later in the week. The beginning of day one got off to a bit of a slow start with organizing tools and supplies. The build team found out that the long roll of electrical wire which was suppose to run the welder didn't supply enough power to do a good job of welding. We went through the process of applying for a temporary meter. The meter was installed at 3:00 in the afternoon. We were able to secure the columns enough to complete the frame construction. On our way home we saw the girls from the school were working in the fields and the boys were busy collecting firewood. Tomorrow the entire team will be joining the build team for the morning. The desk builders got all the pieces cut for the desks which will be built on this trip. The assembly will begin after lunch tomorrow. Beatrice and Sarah were in the preschool this morning. Sarah taught the grade 3 and 4's in the afternoon. They had a great time! Sorry, I only posted pictures from the school construction. I haven't had time to download from the other team members. I will post more pictures in the next few days
Only a few days left [18.Nov.2007]
Today was a day off for our team. It has been a busy week. The desks will be finished tomorrow morning. We will be delivering them to 4 different schools afternoon. We are planning a ribbon cutting for phase 1 of our migrant school construction at noon tomorrow. We will be buying lunch for 200 students. On Wednesday we visited the families that live at the Mae Sot dump. We were planning on buying pots for them; however they said if they had a choice between pots and rice, they would choose rice. We purchased 100, 8 KG bags of rice, 100 bags of oil and cucumbers. The kids were already eating cucumbers before they left the distribution site. We visited an orphanage in Mae La Refugee Camp on Friday afternoon. We were touched by the response we received when we asked what their hopes were. A young lady shared how she would love to return to her homeland. They also told us that they had no hope of settling into a 3rd country. They do not have parents so they do not qualify for the resettlement criteria. They asked if we could explain the process to them. They treated us to several songs and then left for an overnight at a Karen village. We have purchased a fridge, water coolers, a TV and DVD player for the daycare and infant orphanage. We will be purchasing some warmer clothes for the kids tomorrow. The days have gone by very quickly. We will be starting back for Canada on Tuesday morning. It will be fun giving you details our adventure as well as the difference we are making in Mae Sot.
Red Cross Condemns Burma's Abuses [30.Nov.2007]
Red Cross Condemns Burma's AbusesHarshest Criticism Since Rwandan GenocideThe International Committee of the Red Cross usually maintains aneutral position; however, at the end of June this year, the ICRCstrongly condemned the regime on grounds of forced labor and repeatedatrocities committed against groups in eastern Burma- includingmurder, violence, arbitrary arrest and 'large scale' destruction offood supplies. According to the BBC, this is the strongest publiccriticism since it spoke out against the Rwandan genocide over adecade ago. ICRC president, Kellenberger, noted that the reason forthis harsh statement is the "continuing deadlock" with theauthorities.