So yesterday saw my first visit to the rural Wat Tung childcare centre which is set in the grounds of a very beautiful temple and an even more beautiful rural village about 40 minutes drive out of Surin.
This small childcare centre, which caters for around 30 of the most adorable, smile faced children I have ever come across, is currently in need of some very kind hearted volunteers to help to renovate the current building and also to help to finish the current build of a new community hall.
The volunteers we have had recently to Beung Bow Oon have helped to paint both the inside and outside of the main childcare building, built and fully planted a garden and vegetable patch that supplies the centre with much of it’s food and finally they have helped to build the foundations of the newest building that is set to be either the community hall building or even the new childcare centre.
Nam looking as busy as always 😀
What we need out here right now though is hard working volunteers who are willing to get stuck in and get down and dirty with this very important building and development project. Not only will it help the community with giving them a building that they will be able to use for the important rituals and ceremonies that are so prevalent in Thai culture but it will also allow us to provide the children at the childcare centre with a more hygienic and safe place to play and learn.
We also are wanting to develop the current garden and vegetable patch so that it will grow even more tasty veggies and herbs for the staff to use in the preparation of the childrens food; it will also provide an extra form of income for the centre when they have surplus produce as they can sell it at one of the many amazing local markets.
Not only that but we are also looking to use the land surrounding the temple to grow rice, which is a staple of the Thai diet and something that can also be used to sell when extra is grown. We already have our very own co ordinator Worn, who grows his own rice in his village, tell us everything we need to know about rice farming, irrigation and harvesting.
The other project we are looking at undertaking, is to renovate the current pond on the grounds so that it can support a breeding fish colony that will not only provide food but also eduction of the children in the centre. Thailand is a country where a huge portion of the country produce their own food and crops and being able to arm these children with fishing, farming, literacy and english skills is really setting them up for a very positive future.
All I can think of is children armed to the teeth with fish guns now.
That isn’t what we are going for but I am pretty sure that would look badass.
Back to the point in hand.
We all want the very best for these children and we need you to help us achieve that as all of the money that you give to us will help us to hire diggers, builders, equipment and to provide the centre with food and equipment. We are so desperate to make this centre sustainable as it really will make a huge amount of difference to these children and also to the community as well.
Now don’t try and fob me off with saying that you are too old, that you have never even held a shovel or that you have no DIY skills in any capacity as there is ALWAYS work that you can do. We work very closely with the engineers and the monks to make sure that all of the work we do is structurally and religiously sound as the new building will be of such importance to this community. Thai culture is hugely well known for their elaborate ceremonies and this will finally give this community a place to uphold their religious beliefs and also a clean and safe place to teach their children so don’t be telling me that you don’t want to be a part of that.
And for those of you that may be skeptical as to how you will be remembered for the walls you built or the pond you dug, we always make sure that volunteers sign the work that they have undertaken in their weeks with us. This means that you will always be remember in the years to come as thousands of children and villagers make use of the building and facilities that you put so long into making.
You won’t be forgotten.
And if that doesn’t sell you, the daily blessings and thanks by the monks and the children might; or maybe the incredible tan you will get from working outside in one of the sunniest countries in the world is one of the perks that you will enjoy 😀
Either way, there is no excuse as to why you think that you won’t be able to make a difference. Everyone makes a difference in Starfish and the level of difference you make is entirely up to you. You can sit in your house and not make a difference or you can come out to this amazing country with its beautiful and grateful people and show them that you care and that you want them to know that they can have the very best education and care for their children even if they don’t have a huge amount of money.
And as for all the people who are saying to themselves that they aren’t a builder or a gardener? Well neither am I. Neither is Nam, or Tuk or Al but we were all getting stuck in with making all natural pesticides to tackle the current caterpillar menace that is plaguing our veggies and herbs. We were going and collecting the leaves they use to make the pesticide. We were helping with moving plants to more space and watering and tending the current ones growing.
Doing a cracking job their Nam; for a change!
Aroy Chi Mai? ‘Tasty?’
There really is no excuse or reason as to why you shouldn’t make a difference.
Oh wait, you need the Starfish – Volunteer Thailand Facebook page, the Starfish Website and also the Starfish Tumblr page where you can see the video of some of the building work we have already done in Thailand. Not only that you can check out the
#starfishvolunteers Instagram which has pictures of all of the fun things we get up to.
Like meeting this guy in the garden yesterday;
You don’t have to be a builder to build.
You just have to want to make a difference to people that need your help.
Build. Protect.Teach. Care. – The Starfish Motto