After the last two blogs about who you will meet and what you will do with your time at Childcare, I was thinking about whether or not there was anything you might need to bring with you that is project specific. After some thought I realised that there may not be specific things BUT, I can tell you that you will need to make sure that, you don’t mind any of the clothes you bring with you getting dirty.
And when I say dirty, I mean dirty.
Kids aren’t clean.
They are snotty,
What a very snotty face you have my dear
My nice clean, none scratched legs after a day at Childcare
and covered in paint,
This picture very quickly escalated to painted faces, legs and walls
and what I always hope is water, to mention just a few things.
Cute but deadly
Not only do you have to make sure that your clothes are able to stand up to the challenges of getting grubby, but you also need to ensure that you bring clothes that cover both your shoulders and your knees. Our Childcare is located at a Temple so there are monks wandering around, for religious reasons and to be respectful you should dress appropriately when in the company of monks. Not only that but all school across Thailand expect you to adhere to the ‘no bendy bits’ rule ie. no shoulders or knees.
You will find that sometimes being more covered up actually makes you cooler overall, if you wear the right kind of loose fitting, cotton clothing that is. Not only that but you are bound to get bruises, scratches and grazes whilst here and you limit the space available if you cover up more. Oh also, mosquitoes have less area to bite into; if you super don’t want to be eaten by mosquitoes then try to wear as few a dark pieces of clothing as you can; I don’t know why, but mosquitoes are drawn towards dark colours.
But apart from that there aren’t really any items that I think you will NEED to bring with you.
The kids enjoying their new blankets and t-shirts from Emilie and Sarah
You can always bring donation items with you, whether it be clothes, books, toys, shoes, anything you like. The children at Childcare are not well off children, their families have very little money to buy clothes and toys and most children come to Childcare in the same items of clothing that they wore for the rest of the week.
Finally new blankets to nap on!
I can never thank volunteers who bring items to donate enough. They are doing such a wonderful and amazing thing, that really anyone can do. It doesn’t have to be the 40Kgs worth of clothes books and toys that Esther and her family brought, it can be one or two books that you think are incredible and think other children should experience. We had one volunteer called Ally who brought over a couple of books with her from Switzerland and the children at the center spend ages looking at the beautiful illustrations and seeing and hearing the new English words. They might not understand what they mean right now, but one amazing book can kick start a child’s whole imagination and give way for a love of reading, creative thinking as well as a genuine passion and love for learning.
We all want what is best for these kids and donating is often one of the simplest and most effective ways you can help
You can always buy things to donate whilst you are here, some items are cheaper here naturally. Emilie and Sarah for example brought over lots of donation money and used it to buy a new water pump, blankets for the children to sleep on as well as clothes for the children to wear whilst they are at school.
We can help you with anything you want to find and give to Childcare, we can also suggest things that are most needed such as medical supplies. Children are notoriously accident prone so we run out of alcohol, plasters and gauze very quickly. If one of the current volunteers came up to me and asked what they think they should donate I would know to suggest medical supplies, in a week or a month it might be something different but like one very huge supermarket says;
Every little helps
Chances are at least ONE of these kids will injure themselves in some way today
For more information about how to book a place on our Childcare Project or any of our other projects then scurry on over to the Starfish Website, Starfish – Volunteer Thailand Facebook page or the Starfish Tumblr pages; there you will find everything you will need to decide which of our amazing projects is perfect for you.
Build. Protect.Teach. Care. – The Starfish Motto