Rights Now Foundation

After-school program in Northern Thailand

Report: May to September, 2016.


This report is about the after-school program at the Baan Huaypoo School, located in Thaton Mea-I district, about 179 kilometers from Chiang Mai in Thailand. We have previously published a story, but this is a report from the managers of the after-school program.

Kids Ark Foundation launched the House of Hope after-school program for children attending the Baan Huaypoo School. The Rights Now Foundation supports the program. Children have access to activity-based learning in order to help them grow emotionally and physically. They also learn Thai, health and hygiene, together with other subjects.

The pupils are Thai nationality and ethnic minorities such as Lahu and Shan. They come from poor families and their parents work in the fields. Normally, when the children return home from school, no one can help them with their homework. So, they play with their friends while waiting for their parents to return home. Now, House of Hope increases their learning, their capacities and qualities as young humans. There are 45 children, 21 boys and 24 girls, aged from six to fifteen years. This is the main group that attends the after-school program.

The staff helps the pupils with activities, like reading and spelling in Thai and English. As a result, all children have improved the reading and writing skills. Their self-confidence grows. Pupils also learn other skills, such as handicrafts and cooking, something they can use in the daily life.

The children are divided into two groups. They work together but they have different tasks to do. In the first group they need to read and then write a summary of what they have read. In the second group of pupils, they only practice reading and writing. Working together means they learn from each other.

The pupils need to improve their English language skills constant. Staff teach them vocabulary, how to translate from English into Thai, and how to use the dictionary. The children think English is a very difficult assignment. And when teachers assesses the capacity to learn, the conclusion is that pupils don’t remember enough. It may also be added that teachers do not always have sufficient knowledge of English.

Some areas of development

Individuals have gained in self-confidence. By learning to accept themselves and other people, and to believe more in themselves and their abilities. They learn to evolve and they are motivated to improve themselves so that their self-esteem develops too.

Every child is served a nutritious dinner with meat, eggs and vegetables. The staff serves different meals each week with fresh vegetables, meat and fruit. Children now drink more water and milk instead of soft drinks.

The children learn about dental hygiene. They brush their teeth every day after lunch at school. The girls do not have lice as before because they washes their hair and the teacher uses special shampoo twice a month to prevent lice. The children have to wash their hand before eating.

The pupils participate in drawing and arts classes, cooking, environmental awareness and physical exercise.

Reported by Anders Bjers