Enote 42 – PiLoKi and Nai SoiFebruary 11, 2008
Pi Lok Ki and Paw Ker Htoo:
As we returned from India, Judy Noyes joined us in Bangkok to help with students there, and more especially with students and projects in Kanchanaburi province. Dianne who had traveledwith us to document our work in India, stayed an extra week to cover our trip with Judy. She is shown here recording a view of the boat launch before our departure to Pi Lok Ki and Paw Ker Htoo. She has now made a video of our work, which I intend to show on some talks when we return.
An important part of our project work, is support of the schools at Pi Lok Ki and Paw Ker Htoo. We have been paying teachers in both of these schools in an attempt to give primary education to the children who otherwise might have none. We were very pleased to see that Daw Cha Daw, the Thai Border Police which provides many services to the border communities, has come this year to teach at Pi Lok Ki, and have started construction of a new school building there.
Although Paw Ker Htoo, a school we started two years ago, is close to Pi Lok Ki, and apparently just as remote, it does not lie within the Thai border district and thus could not be served by Daw Cha Daw. But the school there is prospering with teachers of Thai, English and Karen, and lots of community support. The village leader has taken a great interest in the school, and helped with a new school building. He is also in conversations with the Thai education department about them assuming control of the school in the future.
We are delighted to cooperate with the Thai in this situation. If we can enlist the aid of the Thai people in helping us with the education of these children, many of them refugees, we can move on to other areas.
Hod and the Nai Soi CLC:
On February 5 we drove south of Chiang Main to the Thai town of Hod, where we support a boarding house for Karen children. A few years ago Eh Hser, the director, received a grant to rebuild her boarding house, and since then has a great new building to house her 30 children.
It is very dry in Hod, and water for irrigation as well as the usual needs has been her major concern for several years. She finally was able to have a well dug, but still needs a large water storage tank to complete her water system. Although we normally do not supply such items of permanent equipment, we have decided to support that request. The picture on the left shows children in the truck preparing to go to town to be treated by a restaurant meal.
Now we have just returned from a trip to the Nai Soi Child’s Learning Center. This school was started by Kyaw Hla Sein several years ago, as a vocational school covering the high school years for those who had no access to Thai education. Kyaw Hla Sein is an enthusiastic man who is able to engage diverse people in his vision of a special school. He now has three volunteer English teachers; he has attracted Gaw Sa Naw, Thai non-formal high school teachers to his school; and is working on a major building program funded by Linked Hands for Humanity, a non-governmental organization. The picture on the right shows the Brackett party having lunch with the English teachers, including Emmett Kearney shown third from the top on the right.
Unfortunately Kyaw Hla Sein had a severe accident about one and a half years ago. He was buried in a landslide while riding his motorcycle near Nai Soi, and was left disabled mentally and physically. He has now recovered somewhat, but his wife a daughter were forced to take over the management and daily operation of the school. Now he is able to comment with humor about, God’s move for gender equity. The picture on the left shows Kyaw Hla Sein with his daughter Rosy, as they were discussing plans for the future of he school.
Jan. 22: Returned from India to Thailand.
Jan. 23: Met Judy Noyes and discussed plans for trip to Pi Lok Ki and Paw Ker Htoo.
Jan. 24: Interviewed Monks, and held first Alumni Group meeting.
Jan. 25 to Jan. 29: Visited Kanchanaburi, Pi Lok Ki, Paw Ker Htoo, Thong Pha Phum and Sangklaburi. Interviewed new and continuing students. Met with Paw Lulu and Nan Doe
Jan. 30 to Feb. 01: Met with ABAC, Rangsit and other students.
Feb. 02: Traveled to Chiang Mai. Begun sorting and classifying new applications.
Feb. 03 to Feb. 04: Met with Hoppy, Judy Winfield and Judy Noyes. Discussed interviews and interviewed applicants.
Feb. 05: Visited the boarding house at Hod. Decided to support purchase of a large water storage tank, and recognized Eh Hser needed some child care support.
Feb. 06 to Feb. 08: Visited Mae Hong Son. Discussed continuation of the Karenni Teachers Project with Karenni leaders. Visited the Nai Soi CLC.
We hope this note finds you all happy and healthy. Please write us with any questions or comments. We will be happy to respond.