Newsletters

ภาษาไทย

Dalaa newsletter  October 2016

Dear everyone, dear all-in-one,

Since August, many workcamps (WC) have been going on in DaLaa, including 3 WC with Japanese groups from NICE organization at Ko Sukorn, Kok Payom and Tamek projects, 1 mix group WC Belgium scouts/HongKong students in Kok Payom, our first international family WC in Withee Tai project, a French group WC in Ta Yang and a STC in a new place named Ko Yao, Phannga province.

The last WC in date was in October 15-21 like every year, DaLaa family camp, the days to remember our starting WC 12 years ago. We were 31 full time participants to work on the environment of our Voluntary Service Center, around our office and Kok Riang project. We could repair the roof of the toilets and paint them beautifully, move the ducks from the house to the garden and plant the rice field together. On the 20, we had a wonderful concert on a unique homemade stage. Our simple spirit is more than ever present.

As the end of the year is coming, we started to visit our MLTV projects one by one to exchange with the hosts, summarize the year and plan for 2017. We already visited Ko Sukorn and spoke with Ja Tak, Ja Yao, Bang Mat and Bang Ming. We’ll continue the project in the same way, open from August to March and try to extend activities: rice and watermelon planting, fishery, daily life at the family, gardening and English lessons/activities with local kids and adults. We had 3 French girls scouts in August, then the group WC for the rice planting, a break in September and 5 French volunteers in October. They all got a Thai nickname linked to the weather elements: Fon, Nam, Payou, Fa, Nok. They seem to enjoy the slow life on this island and the cultural immersion. Three of them are leaving in November and a Danish volunteer will replace them.

A STC will be organized there in December 15-28 for rice harvesting. In November, the STC is in Ko Bulon (13-26), activities at the local school. Mooi will be the coordinator for the 6 international volunteers. By the way, the STC plan for next year is on the website already. (January to April).

The other place we just went to visit is Tamek. After 2 years and 5 WC, the villagers are willing to try MTV in 2017. After many discussions, we decided to organize it from March to May, 3 months for school holidays to give more importance to activities with kids. The community in the mountains between Pattalung and Trang provinces is also willing to preserve their rich environment and way of life close to the nature. In 2017, we will also launch 2 MTV projects in North East Thailand with new partners. We’ll promote them next month. The continuation of Roywan Phan Pba with DaLaa volunteers is still unclear as P Ju was not available to join the planned meeting. He is working now on preserving and developing Lang Hai Mee school. We haven’t send volunteers there since last June.

In Kok Riang, during the break with no inter volunteer in August, Lung Jaeng with the help of Wut and Loh, Thai volunteers reorganized the whole garden. It’s now totally planted with more bamboos, lemongrass, bananas, all the leaves vegetables and of course the passion fruits. Tomomi from Japan and Nicolas from France arrived in September first and then Silja and Miriam from Switzerland. In October, Marilou exchanged with Nicolas who replaced her in Withee Tai project. There is a lot of weeding to do and less and less watering with the raining season starting here. They are spending lots of time at the garden and it looks better and better. We had the MLTV gathering in October there and managed to clear half of the pineapples from the weeds.

At Kok Payom project, there are still many volunteers joining the community work and organizing activities at the local schools. Kokoro, 1 year volunteer has now left, thanks again for your great help! Toto is now the “experienced” volunteer to introduce new coming. Yoshi from Japan stayed since August and is leaving soon. He is one of the many in the village to experience this year Dengue fever… In September, they welcomed two new 1-year volunteers from Germany ( Sara and Josefine) and Anna who moved from Ta Yang and stayed until mid-October, when Tifaine joined the team for the next 2 months. Klong To Lehm is going well, it is looking more and more like a workcamp, participants learning from each others. Bang Dam is going soon to work in Ko Lippe, supporting Chui his son. Bang Bari, Bang Prian and Bang Deat will be taking over the responsibility of activities. On September 4th, during the Japanese group WC, there was an important event: mangrove planting day, with seminar and concerts, a great time together.  See from Malaysia stayed as internship for 2 months and is coming anytime she can to join activities.

Ta Yang was also very busy in August, with the 3 weeks group WC. Ni, a former outgoing volunteer came from Bangkok to help coordinating the 6 STV from France with the MLTV team, Florent, Arold and Anna at this time. They did many activities with kids and villagers and enjoyed so much. But it was not easy for the hosts to create some activities and too much free time for volunteers. Bang Leem and his team decided they will not organize WC in the near future but rather focus on improving MLTV. They were very happy to get the two 1-year volunteer from Germany in September: Nicolas and Helen with Keisuke, a 2-months volunteer from Japan. They think they will be able to make a significant difference in the progress of English abilities for local kids. After 3 years of the project, it’s still not easy for Bang Leem family to share their time with volunteers but the great improvement is that kids are coming on their own to the learning home and their parents are used too. Evening classes for adults are also working quite well. Two new volunteers are coming in November.

We are going to visit our last MLTV project Withee Tai in November. Now are staying Tim who is staying 6 months and Larissa, both from Germany. Marilou stayed in September and Nicolas in October. One volunteer is coming this month and an other one next month.  After finishing the clay house, the activities were more free and personal, as Crue Liam was quite busy. Cooking with the kids, preparing games and tools construction were the activities of volunteers. The great news is that Cru Liam could get the official registration of his alternative school. There are already 6 kids subscribed and he is looking for more. Hopefully the activities will be more organized in the future. The place for the new school is here and needed to be built. In August, I could join our first international family workcamp to build the clay house. Eric and Anne-Sophie came with their two kids Diane and Louis and our 10 days together were wonderful, sharing the daily life with the families at Withee Tai and exchanging about education and working to build the volunteer house.

There was also a STC in August at Ko Yao with 18 international volunteers coordinated by Son and See. Volunteers had a great time organizing activities with 9 local schools. But one difficulty came from the director boards who decided to separate the volunteers in 9 teams and we couldn’t go against their decision. That meant that there was not a feeling of team all together. The immersion into each community was good though. If we continue the project next year, we will focus on only one community as was the plan for this time. We also will not focus on the English teaching but on the community strength to deal with tourism evolution on the island. Better communication will be needed.

For the other news about DaLaa organization, Bai Toey continues to work with DaLaa, she is taking over Air concerning outgoing e-mails and phone calls while Air will be continuing preparation meetings in Bangkok. Mooi came back from IJGD Germany with some new experience, being on the other side of the mirror, being the stranger. Sakkarin will take part in PHASE project for the next 2 years: a training from Europe council to DaLaa to be able to get a certificate to receive EU volunteers sponsored. He will go for the first meeting in India in December. Son just went to join Weltwaert meeting in Cambodia concerning 1 year volunteer from Germany.  Yong is back from 1 year volunteering in France and she came to stay almost a month in Kok riang.

Next news should be in January when we will have finished with yearly plans. Keep spreading volunteers values around you.

Alex

 

 

 

Dalaa newsletter  July 2016

So what is becoming DaLaa? no pictures on facebook recently. Are they still active, alive? Don’t worry we are still here but just not a lot of work done on social medias…If you want some pictures,  you need to check the profile of lung Jaeng, the host of Kok Riang project, or the one of Kok Payom, Ta Yang has one too, and even P Ju, the host from Roywan is using it now. We’ll see if Bei Toey, who is coming to help in DaLaa for these 3 months will have time to improve this. She came to support STC during Mooi has a training in Germany for 2 months.

In July was a STC in Kok Riang with about 20 participants from Thailand and abroad. They managed to make a good team and work in the garden, planting corn and salad seeds, weeding and making a new compost and a mushroom hut. There aren’t now anymore volunteers in Kok Riang until September. It may be an enjoyable break for Lung Jaeng and Wut a Thai young guy is still helping him with the garden. The French MLTV crew left already: from April to July, Margaux, Lucas (who stayed 7 months), Julia, Amandine, Valentin and then Geraldine and Anthony came and went, bringing life and help at Kok Riang. There were also  Niklas and Florence back from Roywan and all the other MLTV passing by, during the introduction, MLTV gathering in July and other visits.

After Niklas and Florence left earlier Roywan project in April, we took the difficult decision to make a break in sending volunteers there. Since 2011, we have been always supporting P Ju in building and running this food autonomy and alternative education center in Kuan Mai Bong village. Recently, quite some volunteers had difficulties to stay at the project and we feel we need a break to make the point on some difficulties in the cooperation with P Ju. We plan a meeting together to see how a future cooperation would be possible. We will keep you informed.

In June, the STC was in Tamek, Trang province, 10 Thai volunteers and 3 international joined the local community to continue common activities about environment, gardening and local kids education. The highlight of the project was the official opening of the community learning center on the last day of the camp, many people came around P Singh and other villagers. A Japanese bilateral camp, open to inter vol. will be held there in September 4-15.

In June we also had the half year overview of DaLaa and the Training and NetWorking where the hosts of all the projects gathered with us in Kok Riang. Those are important time in the life of the organization.

In April – May, we a had a STC in Kok Payom, to build a new kitchen and water system for Klong Toh Lehm. There were 4 international and 5 Thai STV. Brigitta (Hungary) and Juliette (Belgium) are now gone as well as Abbas (France) and Azzedine (Switzerland). Amina just left few days ago after 11 months there, she has been really closed to the community and spent a lot energy for the teaching in Kok Payom school. June was more quiet with the ramadan. it was the start period for Marie and Maxime from France, staying until September. Tristan and Melanie stayed only a short time in June. Since July, we have also 3 more French (Again!!), Anthony who wishes to stay a year and Luna and Laure who will stay only 1 month. Kokoro is now the senior volunteer , she should leave in September after the arrival of the 2 new German 1 year volunteer. In August, a japanese man, Yoshimune is coming to stay 4 months. There is now 2 new toilets and a shower at SaLaa. The trilateral camp, Belgium-Hong Kong- Kok Payom started  on July 29 until Aug 7 and a japanese bilateral will be held on Aug 28-Sep 8. We are also very happy to welcome See from Malaysia, a former volunteer to join her internship 2 months in Kok Payom.

In Ta Yang project, the first crew of the year left in April, Eduard, Ariadna, Natacha and Jacob. In May, Charles, Victor and Sririne came in for 2 months, followed in June by Bertille who stayed a month, and Florent here for 3 months. Momoka from Japan joined the great French team for a month and since July, Arold (France) and Anna (Spain). So they are 3 in the MLTV team until September when 2  new German 1 year volunteer will come with a Japanese guy for 2 months. But from Aug 3 to 21, there will have more 6 Belgium volunteers coordinated by Ni, a former outgoing volunteer from Bangkok. The learning home is still welcoming villagers adults and children for cultural exchange and friendship with the volunteers. Bang Leem, Bang Sit, Bang Dan, and more Bang and Ka Ka are there to take care of the team.

The new project Withee Tai in Cha uat is going well, lead by Cru Liam and the neighbored families. Mitzi (Mexico) who stayed there 4 months was very close to the community. The life is quite free from constraints and directives, volunteers can find their place in the group, in daily tasks, activities with kids, healthy activities for body and mind, green market and now clay house building. Josephine from Denmark stayed 2 months as well as Lucia from Slovakia and Rozina from France. Only Anna from Spain couldn’t enjoy the life without a clear daily plan and prefered to move to Ta Yang. On next month a Spanish guy is coming for 4 weeks, Antonio. On Aug 5 to 15, we are having our first international family workcamp with a French family (whose father is working with out great partner SJ France). We will have 2 new vol. in September.

In August, we are re-opening the middle term project in Kok Sukorn (Trang), 3 French volunteers are coming for 3 weeks followed  by a group workcamp from Japan Aug 21 to Sep 1. It will be the period for rice planting and activities with the local school will be continued. The next MLTV team will come in October, 5 volunteers from … France. In fact, it happens that we have 4 partners organizations from France and they send us quite a lot of volunteers.

To finish, in August, 8 to 21, we will have a STC with 20 international volunteer in Ko Yao Yai, a touristic island in Phangnga province. The camp is in coordinated by the group of local schools and the aims is to organized activities with kids  and villagers. The social life have been damaged by mass tourism and we would like to support them to preserve it by finding solutions with the international volunteers community and through friendship activities. Son will be the coordinator.

We would like to remind you that our yearly DaLaa family camp will happen on October 15 to 21 in Kok Riang, please contact us if you wish to join.
Have a nice day
Alex

DaLaa newsletter March 2016

Dear everyone,

Between January and March, the cool and rainy winter became a hot and dry summer for South Thailand. This is holiday time for school kids until May and volunteers continue to support without fading the host, the community they chose to live with.

The last important happening was the 3 years anniversary of Tayang learning home last March 26. Supported by the team of Short term (8 Thai and inter vol.)and long term volunteers and the Thai Research foundation of Langu, Son, Bang Leem and his local team managed to gather villagers around a very convivial event for every generation: mangrove trees planting, activities for kids, seminar about the Learning home action and mangrove preservation and beautiful shows and concerts in the night. The organizers believe it has been a great help for villagers to understand what is going on in the learning home with international volunteers. This is what is felt by MLTV that despite their great work, they miss more interaction and recognition from the people around. Ariadna and Eduard from Spain put a lot of energy in activities with kids, gardening and joining daily life since January. They will leave at the end of April. Emylou (France) was with them for a month in January while Natacha and Jacob (Denmark) just arrived in March for 2 and 3 months. More 2 French volunteers are coming in May to start the new school year.

In February, the STC was in Roywan Phan Pba. There was a very good atmosphere between participants 7 STV, leaded by P Ju, Alex and the MLTV team. We could plant quite some vegetable in the potato field, do activities at Lang hai Mee school and make exchange visit with villagers of Kuan Tia (20 km away) who are planting and milling rice in a traditional way. We brought a hand rice mill at Roywan who will be used in the near future. Clara has now left after her 5 months participation. She had a great capacity of adaptation and went over the difficulties and the great time gaining a strong experience there. January was a difficult month: Mie left and was not really happy; Manon and Camille, 2 new vol from France left after 1 week and Lucie followed them to spend her last month in kok Riang. P Ju was under pressure of the economic potato project and it was difficult to see to overall picture for volunteers. Hopefully, Claire a former 6 month volunteer came back for over 1 month with her sister and a friend. They have been helpful in their discussions and spirit. Marta, from Spain stayed 1 month in February and now there is only Niklas from Germany and he is doing great with P Ju family and Sin, a young Thai coming to join for the summer. They spent most of their time in the field. They started to sell Okinawa potatoes at the market and spread their alternative economic project with other communities. Activities with kids will start as soon as more volunteers are coming, 1 Belgium girl is coming in April and 2 French in May.

Aimee from Luxemburg joined the liberal community of Withee Tai for over a month in January. It was a good experience, with maybe a bit too much free time for her, activities with local kids on the weekends and a 5 days health camp. For the evaluation of this 2nd volunteer, we decided to focus on these 3 questions for the future volunteers: 1- How to live sustainable in this world?​  2- How to develop one’s awareness? ​  3- How to get out of our old scheme to make possible an education respectful of human beings? They started since February an alternative market in Cha Uat town every Friday afternoon where they promote local products and organize discussions and games. There is now a new vol from Mexico, Mitzi who plans to stay 5 months and we have quite many applications for the coming months. We are also preparing an international family workcamp in August to build the new clay house for volunteers. It will be our first family camp experience in DaLaa. We have very good communication with the 2 main hosts Crue Liam and P Mana. For example Ta Yang team  organized a study trip to learn from Withee Tai way of life, Crue Liam and P Mana came back to join Ta Yang anniversary forum. Those exchanges between hosts are very benefic for the projects.  Kok Payom team also came to visit Tamek community during the March workcamp where Mooi was coordinator. The exchange was really rich. The 2 Inter vol. seemed to enjoy their experience in Tamek very much.

Kok Payom project has been recently over crowded by volunteer requests. We need to refuse quite some people to stick to a maximum of 5 or 6 MLTV at a time. It seems there was some good feedback from former volunteers. The community managed to include international volunteers in their daily life. Volunteers can have a big diversity of tasks depending on their motivation and skills. Lately, they have been preparing some mentorship system for the kids of Klong Toh Lehm. Each volunteer is mentor for 4 or 5 kids. They will try to get close to them, like visiting at home, try to understand their background and we will keep record about each kid. Kokoro decided to extend her stay to 1 year and Amina is doing well too. Arnau left in January, followed by Elisabeth and Luisa just a week ago, they were really satisfied. Leo from France came in January for 2 months, he was civil engineer trainee and could help with the construction of the new Mosque; he was very close to bang Bari. Enora from France came in January too and will leave in April. In March arrived 2 new volunteers: Brigitta from Hungary and Juliette from Belgium. In April 2 more volunteers are coming, both are men.

In Kok Riang, the project is still very active, Lung Jaeng doesn’t stop between garden, travelling around, visit friends, pick up DaLaa volunteers at the airport and barbecue restaurant… a classic. Now there are only 3 volunteers: Lucas until the beginning of May, Margaux arrived in February is leaving soon and Julia who just arrived and will stay 3 months. 3 of them are French and 4 more French volunteers are coming in May!  Many volunteers are passing by: all the new MLTV for introduction, the ones who are going for visa, the one who go back, the one who don’t like their project:), Lung Jaeng welcome everyone. Mooi and Boy built their small hut close to the volunteers, they build one at the garden and an other one will be built soon to welcome more people. The garden looks very nice, many green leaves vegetables and the passion fruits, a lot of watering, first try of compost… Sai and Praw, the 2 internships left in March after 4 happy months spent there. Kohe left in February and Suoku in March. Lucie spent over a month helping coming back from Roywan, Manon and Camille were here 2 weeks. We also welcome 5 youngsters from an orphanage nearby staying one week in March.

This is the break time for Ko Sukorn project. It will open again in August. In January, Mooi organized a group workcamp with Hong Kong students (who came to Roywan in 2015), they could collect rice and pick up more watermelons joining with the MLTV Aurore from France and Defne from Germany. Both left in February. Their experience was rich even if the last month was much less activities because agriculture period was over. They always stayed in a host family and could organize activities with kids at the local school.

For other activities, we had a STC in Koh Nang Kham (Pattalung), in January, where Son was the coordinator, 2 inter vol and 6 Thai vol helped to organize activities at Crue Chem school and share the local culture of this Songkhla lake village for 2 weeks. Sakkarin went to join the NVDA (Asian network) annual meeting, it was in Cambodia, hosted by our partner CYA and he could enjoy the rich exchange. We had also a MLTV gathering in Kok Riang, with quite a lot of people where we could have good friendship and deep discussions about the meaning of our actions.

We went to survey many places in January and February for future projects. Ko Yao first, a nice island in Phanga province, close to Phuket where we will have our STC in next August. It was introduced from a Thai participant of last year DaLaa family camp, P Ek. The directors of local schools deplore the damages of tourism on the local social life and Muslim culture. We will start with a small project of activities with one school and the villagers around. Son went to survey in Kok Sai, close to Klong Ra in Pattalung, where some active locals will organize a camp in next October, environment and kids. Sakkarin went to North-East Thailand, to visit Netting, a good and very active friend and 2 other possible future projects. Their names are Under the Takob tree from P Tip in Roy Et and the Institute of wisdom for young development from P Kit in Ubon Ratchatanee. They are both active in agriculture and taking responsibility of the education of children and people around. We may start activities with them soon, we’ll keep you informed.

There have been only few outgoing volunteers the last 3 months. Right now, the programs of 2016 workcamps have been announced fully on the database website. Thai volunteers are requiring information on international workcamps this year. The old out-going volunteers in Bangkok is forming a working group around Air to have monthly gathering to introduce DaLaa and out-going projects to the new outgoing volunteers, sharing experiences, assisting on visa process, and etc. Recently, 2 Thai volunteers have attended environmental short-term workcamps in Japan. Their stories will be posted on DaLaa website soon.

To finish about the news, Ui gave birth, a cute little boy named Leo. Son decided to be part time paid to spend more time in Ta Yang. Mooi is very excited to have been accepted in IJGD Germany for 2 month training from June to August. A will join a STC in Laos during April with the organization Sai Laos. It will be very busy during July to September with many group workcamps coming and we need to find some camp leaders/coordinators to help us during this period.

This newsletter was quite long, I am sure only the best one will have read it to end, right?

Thank you

Alex

 

DaLaa newsletter December 2015

A year is over, the cycle of the seasons. Life is movement but is a cycle too, isn’t it? In DaLaa, we are ready for a fresh new start. After 2015 overview, we made new plans together; how can we continue to follow our dreams? How can we come back to true values in our daily life and in our projects? Keep learning, keep spreading the communities’ power, alternative education, food security, health security, volunteer spirit and stop to feed everything that is destroying nature and people.

We have power to make things change at our level, at our personal level which is exactly what the world need to get better.

In 2016, we will try to:
– develop our Voluntary Service Center (VSC) in Kok Riang
– Gather members around us and give them a place in DaLaa
– start new cooperation with partners in Thailand
– Work on DaLaa as a learning organization
– Keep the strength to continue our activities

In the last 3 months, the most important events for DaLaa have been the family yearly workcamp to integrate the new DaLaa house in Kok Riang project, the start of Withee Tai community project, the Training and NetWorking meeting for projects hosts in Ta yang and the overview 2015/plan 2016 4-days meeting. We had also successful STC in Ko Bulon (November- activities with kids ) and in Ko Sukorn (December- collecting rice). We sent for the first time a group from Chiang Rai Rajapbat University to a reconstruction workcamp in Nepal with our partner FSL. We had a MLTV gathering in Kok Riang followed by an English camp with a local orphanage. We have 2 students’ internships, Sai and Praw who are staying with us from November to March.

In Kok Payom, everything is going smoothly. Sakkarin and the locals try to give some responsibilities adapted to each volunteer capacity. The volunteer team is now composed of Amina (Germany), Kokoro (Japan), Elisabeth (France), Luisa (Germany) and the only man Arnau (Spain) who is extending his stay until February. I heard Kokoro is putting a lot of effort in recycling projects and Arnau is taking care of monthly event of planting mangrove trees. Amina is taking care of the new volunteers with lots of attention. They continue teaching at local schools and in the evening at SaLaa, plus Klong To Lehm alternative school on Sundays. There has been many activities going on and visits from students and people interested of this responsible community and their alternative school in the mangrove.

In Ta Yang, there is a break now with no volunteers until January. They will have a fresh start with 3 new volunteers. Philine from Germany decided to stop her volunteering in November because it was too difficult for her to stay as the only volunteer. There were some economic and personal difficulties in the host team too so there were not many people around at this time. But the power is now back to welcome the new team. They started to plan the 3 years anniversary of the project which will happen in March supported by a STC.

In Kok Riang, the garden is going very well. There was not so much rain for this monsoon and the work could continue. P Teuy who helped a lot at the garden left in November. There has been Adam from Denmark who helped a lot during October-November and 2 short time Thai volunteers in October, Sun and Nan. In November arrived Lucas, gardener from France and in December aunty Suoku from Finland and Kohey from Japan. Can, the son of Lung Jaeng finished his monk period and is now back at home. There are also Sai and Praw, the internships that are sharing the daily life. We try to include everyone in the start of the Voluntary Service Center and welcome the local youth to organize activities with them.

In Roywan, the potato planting season is over, but now it’s time to pick them up. The volunteers are spending a lot of time in Lang hai Mee community especially for the school activities. Ben and Nono from France are leaving soon. There is Clara(Germany) who arrived in October and stays 5 months, then aunty Mie from Denmark and in December, Lucie from France. In December there was a university camp to start to build the new school of Lang Hai Mee. You can have more details on the blog of Clara: https://rebelllwithoutacause.wordpress.com.

In Ko Sukorn, we had Simon (Switzerland) that stayed 2 months and join the daily life of Ka Yao and other locals. Now Aurore from France is taking over and starting activities with kids. She will be lucky to join 2 workcamps during her stay. There is another volunteer coming in January and both will stay until end February. Then we’ll have a break until August before we re-open the project.

To finish in Withee Tai, the first volunteer, Laetitia, had a great experience surrounded by a very warm community and joining activities with kids (home schooled and regular) together. She saw this experience as an important step in her life. She was a bit surprised at the beginning: “ They are not poor, they don’t really need my help, or am I more here to learn???” The fact is that they all join together to create their dream, a liberal community. The main lesson she learned: Try to change yourself, not others.

Meen now gets a small salary from DaLaa, a kind of training period until January to see if she enjoyed it and is adapted to the work. Mooi is back in the team, as VSC leader and member coordinator. She’ll move to Kok Riang soon. Air is making up an outgoing team in Bangkok to prepare/evaluate/meet Thai volunteers joining projects abroad with our partners and Ui is carrying a new life in her belly.

Thank you for cooking.

Alex

 

DaLaa newsletter September 2015

“Baan DaLaa” or DaLaa’s home is finished in Kok Riang, we moved the DaLaa flower tree from the former Hatyai office last month. It’s very nice environment to work and a real pleasure (and a great support) to share the life of Lung Jaeng and the volunteer team there. Incoming volunteers and visitors are directly immersed in the volunteers’ environment and way of life. Only transport is a bit difficult sometimes.

DaLaa flower tree

Baan DaLaa

We’re having this October 15-21 the DaLaa yearly family workcamp to finish preparing Baan DaLaa, helping in Lung Jaeng garden and celebrating our 11th anniversary. Please contact us if you would like to join.

 

 

In the last 3 months, we had a Belgium group wk in Roywan, one Japanese in Ko Sukorn and another Japanese group wk in Tamek . We had also a STC in Bo 7 Look, one in Ta yang and one in Roywan.

Planting sweet potatoes Line up teachers!Tayang volunteer housePlanting rice in Ko SukornTamek dam

 

In Roywan, Short term volunteers could plant sweet potatoes together with the local community of Lang Hai Mee, where we also join the activities at the local school. A shelter for rice mill has also been built. In Bo 7 look, volunteers organized activities with the local school, their experience was quite good but we may not continue project with this community who has not enough understanding of IVS. Tayang has now 2 new volunteers’ bedrooms, thanks to STV. In Ko Sukorn, they could help planting rice and had very close relationships with local and kids. In Tamek, it was the first cooperation and it was quite rewarding for everyone, they build a small dam to have water to use in the village. We’ll continue to support Tamek community.

 

For Long term project in Kok Payom, we have now quite many volunteers. In July, Camille, Valentin and Kanae continued the activities and 4 internships from Pattanee PSU (Moa, Aisha, Alima, Shaida) were doing social mapping, community calendar about culture and economy, seasonal food and seasonal work. They organized a week end camping in Klong To Lehm academy (mangrove forest alternative school) and the National TV Thai PBS came to shoot a documentary on the project. It was broadcasted in September and a big reward for the local community. In August, Hinano (1 month vol from Japan)and Kanae were only the 2 volunteers. Hinao draw a very beautiful world map for the village. in September, arrived Amina, 1 year volunteer from Germany, Arnau, 4 month volunteer from Catalonia, Spain, Mary, retired scientist from USA coming to do 2 months research on the fishery in the village, Florian, former volunteer coming 1 month to help with mangrove preservation in his studies program and a Finnish retired couple Sakari and Auli staying 2 months.

Social mappingGoing to KTLCrazy in KTLgroup picture

 

In Roywan, the new cooperation with Lang Hai Mee community takes a lot of work for volunteers there: activities at the school, planting potatoes together as an alternative to rubber monoculture. There was also the gathering of 5 local communities to take agreements of forest, water and soil preservation at Lang Hai Mee. They planted trees and bamboo on the banks of the river, the same river that is crossing these 5 communities. At the project garden, they planted many durian, pineapples, bananas and sweet potatoes, mainly on the new garden on the other side of the road. The garden around the house is actually quite full already and needs only little care. They are raising fishes and frogs now and P Nong is always so good to do her market in the garden. Activities on Saturdays are still very good for local kids. There were very few volunteers recently in RW and not always fun for the group daily life, Charlotte and Ryo in July and only Mei from Japan staying the month of August. In September, a French couple Benoit and Noemie, arrived for 4 months, hopefully more are coming.

Saturday alternative schoolLang Hai Mee schoolPlanting on river banksMeen potato

In Kok Riang, last 3 months have seen Julien, who could transmit his love for the project to Tom from France staying 1 month and Alex and John from Romania who are just finishing their volunteer period. There were also in July Som, Mot and Bow from Bangkok. This may be the project you’ll meet the most people from all the social network of lung Jaeng, many visitors and visits, helping at the temple (Alex and John almost became monks). Also, since July was the building of the new office and we started to organize all our meetings, introduction and gathering of MLTV there so this is the gate way for all MLTV now. There was a shift in the end August when P Teuiy arrived from nowhere to stay at the project. He started to renew the entire vegetable garden, making beautiful vegetable beds and compost. Now, the team is spending the whole days there cooking with wood fire, eating vegetarian food in coconuts plates under the small hut.

In July, we could organize a MLTV gathering named “Keep learning, will for change” in Kok Riang.

watering the canalEating simpleThe gardenSunset happinessHappy lung JaengFamous bridge

 

Ta yang is going well too, Bang Leem welcomed in his learning home Mathieu (Belgium), Alice (France), Leila (France) while Charlotte (USA) was here to guide them in July, Akari (Japan) came in August. There was also Pak, a Japanese-Korean guy who came to help over a month. They continue activities with kids, gardening with Chuman and joining all the activities going on in the village. Ploy left the project in July after her great help to start the library of learning home. Now, Assan from the neighbour village is joining and helping a lot. Philline (nickname Kai) is the new German volunteer coming to stay 1 year. Risa back from her experience in Germany stayed the first month with her. We really need some new application for this project too.

Raising fundsOn the same boatGarden teamShort term teamBang Leem and co

We had also 2 internships from Indonesia Faisal and Satiul working together with Sakkarin and Thai Research Fund Organization in Jareeyatam School in Chalung (Satun)to help with Teaching English. It was very successful and we have already requests for more internships.

We also finalize the project with Withee Tai community in Cha-uat and already started to promote it to be started in 2016. It is about home schooling, sharing life with local community and traditional health for body and mind, Deep subjects for deep volunteers!

We already have the program for STC for the first 5 months of 2016. We decided to raise the fees from 7500 B to 8000B. For MLTV, we are raising the price for MLTV more 1000 B only for 2 months stay. For 3 months or more it doesn’t change.

Son, our staff joined a program North-South with SCI Belgium and SCI Germany for 2 months. He’ll be back in beginning October. Air manages the outgoing program from Bangkok. There are quite a lot of Thai volunteers joining programs abroad. We have especially a member joining 1 year program with SJ France, 1 joining in SCI Germany and 1 with FFL Nepal.

Mooi is less present as she is involved full time in another organization. A and Alex are maintaining the office work for now and Ui the international cooperation as usual. Sakkarin is around dealing with Ta yang, Kok Payom and some office work. The team is small but the meaning big!
Meen also, helped us a lot in the last 3 months, taking care of the STC and group wk. Sea from Malaysia also join 2 full months in DaLaa joining any possible activities. She was really helpful for motivation and link with villagers.
Finally in August, we had the visit of Nao and later from Yasu from Nice Japan partner organization our first and strong partner.

Thank you for your interest.

Alex

DaLaa newsletter June 2015

Dear DaLaa followers, we are very pleased to announce you that we are moving our office to the long term project of Kok Riang at Lung Jaeng house. In the next 2 months we’ll finished to build the new office and we will leave definitively Hatyai city to Klong Hoy Khong district about 25 km South-West. You can imagine all the great changes for us.

We also decided during our half year overview to focus on DaLaa as a learning organization at every level (volunteers, members, hosts and organizers). Participants should have in common never-ending will to learn and we’ll take special care about opening to each one capacity to share and learn with others.

Last month, we had a very powerful meeting for the third edition of DaLaa Training and NetWorking  (TNW)gathering in Roywan Phan Pba:“ The process to reach our goals- Host capacity building”: where the hosts of our long term projects meet all together in DaLaa team. We exchanged on the realities of each project, and on how to improve and support our common values. It felt like a growing spiral of energy above our actions. During this meeting, we also got to know 2 new motivated teams, Chumchon Witee Thai (“Liberal community”) from ChaUat- Nakorn Sri Tammarat and Tamek village community from Nayong-Trang. We are now in the survey process to include those two projects in our program.

In the last 3 months, we had 2 workcamps in Kok Riang, where volunteers helped with the garden, planting a lot of cucumbers, pumpkins and winter melon. There was a break of 2 months without any MLTV and now Julien from Switzerland is the only helper of Lung Jaeng. Can is becoming a monk for few months. Hopefully, DaLaa team will be more present as we are moving the office over there.

The May workcamp was in Ko Nang Kham, Pattalung, on the Songkhla lake. Crue Chem, welcomed the team with a lot of care and brought them to his little school to organize English, art and sport activities with the local kids. Participants enjoyed very much and Crue Chem is willing to welcome more volunteers. We’ll see the possibility to continue this new project.

In Roywan, the biggest news is that Nong Roy had a haircutJ. He is going to school in grade 1 to a special school in the mountain called Lang Hai Mee. There are only 3 grades and the teachers are really motivated to come to teach in this remote area. Volunteers are now helping to teach English at this school 2 days a week. The garden is growing well, they welcome more fishes, and soon piglets and frogs. There is right now only Ryosei from Japan as volunteer. Judit left after a great 5 months experience and Trine after 3 months. Leo left in April and there was also a Thai volunteer for 1 month named Farsai.

Ta Yang project is expanding quickly thanks to local community and the volunteers. Sarah and Birgit have just left, Ploy and Charlotte from USA continue to teach and to take care of the garden with Chuman. There is a lot going on there including a research about the impact of the international volunteers in the village, and the start for a new library, many new books have been donated already thanks to Ploy and her friends.

There was a long break in Kok Payom before a new team started again: Camille first and then Valentin and Kanae, Belgium, French and Japanese. During Ramadan period, the life is slowed down in the day time but activities are going on at the 3 local schools, at SaLaa and at KTL. There are also 3 internship students helping to gather information about the community.

As you can read, there have been very few international volunteers in the last 3 months but quite a lot of Thai STV. Hopefully, more are coming for the next months. Our promoting is mainly assured by few very good partners organizations and former volunteers advices to friends. We cannot join most of the IVS meetings abroad that now seems mandatory to be able to promote to a larger public. Never mind, we believe the quality of the projects will attract the volunteers needed.

Inside the organization, Air decided to continue her work in Bangkok, she will stay part time taking care of Thai outgoing volunteers. Mooi is stopping to get salary next month as she is working in South Thai activists’ network. She will still keep her responsibilities, join weekly meeting and be workcamp leader some workcamps. She will get financially help on these months. Min, who is joining already for few months, is helping a lot in the workcamps and plan to stay longer. She may become STC coordinator in the coming months. Risa is now in Germany for leader training with IJGD organization, she will join DaLaa when she’ll be back in September for at least 3 months.

For the activities plans, a Belgium bilateral camp in Roywan project July 7 to 20, a STC in Bo 7 Look-Satun from  July 21 to Aug 3, a STC in Ta yang in August with a Japanese bilateral camp in Ko Sukorn and a STC in Roywan in September. We’ll try to organize more members’ activities in Kok Riang as soon as the office is ready.

Thank you for reading

Alex

DaLaa newsletter March 2015

We just come back from Kok Payom for the Diary of Klong Toh Lehm academy: a mix of 3 years anniversary of the start of KTL, the end of the 1 year research to improve this alternative school and a forum called “the education of the community by the community” to reflect on the meaning of this action. It was a great time in the mangrove forest with the full support of Kok Payom villagers, the Short term volunteers who prepared this event for 2 weeks and many volunteers, visitors and musicians. It gave a lot of motivation and energy for Sakkarin and the local team to continue this experimental school for local kids as a part of the strength of the community.

2015 started with strong power for DaLaa organization. The plans for this year are clear: continue our MLTV projects, start an office project outside Hatyai city, start few new projects through STC, facilitate our members and staff capacity building. DaLaa is an open place, especially for the young generation, to make a difference in the society, follow strong values of solidarity, respect and volunteer spirit. We are the cement between the energy of the volunteers and the (wise) action of the project hosts within their community and environment.

Concerning capacity building, Air organized a Workcamp leader training at Kok Riang last January. In February, we did training for DaLaa staff and active members with the Community research center of Langu, Satun. They helped us to review our 10 past years and clear our future plans together.

Son will join a 2 months project with SCI network in Belgium and Germany to strengthen his own IVS skills and our collaboration with this big network. We will also send Risa, one of our members to join Camp leader training with IJGD Germany after a preparation within DaLaa organization. Alex could join a common food garden project in a local Dayak community of central Borneo (Indonesia) in January. He also could join a Buddhist alternative medicine camp in Cha-uat (Mor Keaw) in March, which is directly linked with our sustainable gardening and community life we promote in our projects. Mind your food, know the healing local plants, Mind your spirit and your body, be your own doctor and you won’t need to go to hospital anymore.

Sakkarin joined NVDA (Asian Network) general assembly in Nice-Tokyo at the end of January and meet many former supportive DaLaa volunteers.

We got quite a lot of Thai volunteers for our STC and outgoing this year thanks to Jit Assa website. We will able to send Yong, one of our good members to a 1 year long term project with SJ France. Mooi organized a new system of registration for DaLaa members through the e-mail: dalaa.othermember@gmail.com, it’s free and you just need to fill a form.

The first experience with MTV in Ko Sukorn-Trang province ended last December. It was a success and we plan for an 8 month MLTV period starting on August until March 2016 to continue the action. This period stick to the rice season until collecting the rice straws and making compost for the next season.  Ja Na invited us in middle March for a 7 days camps to make compost and collect watermelon, It was very nice for our Thai volunteers to work there with locals leaded by Mooi and A.

Roywan Phan Pba continued well too, after the new building in front of P Ju house started last December, they welcomed a 7 days HongKong bilateral camp in January to continue it and in February, there was a STC mainly based on activities with kids with few English camps in the garden. There were a lot of vegetables planted and a hard task with watering as it didn’t rain at all since January. There are now only Judit (6 month vol) and Leo (2 month) staying with P Ju family and Pond, the active local volunteer staying since September.

At Ta Yang Learning home, locals are learning very quickly, and volunteers enjoy very much: activities with kids, evening teaching with adults, fishing, mangrove trips, mini concert to collect funds…they don’t get bored with Bang Leem and other locals. The Finnish couple (Touko and Heidi) is leaving the project today (2 month). Sarah (5 months vol) will be teaching summer classes on her own for the next 2 weeks before a new MLTV is coming. They had a STC in January where they could build 2 new much needed toilets.

Kok Payom have been welcoming very interesting volunteers in the last few months, being able to enjoy and participate very actively in the community life and on their teaching tasks. Only trouble was that Mana the 1 year volunteer from Germany decided to stop his voluntary after 3 months last December. He had difficulty to get into the volunteer team. Now only Klara is staying until mid-April and there will have a gap without volunteer until May. But don’t worry local people are still keeping the community solidarity active and take care of Klong Toh Lehm children: Sakkarin, Kung, Son, Ant, Bang Bang and Ka ka…

Kok Riang, the gardening project close to Hatyai has nowadays 2 International volunteers, Adela (2 month) and Justyna (9 months who joined 3 projects). Maria and Birna from Feroe Islands and Ariane just left last week. They could plant a lot of vegetables, and passion fruits. The watering here too takes a lot of time mornings and evenings under the strong sun of summer. Lung Jaeng manages his small family with great patience and DaLaa members and staffs come to join often. At the beginning of March, we organized there a MLTV gathering coming from all the projects. It was a great time and we enjoyed a volunteer fiesta on a night, with new and old DaLaa members, singing around a camp fire.

Through DaLaa, through volunteering, we can meet some inspiring people, we can inspire others. For those last months, we would like to express sincere thanks to our new friends, supporters, advisers…: P Tik from Tai Lagoon, P Nui from Yot Nam Kang, Chuman from KualaBara in Ta Yang, Chet and Bang Pong from Langu research center and Crue Liam from Ta Satorn in Cha Uat.

And to finish, we had the surprise of the visit of Yanis, MLTV in Kok Payom in 2009 coming by bicycle from Luxemburg. He arrived by chance just on the day of Klong Toh Lehm anniversary.

For the rest, Air is now working in Bangkok since February. She is working half time for DaLaa for the outgoing and documentation part. Mooi is planning to share her time in DaLaa with another work starting in July, month when we should start our new office project. We’ll keep you informed.
Voluntary yours,

Alex

DaLaa newsletter- November 2014

During the last 3 months, we had a Japanese bilateral camp in Ko Sukorn- Trang(September) followed by the first experience of Middle term project there (October to December).  There are 4 volunteers staying for 2 or 3 months: Liam, Mathilde, Charlotte and Jarl (who just left). This period is the planting rice time on this small Muslim island. Volunteers organize activities with local kids at home and at school, plant rice, watermelons, vegetables, make compost, join villagers’ daily life and help in common activities, renovating the mosque. Everything is going well.

We had a workcamp in TaYang project in September, starting with a new team of Middle term volunteers. They could finish the volunteer learning home, plant some mangrove trees, do activities for the international peace day including a seminar about peace and cultural diversity and organize teaching with the local kids. Riina and Justyna, the 2 first volunteers will finish the project at the end of November. They have been joined by Donut for a month, by Liv and Johanne since October and Pen for 10 days. They have been organizing a lot of teaching especially during school holidays, also with adults in evening. It’s still the start of the project. There are few villagers really supporting Bang Leem in this project. Johanne is staying until mid December.

In October we had a special workcamp in Kok Payom titled “food autonomy in fishermen village”. It was special because almost the whole team of DaLaa was joining and one of the aims was to organize our 10th year anniversary. Many DaLaa members and villagers could join us too. We collected some local food like coconuts, palm sprouts in the mangrove forest and fishes in the canal to be eaten on the anniversary. We organized a seminar on food security/autonomy between volunteers and locals.

In November, Air is leading the STC in Ko Bulon in the continuation of last year; activities with kids and big cleaning up with the locals. There are 13 volunteers.

We organized a Middle and Long term volunteers’ seminar in Ban Na Ling (Kuan Niang-Songkhla) on beginning of November: “the spirit of the community”. There were 20 volunteers and we shared our time between discussing on the projects situation and discovering the local community from our host P Nui, musician and activist met at DaLaa anniversary.

In Kok Riang, a new team arrived in October: Emma, Frederik, Arthur, Pentii and Hazuki (moving from Roywan) and since November Stefan.  It’s quite a big team living like a (relaxed) farming family. They could plant some rice and continue gardening (lots of passion fruits now). They built a kitchen in the garden.  The project is getting its shape for this second year.

In Kok Payom, Claudia (Mamiaw)has just left. She was a great help in introducing all the volunteers who arrived since September and bringing them to understand the way of living in the project. Giaccomo is a 1 year German volunteer; Mai from Japan is there for 4 months and later came Lena for 4 months too and Irene from Spain. They continue their teaching at local school and at Salaa, plus Sunday at the mangrove alternative school Klong Toh Lehm and still enjoy the local community life.

In Roywan Phan Pba, there was a big concert organized in September for donations. Many bands came to support and play until late in the night. The money will be used to make another building in front of P Ju house for teaching/eating/coffee together. This will happen in December 20 to 28 helped by students from Hatyai PS University. Lung Ham, senior volunteer from Japan left in September after 5 months in the project. Hazuki switched to Kok Riang project at the end of September.  Lukas and Tamara, from Austria stayed 2 months and left already while Yumiko arrived for 3 months starting in October. They could do a lot of planting during raining season and continued Saturday teaching when there was not too much rain. Since November, 3 new volunteers are there: Ousmane, Diane and Judith and Liv moved there too for her last volunteer month. They have also a Thai volunteer Pon from the neighbor village staying full time.

For other news, Air presented DaLaa at Jit assa (Thai network) booth in Bangkok- Sakkarin will join the Asian network NVDA General Assembly in Japan and a meeting about Asian Voluntary Service- Dee finished his internship with DaLaa- Bai teuy, our active member is volunteering in Poland for 9 months- In December there is a STC is in Ko Sukorn (12-25) to end the middle term project- We’ll have DaLaa yearly overview and 2015 plans from Dec 5th to 10th.

DaLaa 10th year anniversary
Last October 19th, we could organize our 10th year anniversary in Kok Payom (our longest long term project) together with local villagers, old and present volunteers and DaLaa members, projects hosts and friends. It has been a great event under the sign of volunteering and participation of many people (over 400 registries so likely to have reached 600 people as we didn’t register in the night time).
We feel the need to thank again all the people who make it possible to gather such positive energies for this event; it gave us such a strong power to continue our actions for the local communities and volunteering actions in general. Sure that we’ll meet again, living, learning and working together!
DaLaa team
Activities started from 9 o’clock in the morning with opening speech and Thai dance performing. Then people could join the activities they preferred: the forum named “humanity in the 22nd century”, Triple H music circle for the children, Yoga teaching or art activities. In afternoon, there were the hilarious local games and the fruitful seeds exchange, followed by kids’ local shows and clay modeling art. The night started with video projection of DaLaa activities in the past 10 years followed by concerts and poetry. The students from Klong Toh Lehm, the local alternative school could sing their preferred song with the true band that creates this song: Tai Lagoon. The whole day there were also free herbal and fruit teas, local snacks (Canom Jack) and local palm leaves handcraft by Ta Yang neighbor community and the local mangrove forest department. The lunch and dinner were free too, prepared by villagers and volunteers using mostly the local food we could gather in the week before, during our special “food autonomy” workcamp. It finished late in the night and in the next day for cleaning out, over tired and over happy, this (no garbage) event will stay in the memories of all the participants. Thank you so much, Let’s continue… in the right direction.
















Newsletter August 2014

Dear everyone who are interested in following us,

Once upon a time, a long time ago, it was in August too, few friends were starting to IMAGINE a new organization. It would be about volunteering, it had to be international; their experiences in that field were showing this direction: a gathering of young people who want to make a difference, more understanding between people of different cultures; working without the reward of money, building true relationships between people, doing something useful for society, learning from each other, toward harmony, toward peace. A big vision, a big motivation! In October they started and continued until 10 years now. All those years were full of hard-work, trying, changing, learning, growing and spreading the ideas around, as the name of the flower they chose for the group: DaLaa. We cannot count how many people have been touched by our work, by our actions, how many people have been disappointed too but we are still here, strong and determined, surrounded by local people and all these children, the past volunteers. We are going to celebrate that on October 19th: our 10th Anniversary in Kok Payom, our longest MLTV project. Welcome everyone!

During the last 2 months, we had a Belgian bilateral STC (Short Term Camp) in Tai Rom Mai, first cooperation with Na Eiat: revitalization of his alternative school in the mountainous area of Pattalung, activities with kids and agriculture with Belgian young “scouts” and a few Thai volunteers. It was challenging for everyone but the results were quite positive.

We had a STC in Kok Riang too in July, helping this long term center with the non-chemical garden, and having a lot of fun. Here again, a great participation from Thai volunteers.

We organized a MLTV (Middle and Long Term volunteers) seminar in Tai Rom Mai, with subject “back to simple life” according to the place.

In August, STC in Roywan Phan Pba has just finished. The volunteers helped with building and preparing for an important fund-raising concert on September 6th to support new buildings and did some teachings for local kids

Mooi is now coordinating a Japanese bilateral camp in Ko Sukorn, where we are starting the middle-term project in October. Volunteers are helping with agriculture and activities with kids.

This month we are having very few MLTVs, two Germans in Kok Payom (Helene and Claudia) and two Japanese (Lung Ham and Hazuki) plus a Thai volunteer (Nut) in Roywan Phan Pba.  Many more volunteers are coming in the next months. There is a break in in-coming volunteers for Kok Riang until October and in Ta Yang there was no volunteer for July-August. In Kok Payom, Felix, 1 year volunteer and Suzanne (6 months) have just left but they should be back at some point… Not much changes in the activities.

For out-going projects, during the past 2 months, several Thai volunteers participated in different workcamps in many countries; Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Iceland, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, for instance. You can check out their pictures and stories on DaLaa’s website and facebook later on.

Air went to Germany for 2 months since end of June for in-coming program from IJGD, our new partner organization. She visited a few volunteer project sites in Berlin, attended preparation seminar for mid-term volunteers, workshop for workcamp leaders and took part in 2 different workcamps.

Dee from Hatyai University join us for his 4 months internship until November. He is helping now Mooi at the STC and will spend some time in a long term project, where he will be the most needed next month.

In September, Sun will be the camp leader in Ta Yang project at Bang Leem learning home from 9th to 22nd September. There are for now 3 short term and 2 long term volunteers planning to join and it’s still possible to apply (building toilets and activities with kids). Then in October the preparation workcamp “ food autonomy in the fishermen village” for our 10th anniversary will be held from October 15th to 22nd. Most of DaLaa organizers will join it as well as few former volunteers coming from the occasion. You may meet some interesting people.

Hope to see you there

Alex

DaLaa 6 month overview (June 2014)

In the first half of 2014, Dalaa organization has maintained its direction, through our activities and mainly long term projects.

Tayang learning home is starting slowly, Kok Payom fishermen community learning and local kids teaching is continuing well; we can feel the participation of villagers. Roywan Phan Pba  food autonomy was rather successful, even if the project is shifting from a village project to a family project, apart from the local kids teaching. Kok Riang is improving slowly, focusing on agriculture. Lung Jaeng is starting to reach the local community by selling their own products (non chemical vegetables) at the market. Kataphusin fruit garden is waiting for permanent residents and accommodations building before we can welcome volunteers again.

Since January, we have organized 1 STC in each of our 4 active MLTV centers and one in Don Sai school, a project that we decided not to start MLTV.

We have seen a raise in MLTV applications and in Thai volunteers joining our activities, as well as outgoing thanks to our Thai network” Jit Assa”. We have seen a big decrease in STC applications. The budget is quite in balance with our plans but we are still unsure for the end of the year.

The staff team (7 of us) is still working on improving cooperation and effective daily tasks. Meetings and host evaluations have improved a lot. We are working now on including Thai volunteers in our activities, especially a high educated student public, with its new need to join such volunteers activities, in Thailand and abroad. We are planning to work further on outgoing and to clear and develop our members system.

It’s a pity that there are so few international volunteers applying for our STC, including Kok Riang in July, the survey for a new agricultural project in Khao Pra, in August, Ta Yang learning home in September, our 10 years anniversary camp in Kok Payom in October; in November and Decenber, we’ll have 2 STC , like last year in our special projects Ko Bulon (teaching) and Ko Sukorn (activities with kids and agriculture). We are organizing a middle term camp in Ko Sukorn too, with possibility to apply from September to December, the period of rice and watermelon planting.

We confirm full safety in our projects and deploring the difficult political situation in Bangkok-Thailand.

Yours,

DaLaa team

Newsletter of March 2014

Hello to everyone,

DaLaa news are back, after the winter break;) What about you? You wish to join us, to keep an eye on the project you have joined, on the organization… Do you still have the power, the flame to make the change, to live according to your soul, your beliefs? It looks like we have to go against the flow for this, around us, it is not so bright. We try to make a difference with our projects, with our action, giving back importance to basic things of life, relationships, food, work, health…Everyone can do a lot by improving oneself, at anytime.Let’s support each other for this.

This year we have been spending some time for the annual overview and the 2014 future plans. We came out with clearer responsibilities for organizers and a better description of our projects. The HR and PR plans are also quite complete. The plans for network still need to be improved. For our budget, the plan is ready but it is not very balanced. It seems that we are having less and less international Short Term volunteers, partly due to the unfamous political situation in Bangkok.

If your interested to read about our annual overview or 2014 plans, please send us a e-mail.

Last January, we have been joining a big meeting with International organizations from Asia, it was the Training for Networking and General Assembly of our asian network (NVDA). Following was a meeting about Long term volunteering. It was very interesting to meet friends and colleages from others volunteer organizations. It helped and will help us to strength cooperation with some of them.

We are taking a big step with outgoing (sending Thai volunteers abroad) and including Thai volunteers in our projects. And this especially thanks to our Thai network called “Jit-assa”. They help us to promote our activities. We are starting a new cooperation with the volunteer club from PSU university (Hatyai): we will have 6 long term volunteers joining our MLTV from April to June. Air is planning to organize outgoing camp with neighbor countries partners in Malaysia, Myanmar… Thai students will have a 5 months break while the Thai school year is shifting to the international calendar (September to June instead of May to March) and it may bring more students to join us.

Roywan Phan Pba has been going very well recently. There are now 5 volunteers and the team is very strong. Lots of time for gardening, watering and they are building 2 new huts for the volunteers. We changed the desciption of the project to “Food autonomy and alternative teaching”. About 30 kids are coming every Saturday and P Ju tries to involve the parents as much as possible.

Kok Payom team (6 volunteers) is also working well. Suzanne, last year MLTV in Thung Mor (project that we decided to stop) has come back to be 6 months volunteer in Kok Payom. Villagers are building her a small house! Volunteers enjoyed the good mood and relationships of local people. They continue teaching at local school, in the evening at Salaa and on Sundays in the mangrove alternative school (Klong Toh Lehm). There just has been a STC with 9 volunteers including 7 Thai students. They could renovate the kitchen at SaLaa.

In Kok Riang, there are now 5 volunteers. They are planting a lot and watering of course. In the garden, the sitting hut is now repaired and the toilets finished.They have been helped by the Backpacker club from Hatyai university for 10 days and having a STC from March 26th to April 8th. They are having difficulties to live and work as a team, maybe missing a leader. In the MLTV seminar from March 19th to 21st, we will try to discuss about the life in the long term projects and hopefully that can be improved.

February workcamp was in Ta Yang, close to Kok Payom. They could build a big hut for volunteers and do activities with local kids. The first long term volunteer is arriving at the end of the month for this new project hosted by Bang Leem: Ta Yang Learning home. We’ll limit to 2 international volunteers until June.

Kataphusin(Wipawadi) is also open on the long run, fruit garden, spiritual reflection and invitation to raw food. We’re gonna visit the host Jean-Luc next week.

Last January, we had a STC in Don Sai school, Nakorn Sri Tammarat. The 5 international volunteers have been helping teaching in the local school and very well included in the life of this local village thanks to the school principal, Mr Amnouai. We decided not to start a long term project there because there is no one of us who could be the coordinator. We are also a bit concerned that the project is mainly supported by the school director. Anyway we keep the contact for a future support or STC project in common.

You can check our STC program for 2014 on the website. In October, we’ll have our 10th year anniversary- Jamboree form 17th to 21st. Give us our ideas-Come to join. We’ll have a preparation workcamp.

As I was writing, we are having less STC volunteers but the long term projects are working good, and it is very meaningful for us.

Wish you to follow your dreams.

Alex


Newsletter of November 2013

Raining season in Thailand is kind of our winter. Some are stuck by snow; here it would rather be by floods, but nothing really serious this year. In DaLaa we are preparing for the yearly overview and future plans for 2014. Next month we’ll have an important meeting/promoting in Bangkok in cooperation with the Thai Volunteer spirit network. In January, we’ll join this big Asian volunteer organizations network (NVDA) meeting in Songkhla. And right after this there is the global LMTV meeting welcoming people from organizations all over the world to discuss about middle and long term volunteers projects issues.

The last important event is the MLTV seminar which will be held in Khao Pla from the 1st to 3rd of December.

For the projects going on, Kok Riang is rather quiet with the rain. Alexander has left, and the 2 Danish voluteers left continue small work in the garden, when it’s possible with Lung Jaeng, Can and Neck. They’ll leave in December. In Roywan, Dex has just left. Sofie and Marta (EVS program from Poland) are waiting for 2 coming volunteers in few days. The University camp was very busy as for the preparation as for the workcamp. There were about 30 students and they could build a new school place in front of the long term huts. During this time there was no teaching. In Kok Payom the short term camp last month was really successful on the human and social side, with a great organization from the villagers and the volunteers, but the vegetables planted couldn’t all grow with the strong rain on last weeks. The team of long term volunteers there is quite strong with 4 of them. They joined the start of the workcamp in Ko Bulon (6 volunteers) to do activities with the local kids which is finishing today. Suzanne from Tung Mor kindergarten project was there too. She’ll be back to her project until end of December. Next month the short term camp will be in Ko Sukorn. Mooi and Sun will be the leaders again.

That’s it for this month, write you later.

Alex

Dalaa newsletter October 2013

Allright, DaLaa program for the first half of 2014 is done and promoted. You can check it on our website. After the meeting with the current and possible future partners at the end of August, we went for surveys during September. As we decided, the new places will be started by a 2 weeks camp, as the first contact with the community before to decide whether we continue with sending long term volunteers there.

The first workcamp of 2014 will be in Ban Don Sai, not far from Kuan Mai Bong in Nakorn Sri Tammarat province. Volunteers will work in the village school which is much supported by the locals, the teachers and a great principal to become the center of the community life. There, the people are taking a big responsibility in the education of their kids. It’s nice to see. The next one will be in Ban Ta Yang, close to Kok Payom in Satun province. It is the same kind of activities and aim but this will be organized through only one motivated villager named Bang Leem as an alternative school for local kids, in evening and week-ends. The 3 following Camps will be organized in each of our active long term places, to rebuilt the kitchen (finally) in Kok Payom, build a mushroom farm in Kok Riang together with the Hatyai University Backpacker club, and to build a shelter for a rice mill in Roywan Phan Pba.

We also went to survey in Ko Sukorn, a peaceful island of Trang province where a very friendly and simple sustainable community is threaten by the consumption world. Many young people are leaving (the paradise) and some villagers are tempted to sell their land to strangers. This united village surrounded by buffaloes, rice fields, coconuts and sea has been helped by 2 Thai Researchers for 10 years already. We ‘ll join their work in December for a 2 weeks camp.

The last survey was in Tai Lom Mai (under the trees’shadow) school in Pattalung province. This a big land bordered by a small river with a part kept into tropical forest. Na Ieat, the host, after having actively joining NGOs and teaching around Thailand about environment issues decided to continue his life in a sustainable way.Lots of work in the garden, and possibly activities with kids in the future. We didn’t make a clear plan yet about this project.

In Kok Payom, we have now 3 long term volunteers: Felix from Germany who’ll stay for a year, Werner from Austria and Hitomi from Japan staying both for 3 months. There was this 10 days japanese bilateral camp which was very powerful and rainy at the same time.They went to camping with villagers for the first time in Klong Toh Lehm mangrove academy. After 5 years, the villagers are still showing a great interest for the volunteers action. It’s a kind of a success for us. Thomas was the Sakkarin-designed leader, he could enjoy this just before to leave.There is right now an agriculture camp with 6 international volunteers. The average age is around 30, it’s not so often. This Sunday we’ll be there for DaLaa 9th year anniversary, a lucky number…

In Roywan Phan Pba there was also a Japanese bilateral camp for 2 weeks where they could finish the toilets (started in July with Hong Kong camp and continued in August with an international workcamp). Air was the leader helped by Off. Dex is Dutch 3 months volunteer there and Sofie from Denmark joined him in October. There is this big Bangkok university camp in November (7 to 27) where 80 students will come to make an other school building and other activities with villagers. Now the vegetables are in large quantity in the garden. The market trips are less and less needed.The raining season is also the right time to plant big trees.

In Kok Riang Alexander became the new elder brother after Thibaut left and he can take care of the 2 new Danish long term volunteers Sofus and Johannes. Neck and Can are always here too. Lung Jaeng leads the boys team, to plant the rice and other vegetables, and of course to learn the community life caring for each others. Yong (from July STC) came to visit and was warmly welcome. They will join the camp in Kok Payom this week-end. Soon will be the time to re-plant the rice. They really hope more volunteers or members can come to join.

The last long term volunteer is also the most respectable, Suzanne from Sweden is pre-retired and decided to continue her life as a volunteer in Asia. She stayed with us for 4 months helping activities in the kindergarten of Thung Mor, with our friend Oi.She organized activities for 2 to 5 years old kids 5 days a weeks from 7 am to 4 pm. Strong energy needed… She’ll come for the second week in Kok Payom camp.

Next month, 2 volunteers from Poland are coming (EVS program). They will stay for 3 months each, one in Kok Payom and the other in Roywan.

That’s it for this time, don’t hesitate to come (back) to join the projects if you have time and will. You’ll be warmly welcome in the family.

Bye

Alex

DaLaa newsletter August 2013

Sawatdi krapoom,

DaLaa newsletter is coming again, not to forget all the actions and plans that are going on around this small volunteer association. Three long term projects are active right now, where volunteers are joining hands with the host and local people toward long-lasting social development: Support, preservation and friendship through educational activities, non chemical agriculture, community living, sport or art.

Last week, for the first time, we organized a meeting with the hosts from each of our projects as well as few people from different communities interested to start a collaboration with DaLaa. The discussions of this one day meeting near Hatyai went very smooth. Sakkarin as the moderator managed to gather energies of these very different origins people. We could give everyone a clear picture of voluntarism and Dalaa organization,  exchange the experience of powerful current hosts Bang Dam, P Ju and Lung Jaeng and listen to the presentation of 5 different communities motivated to work together with Dalaa in the future.Now we have a big planning to visit everyone in the next months.

In Roywan Phan Pba we had from August 7th to 21st a 2 weeks workcamp with 12 international volunteers joining with the 4 long term ones. we could continue the work on the 2 toilets, plant many seeds in the tree nursery and carry rocks to strengthen the road.The activities with kids went well especially in Roywan 1. We also could collect some donation money at a concert that will be used for repair the buildings at the first school. With the end of the workcamp Mehdi, Marcin, Stephanie and Marcel have left too. A new Long term volunteer is coming next week from Holland and there will be bilateral japanese camp from September 9 to 23.

Thomas is the only volunteer left this month at the fishermen village. He is sleeping at locals homes every nights and continue his teaching at Kok Payom school. On evening he is  teaching at salaa and on Sundays at Klong Toh Lehm with the usual local team Bang Bat, Bang Dam, Sakkarin and Sun. The villagers planned a trip to Nakorn province to visit an other community who is taking care of their mangrove forest. Next month are arriving 2 new long term volunteers from Germany (1 year) and Japan. There will be a japanese bilateral workcamp from September 7th to 17th.

In Kok Riang, Air is liking so much the atmosphere that she decided to take over the role of coordinator for this project and spent most of her week-ends there. The green leaves vegetables are now available from the garden any time needed. The toilets are still not finished; they are working to rebuilt the resting hut that has been destroyed by a storm few weeks ago. Pierre and Selma have just left and Thibaut has only a week left. Alex will be the only foreigner for next month but Can is there and Nek is joining almost every day. It will be soontime for rice planting. Any more volunteer is welcome.

Next week, there is also a 3 months Swiss volunteer coming to join an (old) new project. She will work at a Kindergarten in Thung Mor (Songkhla province) in partnership with our friend P Oi.

In August, Mooi and Sun went to Nakorn for a meeting of the Thai network “Tit-assa” and could meet other volunteer organizations from South Thailand. We have now new contacts and already planned some partnerships for next year.

To finish we had the visit today from Yasu working at our partner organization NICE Japan. For the story, he was volunteer with some of us( and lung Jaeng too) 10 years ago at Greenway organization here in Thailand. NICE is the strong partner that helped us a lot to start DaLaa. We’ll all meet at Ying and Peter wedding this Saturday.

Sawatdee krap.

Alex

DaLaa newsletter July 2013

Hello everyone,

July is finishing soon. In this month we have been organizing a bilateral camp with Hong Kong students group in Roywan Phan Pba, a 2 weeks camp in Kok Riang and a meeting to re-start more efficiently the membership activities in DaLaa. We are also preparing an important seminar with all DaLaa projects’hosts (present and future) on August 26th in Hatyai.

In Kok Payom, it is now Ramadan so the activities are rather slow down. Ken (Silvan) just left after one year spent in the project. He had a critical position of joining (almost supervising) with many other MLTV coming and going and also changed 3 times of coordinator (Bang Bat, Saki and Sakkarin). He believes this year many new people from Kok Payom are involved in the project and that new volunteers need to continue to open and join with them.

He said he learned and improved himself during this year. There are still 4 MLTV working there but 3 of them are leaving in August.

In Roywan, 4 MLTV are continuing the activities with Nui and P Ju family. There was this big group of 20 people from Hong Kong university with 2 of their teachers who joined for a busy week where we could cement the top stairs to the school and start new toilets. It was energetic and very successful. They were very good prepared and gain a good experience and motivation. It is the second year the teachers are coming and expect to continue in next year. Stephanie, P Nong’s best helper is leaving on August 12th in the middle of the STC (8 to 21) welcoming 12 international volunteers. We’ll finish the toilets, plant some hill rice and worked on reapairing old buildings in Roywan 1 where they teach on Sundays.

In Kok Riang, Lung Jeng is leading volunteers surely, uniting energies to make this non-chemical solidarity garden growing from a deserted poor land. The two sons of Lung Jeng, Ken and Thibaut have now the help of 3 new MLTV and the STc that just finished brought 6 other motivated volunteers for 2 weeks. It was a real success again with a singular harmony through this group. Air seemed to enjoy a lot the leading of this camp.

The planting of the seeds from Kokopelli is starting slowly. The pumpkin seeds from 2006 have sprout almost 100 percent in Lung Jeng garden and we plant them all over the garden. Thibaut started a very good compost pile to avoid to buy chicken dung in the future.Kok Payom team has prepared the land around Bang Chep house but is waiting for a better weather to plant the seeds. In Roywan, P Ju is waiting (the right time) to spread them with the motivated villagers. And in Wipawadi, Cheyenne is taking care of them and will plant them little by little. The part of seeds we send to PunPun in North Thailand by post didn’t arrive . It’s a pity. We’ll have to continue and to develop our stocks of seeds.

And to finish a good new for the oldest DaLaa people, Ying and Peter are getting married next month in Nong Tong, our first workcamp place… and we’ll be there on Aug 31st

Have a good summer.

Alex

DaLaa newsletter June 2013

There are quite some news in the last month DaLaa activites especially after an important committee meeting, a powerful MLTV seminar and a successful agriculture short term workcamp in our newest project of Kok Riang.

The first great news is the come back of Sakkarin in the office team. He will be there on Mondays and Tuesdays. We are now reorganizing the work in the office and the responsibilities of each one in the team. At the committee meeting, We could look back on the work for this first part of 2013. Sun assured on the PR work, Kok Payom coordinator and experienced 3 times leader for STCs in KP and Nan. Mooi managed to combine her studies on week-end with the members activities, paper work at the office and was camp-leader at Kok Riang STC. Her strong point is the communication (in Thai!). Air did a lot with new documentation and with outgoing. She masters communication at a professional level and is always looking for expanding our network and activities. A is most efficient at administration paper work and accounting stuff. She is also a friendly contact around for volunteers and may take over from Mooi the following of volunteers in kok Riang. She was helper both in Wipawadi middle term project and Kok Riang STC. Ui is our best link to international networks and spend hours answering e-mails to make every international actors confortable with DaLaa. It’s a pity that her main work outside DaLaa doesn’t allow her to spend much time in the projects. As for me, I could lead the middle term project in Wipawadi and a STC in Roywan phan pha where I also assured the following of long term volunteers. I also join often Kok Riang project and take care of some parts of English documentation. Sakkarin is taking over Saki (big thanks to her) for the coordination of Kok Payom volunteers and would like in the future to take care of organization meetings, MLTV seminars, members jamborees and training of Thai volunteers.

On the 2-4 of June, we gathered with all MLTV volunteers near Kok Payom at Nagari farm for a seminar about ” projects presentation and self-management”. We were 16 and had good reflexion on group and personal improvement for the projects. We spent time to present our personal way of self-management one by one in front of others (10 min each). It was very rich of ideas and we could get close to each others, sharing our main values. We came out with a list of action plan to do, to develop, to be careful and to prevent in each of the 3 MLTV places.

The volunteers of Roywan are now spending every Sundays at the first P Ju’s sustainable learning center (Roywan 1, 30 km South in Pattalung) where they do altenative school with local kids. The garden is very impressive there, bordered by a stream, this is litterally a food forest, with any plant edible from the floorleaves to the big durian trees. And the most interesting is that now (after 4 years of hard work)it almost doesn’t need to be took care of, rich of rare medicinal and aromatic plants as well. The only work is to repair some of the building and to collect food. The rest of the time volunteers continue their building/gardening work in Kuan Mai Bong and the alternative school on Saturdays helped by Nui our Thai volunteers there.

In Kok Payom, the regular school started again, with its load of work for volunteers. Wednesday and Thursday are used for construction/ cleaning work around SaLaa, Friday morning for volunteers meeting, Saturday evening with villagers, and on Sundays of course Klong Toh Lehm in the mangrove. P Dee is leaving this month after almost 5 months there and 2 new volunteers are arriving on June 17th, from Hong Kong and Japan.

At Kok Riang, the new French volunteer, the host Lung Jang, his son Ken and grandma have difficulties to eat all the vegetables planted during the Short term camp in May. The soil is maybe not so rich but the mixed energy from the participants make the plants grow very well. Happily more volunteers are coming next month as well as an other STC. Volunteers will be able to join gardening at the local school too. Anna and Claire can be proud to help to give a very good start for this family project.

We already got the seeds (35 species, over 130 varieties) of vegetable gift from Kokopelli French organization and we will now start the project ” spread seeds for food autonomy”. I’ll soon update the information on our website. Kok Riang got the seeds already and I will next week continue to spread them in our other projects including Wipawadi of course. The important part is to try to collect the seeds from the vegetables we will plant.

To finish we are having now a STC in Mahasarakham province, where volunteers are planting rice in a community field. We’ll give news later, even if I heard there were plenty of photos on fessebouc (this threat to our privacy and time sucking “social media” 🙂

Be careful of the BIGBRO.

Alex

DaLaa newsletter- May 2013

Hello to everyone,

It’s May 2013 already, and if you wonder what’s happening in DaLaa for few months, this newsletter is for you.

On the organization side, we try to focus more on promoting our actions within Thailand. This year we get more Thai volunteers to join our projects thanks to Mooi’s work on communication. She could organize 3 week-end camps with our members. Air is working hard as well to promote our partners volunteer projects abroad to interested Thai and to expand our network. Sun is on the public relations but also spend a lot of time in Kok Payom project: he was workcamp leader there for two short term projects in February and March and did a workcamp in Nan province in April (Clay library). A is still around for the financial and official part and any other help. Ui continues successfully her international communication for incoming volunteers. Sakkarin will be there if you go to Kok Payom, and shares his responsibility for DaLaa future. And for me, I am going from a project to another, Wipawadi, Kok Riang and Roywan Phan Pba and try to bring help where I can.

We are also starting a project called “spread seeds for food autonomy” that will be hopefully active soon in each project place with the help of a French association called “Kokopelli”. This project aims to collect, store and distribute the seeds of food plants adapted to the local climate to enable all those who wish to choose the path to healthy food autonomy.

We want to produce our own vegetables and fruit, delicious and nutritious in a climate of communal sharing.

Finally, we are committed to promoting biodiversity and fighting against the confiscation of living and pollution from chemical fertilizers and herbicides.

In the strong community of Kok Payom, there are now 4 international volunteers sharing the life of the village, living together, fishing together, joining the bakery group and organizing activities with kids about English or just having fun. On Sundays, Klong toh Lehm alternative school in the mangrove is more than ever working well. There have been lots of construction work going on in the last months and the place is ready to welcome groups of people to spend even some nights there. Volunteers also built now a nice chicken farm close to the Salaa (meeting place) and start to get an egg everyday.

Roywan phan Pba alternative school in Kuan Mai Bong is now welcoming over 40 kids every week-end. Volunteers, directed by the powerful host P Ju, are working hard to make this place as a model of sustainable agriculture and a successful community life included in the supportive community of Kuan Ki Lom. There are now 4 international volunteers and DaLaa also supports a Thai volunteer named Nui who is here since February and plan to stay much longer. We had a short term workcamp in April where we could build new toilets, do some vegetables planting, start a tree nursery and join the week-end teaching. We can be sure that through bringing their kids to this project, there is a good impact on the parents and the local people, toward solidarity, harmony, environmental respect and sustainable agriculture.

We spent also 6 weeks in our Wipawadi project with 1 international and 1 Thai volunteers. We could continue the work of the 6 months project last year: take care of the fruit garden, meaningful activities with local kids (at the school and at the project) and we could build some beautiful dry toilets. We also plan with the host Frenchman Jean-Luc for the future of this project: a strong will for participants to lead a sober life according to the nature, to our nature, a retreat from the world, spiritual questioning to develop intuition, healthy food (initiation to raw food) to find back our instinct, fruit garden work toward autonomy, the only way we can ideally find back harmony, a good quality of life for the body and the mind. It is so a great project philosophy (we even could say utopia) and it needs a (very) strong will from the participants, who are offered the possibility to stay longer…

We started a new project in March at Kok Riang, not far from our office. There are now 2 international volunteers and we are having a short term workcamp there this month. Lung Jeng is the name of the host and he is a healthy, people and environmental friendly man. With few friends, he started a kind of shared vegetable garden not using any chemical on an old rice field. Sustainable agriculture was just the normal way of living in Thailand 50 years ago when he was a kid. The danger of our over-polluting way of life nowadays makes it a necessity to come back to this safe way to get food wherever it’s possible to do it. Healthy food is the gold of the future together with solidarity, a very close future! We need to take our own responsibilities in this world, be attentive to things around us. What do we want to support? What do we want to avoid? What can we change in our own life for this? Be careful how our own comfort, our own pleasures, can be the tools used for this terrific rape on our minds and our nature. Our egos try to make us forget that in reality, we are just one.

Thank you for reading

Alex

DaLaa newsletter- November 2012

DaLaa just passed with success her 8th birthday last October. We had at this time an important committee meeting: long talks, expressing feelings, between too much authority on a side and not enough responsibility on an other, not easy to work as a team when we are not working at the same place. The discussion became eventually, after the tensions disappeared, more friendly and we could agree easily on the future possibilities and wills of each one of us to join DaLaa.
So, Sakkarin is back in the team even if he has not much free time, and rather will stay on Kok Payom side. Air is back too, with a lot of ideas to refresh DaLaa, she will be in the office team. A will continue her work about accounting and administration matters. Ui is happy to continue her friendly international communication through e-mails even if she doesn’t have much time for DaLaa. Mooi continues in the office team, she’ll focus on the Short term projects. Sun is also finding his place in the office and want to bring back life to DaLaa members group. Finally, I (Alex) will stay around and focus on Longterm projects as well as keeping the Wipawadi project alive. That’s it for the “official” committee of DaLaa association. But were also present at the meeting, Bang Bat, Chui and Saki who are willing to work in DaLaa from the Kok Payom team. Joe was here too. As he decided earlier, he will stop his work in DaLaa and move to work in Ko Lippe, like Aleef.

We choose to continue the work in our present office in Hatyai (instead of moving it to the countryside) . Indeed it is more convenient for Air, Sun and Mooi, the “office team’ to live ,spread volunteering ideas and find new people interested there.
Now it’s like a fresh start in DaLaa, we’ll work on our side and meet again on December 10th for more concrete decisions. Everyone is welcome, in evening, it will be DaLaa family gathering. We hope to make the team bigger and continue our volunteering projects.

There will be no Short term projects until next year. Air is joining an international meeting in the Philippines concerning the German state sponsored 1 year volunteers coming regularly to DaLaa for 4 years. Since August, the Short Term projects with Pi Chanchai, Lung Jeng and Pi Ju, were well organized and meaningful.
In Kok Payom, the long term project continues well too. There are Silvan, German volunteer, for 1 year, Phillip from Switzerland and Charlene from France, both staying 6 months. Vladimira and Kanae left already. There is still a big team caring for Klong Toh Lehm around the international volunteers.
In RoyWanphanpha, the project is more quiet, now, there is only 1 volunteer: Clara from Spain. Since Aleef and Joe left in August, we miss a DaLaa coordinator there. But Sylvio, an old volunteer will be back there and there will be new long term volunteers soon. We need to focus more on the school teaching. Volunteers are missing a “program” and following to teach and a Thai translator.
To finish Wipawadi project is working very good. We did build the gathering hut by ourselves, without any specialist nor electricity, and our trees nursery is getting big, quite many kids and people brought home some trees to plant, especially the avocados. And the work with the garden and local kids is meaningful too. Yap, Andy and Mariko left us, as well as my parents Henri and Genevieve, working as volunteers for 3 weeks, they also paid for the roof of the hut,the only expense we did for it. Now are here Janne from Norway and Mira from Finland, and they will stay until the end of this month. After this we will make a break for the MLTV. activities wlll be continued next year.
Alright continue to keep you informed.
bye
Alex

DaLaa newsletter- July 2012

Hello to everyone,
A short newsletter to give you some news before August…

In July we had a 2 weeks camp in kok Payom. They worked on the main building of Klong Toh Lehm. There are now tiles on the floor and a prayer room (where monkeys cannot ge in!). They built a small hut to wait for the boat. Hard work and good feelings. Joe and Mooi were helping Bang Bat to organize this camp, together with Sun and P Noo. Vladimira, a Tchek volunteer arrived on July for 3 months and Winky and Maria just left. Jonathan and Ansgar are still here for 1 month. They are hardly coping with the 3 different schools teaching, a lot of work.On the 1st of August is coming Silvan, a German volunteer who will stay 1 year in Kok Payom.

In Roywan, after the busy June month, July was more relax, after the 10th when Thomas and Tobias left stayed only two new long term volunteers Mirjam from Germany and Katerina from Tchek. They both stay for 2 months. Sam from USA is coming on the 4th for 4 months and Sephanie from UK on the 16th for 1 month. The kitchen is now almost finish (only the floor) and they have a pig farm. On next month, they will have a big Short Term camp with 20 volunteers from 7th to 20th August. They should work on the walkway to the school, the kitchen and fences. Aleef will help PiJu to lead this camp, but he may have some rest after this month, getting exhausted from over 1 year work on the same project.

In Wipawadi, the project is starting good with Yap, a Malaysian volunteer staying 2 months. The team is still a bit small but the work is going well. Gardening in the morning, picking fruits in afternoon, repairing tools, swimmng in the river and managing our daily life. Jean-Luc family is living on the 8th and it will be a big change after that. On Thursday and Friday, we are doing activities about environment with kids at the local school (3hours) and on Saturday morning at the village gathering place. We have a subject for each week (everyone is important, pollution is everywhere, soil is alive, communication without speaking…) and try to do fun activities as well as reflection parts, games, theater…We also started a seeds bank and tree nursery so anyone can give or take some trees/seeds to plant in every garden. Next month are coming 3 volunteers and we will start to build our gathering place.

The last thing next month is the Japanese camp in P Chanchai place in Bangklam to continue the clay house and join the local community. Joe will be leader from 17th to 25th.

I wish you lots of volunteer actions for the coming times.
Alex

DaLaa newsletter May -June 2012

Sawatdi everyone! On our side, we keep on going, following our big ideas with our small actions. International volunteering, uniting spirits as a natural way of being, rejecting competition and division and ignoring our detractors. Food, shelter and community life, that’s all humans need.Back to harmony with the nature. Too many forget we are just a part of it. Self sufficiency as the easiest solution to world crises…
Hey man, nice ideas, what about the reality??? Can you fully adapt to those ideas? Can 7 trillion people adapt to these ideas???
humhum… ok, let’s start by ourselves, but start quick, start now, get alive and do what we believe in. Reduce our pollution print to the minimest, support solidarity to the maximest…Just wish Humanity and Harmony could take place back instead of economy. (who said boycott?)

So for the reality in DaLaa, in May, we have been starting the Wipawadi long term project, continuing with Jean-Luc family to take care of this treasure fruit garden. We had also a long term volunteers gathering for 3 days there which helps to get the first contacts with the villagers around. There were Sadie, Paula, Maria and Ansgar from Kok Payom project
(Jonathan stayed for the school teaching), Vincent, Momo, Simone, Jan and Aleef from Roywan phan pha project plus Joe, Mooi, A and myself. We collected garbage and cut the grass on the side of the main village road with about 50 villagers and the next day had environmental fun activities with the kids at the local school. We could also have nice discussions about the projects and enjoy to swim in the river. It was rather positive for the contacts with locals (the headman, his helper, P Krout our neighbour, the teachers and students, the forest rangers…). The difficulty for us is that locals don’t look at us like strange crazy farangs but as a Thai association taking part in the community life, preserving the environment/self sufficient activities with interested people/kids around there. We’ll do it for people who’ll have their future there, for us, for them, especially the coming generation. We have to deal with the power of money there, a big challenge. We’ll start with activities with kids, at school and in the garden. We’ll hopefully build a meeting place in wood in the coming weeks.We’ll have our first foreign volunteer in July from Malaysia and it looks that 3 are coming in August.

On the beginning of May, we finished the music short term camp with the volunteers from Kok Payom. It was a great adventure to prepare the show and exhibit at different market in Satun and in Songkhla
. There were many Thai students help and the long term volunteers were joining full time. The money collected will be used for Klong Toh Lehm project to build a dormitory.
We had a bilateral workcamp with Hong kong volunteers in Roi Wan project the same month. They worked on the fish pond. It is almost finished. There are 3 new volunteers arrived in May, Hugo a French guy staying for a month and 2 swiss guys Thomas and Tobias staying for 2 months. June is very busy for this project,2 short term camps to build the kitchen (They have been successfully raising funds for material). The second one is again a bilateral with Hong Kong students and their teacher. And on the 25, we’ll say goodbye to Jan who stayed for 9 months, Momo and Simone. Nicolas and Ben10 have already left in beginning of June.

In KokPayom, the school year started again, volunteers are joining in 3 different schools, Kok Payom, Ta Cha Mouang and a new one difficut to pronounce. On Sundays, it’s now over 30 kids joinin every time the alternative school. There are many Thai people taking care of Klong Toh Lehm now, Sun moved his “baan pah Khao mah” office with P Nu, Chui is responsible for kids. They have it good in charge. Sakkarin is more busy with his teacher job and bang Bat is alone responsible for international volunteers. Maria, a spanish girl is there since May andfor 2 months, in June, Winkie, a girl from Hongkong arrived for 2 months too and soon is coming a Czeck girl Vladimira. Sadie extended her stay o several weeks ut she is leaving soon.
Ok that’s for the main projects news. Only Mooi and Joe are staying in the office so it’s a bit more difficult for communication in DaLaa. By the way, we will keep the office until the end of the year, it’s easier not to change the adress now, and also there are not enough people to start a new lon term project with the office.

And for the plans in July will be the shortterm camp in Kok Payom for building the dormitory of Klong Toh Lehm, in August in Roi Wan, we may also have a special japanese bilateral camp with Pi Chanchai in Bangklam andin September, the camp with Lung Jeng in KlongHoyKrong, check it on our website if you want to join.
Thank you for supporting volunteering and good values in everyday life.
We are making the world we are living in.
bye to all
Alex

January to April 2012 DaLaa activities report

Since January, Mooi started to work full time in DaLaa. Often in KokPayom the first months,the main objective is for her to take care of activities of Thai volunteers and be able to take over most of responsibilities in office work (in partnership with Ui).

Sakkarin,in Kok Payom, wishes to get focused on Klong toh Lehm Accademy(their alternative school) and is getting economically independant from DaLaa. He just found a job of teacher and should transfert his responsiblities of the Kok Payom and his salary to Bang Bat. Chui is also in the team responsible for the volunteers there. It is a hard task for him and he has difficulties to communicate and organize things well. That’s why giving responsibilities to Bang Bat seems to be a good solution.

No much changes for other DaLaa organizers work. Joe, Alex and sometimes A, continued to visit and join activities in the 2 long term places at least once a month, Ui working with the e-mails, A for the accounting, sending visa letters to volunteers. We continued the newsletters, wrote or re-wrote the infosheets of the projects and take care of the office work. Joe was joining all the Short term camps. January (5 vol) and February(21 vol) in Kok Payom to work on Klong Toh Lehm buildings and garden. March (9 vol) in Kuan Mai Bong for building a new hut and join the alternative school. In April was the camp in Bangklam to build this environment gathering hut on the border of Songkhla lake. Alex was leader in this one. And the music caravan at the end of April to raise funds for Klong Toh Lehm.

Those last 4 months, we managed to have 3 general meetings with DaLaa organizers, in January for the overview 2011 and 2012 plans, in February and in April (committee meeting).

We organized 4 times introductions for 10 new long term volunteers and had evaluations for 9 of them.  Also 2 of them left earlier as they couldn’t adapt to the life in community (Kuan Mai Bong).

We organized a 3 days Long term volunteers gathering in Bangkam (P Wichan house) in February.

Since March and especially since Klong Toh Lehm opening and the short term camp in Banglam, we have much more Thai people included in our activities, students groups from Trang and Hatyai university, The students group “Yiim” from Mooi hometown in Yala. We also get in contact with P Nest and his active group of “Malai Dau”. doing also volunteering actions. Mooi is mainly managing activities with all these motivated people through phone and facebook on Internet. To noticed a very active new volunteer called Sri, since we know her in Banglam camp, she is joining at almost every activities

Sun is also for a big part in these special activities, with his fund raising project for clay library building in Naan province and Klong Toh Lehm supporting through playing music and selling postcards.

Sakarin joined a NVDA (Network of Voluntary Development organizations in Asia) general meeting in India last February. He could keep contact with brother organizations and discover some new prometting one (but also deplore some getting too touristic and numbers loving).We paid the fees for 2012-13 membership (9000B).

Aleef applies for a proposition of internship with KVT Finland but didn’t get selected.A bilateral camp with Nice was cancelled in February, an other is planned for September.Also the communication with Klaus from Taiwan organization was difficult and we couldn’t manage to organize a bilateral camp.

Roi wan Phan Pha project is going well and fast, P Ju is trusting us to take decisions about volunteers and Aleef is helping to manage volunteers there. P Ju is a good adviser for DaLaa work as well as P Chanchai and P Wichan in Bangklam. We also have contact with P Chai, a young researcher  who is willing to help us.

We also got the invitation to stay in Klong Hoy Khong by Lung Jeng. We will organize activities there to get closer to villagers.

Finally this month is a big change, I (Alex) am going to start the Wipawadi project together with A, exciting!!  Each center will have more responsiblities toward long term volunteers management like the introductions and evaluations. Mooi and Joe will more or less take over in the office. A plans to come back once a month to take care of finances.  It may have less English news as well. We’ll see how it goes.

And the last big news: Bang Bat is father again since the 29th of April, a little boy.

DaLaa newsletter March-April 2012

Just come out from a real interesting 2 weeks workcamp in Kuan Niang. A general idea we got from this experience: International volunteers in our camps are usually not specialized or talented in the work to be done, they cannot do it on their own, nevertheless the team group brings an energy (we called it sparkle) able to give the concrete results of what would have stayed as an idea if we didn’t gather.

A big thanks for all the participants and especially our local guides and their idea to build this gathering hut on a small island, where Bangklam river meets Songkhla lake. This camp was a real success, the hut is there finished and helped (and will help) to gather some different people concerned with keeping alive the social life and a good environment in the local area.

The other short term camp in beginning of March was held in Roi Wan Phan Pba project and made it possible to get a second hut for long term volunteers. Working together, from the wood cutting in the forest to the roof covering and living together with other volunteers and local people was appreciated by all. Volunteers also helped with the alternative teaching for local kids. We got there our record oldest international volunteer, “Mama”,from Holland was 67. Concerning long term volunteers,Jan is still there with Momo but Maria and Ocean having difficulties to adapt to the community life decided to leave. Then Pihla from Finland joined the team until May, as well as Nicolas from Belgium and recently Simone from Denmark.Ben 10 is back too. They continue their work aim of self-sufficiency and alternative teaching. From 1st to 7th of May,there will be a bilateral workcamp there with Hong Kong students. They should be able to build the kitchen. Two volunteers from Switzerland (Tobias and Thomas) will arrive in beginning of May for 2 months.

In Kok Payom project,there was the opening of Klong Toh Lehm accademy on the 28th of March, a big event that gather over 200 persons. There were some shows and an important discussion about the importance of alternative school in Thai social life. We are waiting for a summary of the event to get some more information. Concerning long term volunteers, Ansgar and Jonathan take a month break in April; are left Paula, Baptiste (until the end of April)and Sadie. Moe, a Thai volunteer also joined 2 weeks in March and will be back in middle April for another month.  As the local school is closed for summer holidays,volunteers have fewer activities and it is not easy for Chui and Sakkarin to re-organize a summer planning. Mooi is also going back to help and starting from the 24th,there will have a music and caravan workcamp to raise funds to build a dormitory in Klong Toh Lehm. A spanish volunteer Maria is also planned to join the activities in May and for 3 months.

For the other news, we are seriously speaking about moving the office out of Hatyai. We got the invitation from Lung Jang in Kok Riang (Klong Hoy Khrong) in an old typical house with many trees and lots of place around.

It’s not directly related but you may have heard about the car bomb in Hatyai most famous shopping center “Lee garden” last March 31st. It is a big event (as in 2006) and does not attract people to come around here. We don’t feel any kind of danger for us (the police is everywhere) but of course we won’t invite our volunteers to stay or spend time in down town Hatyai. We remind you that safety is a priority for us too and we would tell you if we feel any danger for our volunteers.

For Wipawadi project,still no applications yet, we’ll let you inform.

Have a nice Songkhlan festival if you are in Thailand.It’s on April 13th, the largest water battle in the world… and a big respect for our elders.

DaLaa newsletter February 2012

This month, the big news in DaLaa is the opening of the MLTV Wipawadi project in next May. Self sufficiency, Community living, Fruits garden and activities with kids. That’s the plan. Anyone interested to lead a life “back to jungle”? Alex, A and Amanda are going for it, with the ambition to open this treasure garden to local kids for a 6 months period. This is a try and we will need some support and responsible volunteers. The infosheet is there.

Concerning Kok Payom, next month, from 27 to 29 will be the official opening of Klong Toh Lehm Academy. It’s big event, Thanks to all who have make it possible. Pierre and Aurelien are leaving soon and Paula, from Finland, Baptiste from France and Sadie from England are coming to fill the team for the next 2 months. The last Short term camp this month brought 21 international volunteers to help with finishing toilets and meeting room in Klong Toh Lehm, 15 of them were Korean. This time again, villagers were a lot responsible for the great time spend together.The leaders Joe, Chui and Mooi looked a bit tired by this big organization.

In Roiwan Phan Pha, the good weather brought back a lot of hard work for volunteers. The lanscape changed a lot with the help of a buldozer. The first volunteer hut is finished as well as the place for chicken and ducks. It’s going very fast and the coming Short Term Camp from 1st to 14th of March is planned to finish a second hut, the fish pond and the…frog pond. There will have 9 short term volunteers. For Long term, we welcomed in February Momo from France, Ocean and Milka from Finland staying for 4 months. We will say goobye soon to Maria and Camilla.Next month are coming Phila from Finland and Nicolas from Belgium and Ben 10 will be back for 2 months. Locals are very happy about it. Mushroom farm is giving a lot and papaya trees are getting big. Many bamboos has been planted, for the wood and the delicious sprouts.

Sakkarin spent 10 days in India for a meeting of NVDA, our Asian network. He could discover some new motivated small organizations and continue to maintain good relationships with our brothers partners like Nice Japan and IIWC Indonesia… he was worried a bit that some were more concerned about quantity than quality, or more like volun’tourism’ organizations. He didn’t engage for any project but we are always welcome if anything we can help or work together for common aims with partners.

To finish, we are organizing a MLTV gathering in Kuan Niang these 26 to 28 February.The first aim is to establish a first contact with the local community we are going to work with for an environment preservation workcamp in the end of March. We are going to find out who are the strangers. It’s also a nice occasion for MLTV from both centers to exchange and to meet again Pi Chanchai and Pi Wichan, kind of big brothers.

Keep your voluntary spirit aware!

DaLaa newsletter January 2012

A new year had started, a good time for changes and good resolutions. In Dalaa, we are welcoming Mooi in the office team. She is responsible for bringing in DaLaa activities more Thai volunteers and helping with Thai documentation. She is now learning English and helping a lot in Kok Payom project to get used to work in an  international team.

Chui is also getting responsibilities in DaLaa. He is now DaLaa coordinator of Kok Payom MLTV project together with Sakkarin. We believe he can get experience and be able to become leader in an international team. Sakkarin will focus on Klong Toh Lehm alternative school activities and teaching a good behavior and Islam religion to the KokPayom Kids. He wishes not to be anymore in the DaLaa office team but will stay included in DaLaa committee.

No changes for Joe, Alex, A, Ui and Aleef in the responsibilities. This year, we have so 4 people with full salaries and 4 with half salaries which is a big budget. It is few chances that we can continue like this in 2013 but by this year, we hope we can do a great job and prepare a good future for DaLaa.

The last 2 month were rather quiet in Roy Wan Phan Pba project: because of the rain, very few advancement in the buildings and gardening could be made. Still, the volunteers there had great time with the local people and continued to teach kids on weekends. They had an English camp in beginning of January that bring many more kids to join on week-ends. Benjamin, Sonia and Sylvio left already and remain Jan, Camilla, Maria and Aleef. Katy is also there, a Thai volunteer staying for 3 month. Next month are coming Amaury from France and Milka and Noora from Finland.They have got many plans to do there (gardening , building huts) as soon as the good weather is back. They also welcome volunteers on the week-ends where now about 35 kids are joining . Pi Ju also got a car by donation.

In Kok Payom, are there Jonathan,Ansgar, Natsumi, Pierre and Aurelien.They had a 2 weeks camp in January with 5 other international volunteers. They could continue working in Klong Toh Lehm, finishing the toilets, the kitchen, and doing a playground.The work was nice but the organization need to be improved for the 2 weeks camp of February where there will be 21 volunteers. Joe,Chuy and Mooi are now preparing actively this big camp (7 to 20 Feb). Long term volunteers there continue to teach at the regular school. They would like more communication with the teachers as they feel a bit left over in this activity. A boat would be really useful to them to be free to go to Klong Toh Lehm when they have free time.

In February, Natsumi, Camilla and Maria will leave. Sakkarin will be in India for a meeting of our Asian network (NVDA).

To finish,you can look for our 2011 overview if you are interested in the report part of our website.

At DaLaa Family Days everyone is welcome. It is a gathering of organisers, volunteers, members and friends to cook, talk and have fun together. If you want to get to know the DaLaa spirit, just stop by and say hello!