DaLaa is a strong and beautiful flower from Southern Thailand which can pop up and blossom everywhere around. It is usually pink but can be white or red variety as well. Moreover, it can be eaten in “kao yam” salad and cooked with other dishes too. It has a strong taste. Would you like to try it?
DaLaa organization was founded in 2004. Our birthday is October 20th, at the date we gathered for our first workcamp/seminar. Most of us having had good experience in international volunteering, and believing in its value for our society, we followed our dream to create our own volunteer organization, starting from nothing but friendship.
We all started as volunteers, and we realized that our values align with the values of the International Voluntary Service (IVS), which was born in 1920, when Pierre Ceresole, an advocate for peace, organized the first reconstruction camp near Verdun in France, with the participation of German volunteers, who were still considered enemies by the locals. Service Civil International (SCI) was born in this moment and became an institution in the 1930s, with the mission of helping to break down barriers and prejudices between people of different social, cultural and national backgrounds and promoting a culture of peace. Currently, five areas of intervention have made their way to the agenda of IVS organisations: Human Rights and Peace, Environment and Sustainability, Active Participation, and Social Inclusion, Cultural Heritage, Poverty and Health.
We wanted to support initiatives, especially for the people (and children) living in the countryside of Thailand, for example the villages some of us come from. We wished that volunteers from Thailand and from all over the world to work together with the local people. In this way we hope to create more friendships and understanding between each other. Also by doing voluntary work, people get a good experience in working out of their heart, sharing and learning other ways of doing things, speaking English, learning Thai and having fun together.
We organized few workcamps (2 weeks each) in 2005, mainly in partnership with local schools, always happy to welcome foreign volunteers.
In 2006 and 2007, workcamps were becoming more regular, we organized other kinds of projects like agriculture, environment, renovating schools and we could pay a small salary for one of us.
Then in 2008, we took a bigger step. We started to experience with Middle and Long Term Volunteers and we were getting quite a lot volunteers in our workcamps. With the money saved, we could start to grow up with 4 paid staff, working in a real office and had a full time workcamp leader. It is this year that we got officially registered as an association.
Since beginning of 2011, we are focusing on a few MLTV placements; the workcamps are often held in MLTV sites to support their activities or to get into contacts with new communities.
DaLaa relies on the local knowledge and wisdom. We are well aware of the local needs and challenges.
Little by little, we could create a strong network thanks to powerful hosts and communities.
In 2016, we moved our office from Hatyai city to the countryside, and nowadays we are trying to build our own community on the side of our office work, we call it VSC, Voluntary Servcie Center/Community. It’s the open gate for new interested people to become volunteer.
Let’s break the barriers and fears in ourselves, let’s support authenticity, let the human be, let the nature be, let’s become responsible and autonomous, the path toward freedom, let’s join and support these network of active communities working for social growth and environment preservation. Let’s be part of it. Let’s include the good will people we meet on the road.
Let’s join hands to create the world in peace we all deserve.