Koh Nangkham

Creative English teaching and activities with kids

Pattalung province-South Thailand

PROJECT CODE: 1702MTV
TYPE OF PROJECT: Middle term, 2 months minimum
DATES: all year around except March and April
Maximum number of volunteers: 2-4

 

SHORT DESCRIPTION

Volunteers will join a small Muslim community of South Thailand on the banks of Songkhla Lake. They will organize activities for children of the local school and share the life of the villagers.

HISTORY and REASONS OF THE PROJECT

Koh Nang Kham is a small village situated in Pattalung province, close to the middle part of Songkhla Lake which is Thailand’s biggest lake. The community area is a small island inside the lake so the main career of the villagers is fisheries. Some work on rubber and palm plantation, fruit orchards or shrimp farm. During free time, some villagers gain some extra income from making and selling local desserts and fruit preservation, for instance. You may find more information about Songkhla lake on this following website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songkhla_Lake. The villagers of Koh Nang Kham are Muslim .

The local government primary school offers classes from kindergarten to grade 6. At the moment, there are 146 students, and 12 teachers. Mr. Somhit Chobngam (Crue Chem), the school oldest teacher contacted DaLaa first in 2015 to discuss on the possibility of volunteers as he saw the importance of improving learning methods for the students. He hopes that children can learn about language and cultures naturally by doing activities with the volunteers. We already organized a Short Term workcamp once every year since 2015 and had the first team of Middle tem volunteers in 2017 for 2 months. The results were very positive and few other villagers started extra activities with volunteers outside school.

In small communities in Thailand, local people hardly have contacts with foreigners, while students are getting pressured from current educational system to study English but they never have a chance to meet any foreigners. Therefore, this will give them the chance to gain motivation to learn and explore the cultural diversity by doing creative activities with international volunteers.

Having international volunteers to learn about local fisherman’s lifestyle, it will help the fishermen to feel more motivated to preserve their local knowledge and wisdom. Apart from that, volunteers can also become the link between children and villagers to take part in this community learning activities.

AIMS of the PROJECT

1- Children and adults can learn English with volunteers

2- Two way learning process between local children/ villagers and volunteers

3- Better understanding towards local culture

4- To build a good relationship between volunteers and local people

 

WORK AND ACTIVITIES

Volunteers will be arranging creative activities with students. They will be supervised by the teachers. Depending of the volunteers skills, they will be proposed to organize activities with each class from Grade 1 to Grade 6 twice a week (1 hour session). The idea is that 1 session is more about English language while the other one is free to decide.  Outside the school, few villagers are willing to invite volunteers to learn about local fisherman lifestyle on Songkhla Lake and organize other common activities.

FOOD and ACCOMODATION

Volunteers will stay in Crue Chem’s father house, only 50 meters from the school. The entire second floor is for volunteers. There are 2 bedrooms, toilets and balcony.  There will be simple mat, pillow and mosquito net. You will need to bring sleeping bag. Volunteers can use the kitchen of the school or the one at their home for cooking. Lunch will be offered at the school. There are some small grocery shops in the village and a lot of fish from the fishermen.  Local people eat rice (or noodles) 3 times a day with side dishes like curries, omelets, local leaves and vegetables.

OTHER PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Laundry: expect to hand-wash your clothes

Water supply and electricity: available

Internet/phone access: possible on mobile reception.

The closest town, Pak Payoon is at 10 km with a health center, ATM…

Hat Yai, the main city of South Thailand (close to DaLaa office) is 1 hour by mini bus from Pak Payun.

It usually rain stronger in November to January.

Clothes worn in the village: You will be living in an area with elderly people and children around so it is appropriate that you dress modestly.

REQUIREMENTS

The volunteers should be ready to stay in a remote area, to adapt to the local conditions with basic facilities and with very few people able to speak in English. Volunteers should be able to handle spontaneous working environment and constant changes in the plans. The mentality and way of thinking is very different from the western world.  There will have often activities with the children. To have responsibility for yourself, the kids and full involvement in community matters is a must.

**For ones who plan to travel in Thailand/Asia besides this voluntary work, having it done before or after the project would be advisable. We hope that volunteers will fully spend their stay in the project without asking for a long holiday break amid the project period. This would cause uncertainty in running activities.