Project code: DALAA-STC 6105

Koh Libong
(Activities with kids and Culture exchange)

Dates: 1-14 May, 2018

 

SHORT DESCRIPTION

Koh Libong is the biggest island of Trang province on the west coast of south Thailand, famous for the population of dugongs (sea cows) still quite important. There are 4 Muslim villages and a wild life reserve. It is not very touristic as other famous islands of Andaman Sea but in the last years, there have been more and more tourists coming and few resort started business. For the Muslim local community, it’s not easy to deal with the culture difference. They try to be careful to keep their identity while accepting the newcomers who are willing to respect them. With this workcamp, we would like to create links between volunteers and interested members of the community and try to understand each other. The main work will be to organize activities for local children (it is holiday time), about culture exchange, harmony and solidarity, environment preservation…We will also join the group of villagers for community activities like making a small dam in the stream, planting vegetable garden and join fishing or catching shells and crabs. We want to help the local community to prepare the future and find solutions on how to live with outsiders.

HISTORY and REASONS OF THE PROJECT

Libong island (Koh=island) is one of Trang’s islands located in Kantang district. It is about 30 minute by boat from Hat Yao pier on the mainland. The name of the island was derived from an indigenous tree named in Malayan ‘Libong’ which in the past, the island was once dense with this kind of tree. The ancient settlers were Muslim migrating from Malaysia.

Nowadays, the islanders’ population has doubled compare to the past years (about 4000 people). However, the villagers still live their life simply, going out every day to fish at sea, take care of their rubber plantation, etc. There are 4villages and most of them are Muslim. There are very few cars but most of them have motorcycles.

Libong is known widely for the richness of its natural diversity. The island’s geography is mountainously where it is home to different species of wildlife. In the sea, there is seagrass, the staple of dugongs, which thrives specifically around this island. Dugong is a species of sea cow with tendency to extinction.

We know the community from a friend called P Chaiden who joined volunteer activities with DaLaa in the past. He moved to stay in the island from a neighboring province and got really interested in the local way of life and on how to deal with the tourists coming to the island. He is the one who makes the link between us and the main host of the workcamp called Bang Taep, also leader of dugong protection group for many years already. They both believe in volunteer power and wish to preserve the social life and beautiful environment. Bang Taep is in good contact with the main island leaders and they can support us to organize activities. But of course, we are careful about not being here only for the pictures but to join with really active people on the ground level.

After a first workcamp in July 2017 where we wanted to focus more on the dugong preservation group, we realized this need for the local community and especially the children to interact and get to know the foreigners through common social and environmental aims.

AIMS of the PROJECT

– To support and motivate the local community in social and environmental benefits activities

– To facilitate understanding between local and outsiders

– To let children/people be familiar with volunteers and learn in international/multi-culture atmosphere

– To be part of the community of Libong Island

 

WORK AND ACTIVITIES

– Organize activities for local children during their holidays at the school location. The main theme are culture exchange, communication with foreigners, harmony, solidarity and environment preservation… but it will depends on volunteers ideas and skills. Keep in mind that the level of English is very low for these kids so we will have to deal with barriers language. Expect to have kids aged around 8 to 12.

– Create teaching materials for teachers and kids

– Plant some vegetable in school garden

– Build a natural dam

– Share the daily activities of villagers, discussions, dugong observation…

**The activities may be slightly modified. We’ll keep you update 1 month or 2 weeks before the camp starts**

**Do not expect for a fixed schedule as the weather and locals’ way of doing cannot fit to this.

It’s recommended for participants to bring in some ideas for group activities to the work camp as you will spend most of your stay with your volunteer friends. Activities can be card games, songs, shows, craft skill sharing or anything that bring you guys together!

REQUIREMENTS

The volunteers should be ready to adapt to the local conditions with only basic facilities. Very few local people are 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 you, the kids and full involvement in community matters is a must. For the 2 weeks, you will be leaded by a DaLaa member/staff who will help to coordinate the project. Volunteers should prepare and get ideas about games and material children activities.

 

FOOD and ACCOMMODATION

Volunteers will stay with a local family. There will be simple mats, pillow and mosquito net. You will need to bring your sleeping bag and a small mattress. There are basic toilets, showers and a kitchen.  Local people eat rice (or noodles) 3 times a day with side dishes like sea food, curries, omelets, local leaves and vegetables. Volunteers will be welcome to cook their own food using the ingredients available there. (No oven, only a gas and woks or pans). Volunteers will live with a Muslim family so please remember not to bring any pork nor alcohol product with you.