2 paragraphs and 27 photos:
Many of the migrant schools around Mae Sot do not have enough funding, for various reasons, to provide acceptable food, accommodation (usually a number of students, including many orphans, sleep at the schools), etc. It’s difficult to receive funding from international NGOs because of the legal grey area in which the schools generally operate. They are tolerated by the Thai government as long as they don’t cause problems or bring attention to themselves publicly. With donor money, at times, certain people in certain schools have managed to buy nice new pickup trucks and crisp new clothing while their students still face unfair living / studying conditions at school. This, of course, means those schools lose their funding because no donor wants their money ‘disappearing.’ Adding to this, there is almost no publicity for these schools in the outside world. Even if there was, that in itself could be a problem: last year one such school was shown in a film outside Thailand, and the Thai government shut the school shortly afterward.
In my spare time here, I’ve helped a bit in delivering some meals and blankets to a few different schools where the children needed a bit of extra help. Although I haven’t given any money toward this, it’s been a learning experience and I was able to take photos for the people here to send to the people elsewhere who have sent the money that paid for these deliveries, as evidence that their money actually went somewhere. Here are a few photos of a meal delivery to New Blood School on Monday:
Food on the stove keeping hot:
Loading the food into a truck:
Carrying the food to the school:
Guess what she was doing?
These kids sat in a circle tying elastics together with their fingers and toes, until they had a rope about 15 feet long tied end-to-end with which they played an interesting game that looked something like a blend of hopscotch and skip rope.
These two boys played kung-fu for about half an hour right in front of me. It was intense, but very good-spirited fun with smiles on both sides the entire time:
The tattered Thai flag:
That evening, unseen in North America or Europe, Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon formed a rare “Smiling Alignment” which will next occur in 2036.