Report of summer camp!

On the 20th of April 3 Dutch ladies: Lydia, Anita, and Jedidja arrived in Chiang Rai to run a summer camp. Here is a report of their experiences.

We tremendously enjoyed hanging out with the girls at Baan Phak Phing during the summer camp!

The first day began by making sock puppets that the girls later used during their English lesson. It was super cool to see how creative everyone is.

Thereafter the girls were split into three different groups. Lydia did all kinds of creative things with the girls like painting and making necklaces. All the girls were very proud of their creations.

Anita taught the girls English through games and songs. They learned new words by sticking sticky notes on kitchen utensils and machines. At the end of the two weeks we got to hear everything they had learned in the final performance.

Jedidja taught the girls how to play the recorder. She was amazed at how fast they were able to pick it up. Without being able to communicate using language it is still possible to learn to play a musical instrument. It was great to see the girls so enthusiastic and to be able to hear everything during the final performance.

On the Dutch holiday called Koningsdag (King’s day) we had a big celebration at Baan Phak Phing. Flags were painted on faces and everyone put something orange in their hair. We had a lot of fun playing Old Dutch games with the girls and to finish it all off we had Dutch pancakes made by Peter and Tatjana.

We are thankful for all the people who gave towards this camp because this allowed us to take the girls out for dinner to Thai barbeque (หมูกระทะ) with loads of food and ice cream after. We also got to take the girls to a just recently opened waterpark nearby and they had an amazing time.

Another day the girls took us with them on a trip to the local zoo and one of the many waterfalls. The water at the waterfall was cold but everyone still went in for a swim.

Each day the staff prepared an amazing lunch for everyone to eat and most nights we got to join the different houses for dinner. This was a beautiful opportunity to get a taste of life at Baan Phak Phing.

We had an awesome time here, enjoyed everyone’s company and got to see the delighted looks on the girls’ faces.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported us with finances and/or in prayer.

Having fun preparing food!

It is summer break! There is a coming and going of girls who are visiting family and coming back again. Those who are staying at home are enjoying the break from school and help with the chores that need to happen and help with cooking food as well. Working together is always more fun than doing it alone and it leaves more time to do other fun things, like swimming, watching movies, or playing games. In Thailand eating together is very important and a lot of time is spent on it.

An American volunteer who is teaching English here is in turn also being taught by the staff and the girls. Cooking is one of the things they are teaching her as American and Thai food are two entirely different things. Even preparing the ingredients and using a knife are different but everyone gets the job done in their own way.

Finally it is time to tuck in and the food disappears in short order!

Keeping it running!

There are many things that need to “keep running” for example: an old car, a laundry machine, a computer, a business or even a project like Baan Phak Phing. Here we are actually talking about many little things but it all comes down to one thing… keeping the project up and running.

“How does a project like Baan Phak Phing keep running”, you might ask yourself.

Everything that happens in and around the houses of Baan Phak Phing happens because of donations from people who want and can contribute to helping the girls who live with us. Girls who have gone through horrible things despite their young age and who have no safe place to live. These girls have found a new home in Baan Phak Phing where they have a family (mothers/staff and sisters) that cares about them, a roof over their head, a bed to sleep in, food to eat and a school to go to. Some people give one time donations, but there are others that have been faithfully sponsoring us monthly for the past 25 years and the people in both of these categories are amazing! They are the reason we can take care of the girls and their futures.

It is not always easy to live on donations because they are not a stable source of income but for the past 25 years, with ups and downs, we have been able to help many girls. In the same way we recently got a special donation to buy new computers and it came just in time because 3 of the computers had decided to quit. The office work was not able to continue because of this and the girls had to share a single computer between the 10 of them. This is just one example of the many times when donations came in at just the right time!

This is why we as staff at Baan Phak Phing, the board in the Netherlands, and all of the girls want to express how incredibly grateful we are for all the donations that have come in over the years and of which we hope they will continue to do so in the future. Thanks to you who were and are prepared to help, there are so many girls who have already received help and are currently receiving help.

Thank you!

Learning English!

This year we have a volunteer from the United States teaching English at Baan Phak Phing. Aside from that she will be hanging out with the girls on Saturdays so that they can practice their English outside of the classroom. The girls mostly have a hard time with speaking because they don’t learn this very well at school. They very rarely get a chance to meet foreigners so they don’t get to practice very often. Because of this the girls are shy and scared of making mistakes. We hope that this year, through the lessons and the Saturdays, the girls will grow more confident and will therefore develop their English language skills more.

One of the staff, and in the future maybe others as well, is learning more English this year with the help of our volunteer. It is awesome to see that someone is willing to give up a year of her life to teach our girls and help out in whatever way she can.

Special Wedding!

This month all the girls and staff were invited for a very special wedding. Not only are both bride and groom from different tribes, which in and of itself is pretty special. But the bride used to live at Baan Phak Phing and in the past year worked with us as staff. For some of the staff she is like a daughter, for the older girls she is like a sister, and for the current girls she is like a mother. This made it very special to be able to attend this amazing event. During the ceremony the girls performed a song for the bride and groom.

The bride will be turning down a new road and so she won’t be working at Baan Phak Phing anymore and will move down to Bangkok to build up a new life there with her husband.