Visitors to Bangkok are charmed by the energy and vitality of the city and its cultural treasures. However, behind the hustle and bustle of the city, lies the slum region of Klong Toey. Here, Bangkok's underprivileged children have virtually no place to run and play except for those provided by the Foundation and other associated support organizations. Lifeworks-Thailand works with the Duang Prateep Foundation (DPF) to provide safe and nurturing environments for these children.
Some of the world's greatest achievements begin with the steadfast dedication of a single person. Ms. Prateep Ungsongtham Hata is one such person. Besides working with community leaders and establishing the Duang Prateep Foundation, she is a senator for Thailand, an advocate of children's rights, and the founder of many kindergartens and schools in Bangkok. In 2004, Ms. Prateep was awarded the World's Children's Prize for the rights of the Child.
Our projects are all about these kids. The core goal of our activities is to enhance the children's self-esteem. We will play team-building games, create art projects, have fun teaching our own native English, as well as learn some Thai ourselves. These kids are fascinated with the new video and digital photography, so we have them experiment with these arts. Teaching crafts and first aid skills are also on the program, Although these projects mean long hours and sore feet, the benefits are immeasurable.
We will work in two rural communities with children and teens sponsored by the D.P.F. This affords us the opportunity to experience Thai life outside of the city. Bilingual Thai teenagers will be living and working as part of our team, not only to translate but also to help us appreciate the diversity between our cultures.
There will be time set aside for visits to the famous sites such as Wat Arun Temple, the Golden Buddha, and the Royal Palaces and boat museum with the Royal ceremonial barges. And, toward the end, we'll be taking a long narrow fantail boat to see the canals and markets of Bangkok by river, traveling Thai style!
- President's Volunteer Service Award, Duang Prateep Foundation