Child Self-Learning Center

 

When The Mirror Foundation first arrived in Ban Huay Kom they noticed many of the older children were not attending the local school. When asked why, the children replied they stayed home in order to look after their younger siblings. The Mirror Foundation and the villagers met to discuss the problem, and it was decided that a day-care center for these children would be the best solution.

The Child Self-Learning Center is run on the principle that the child is a far better pupil if the desire to learn comes from within. The Center is a departure from structured lessons with a blackboard and a row of desks. Instead, the teacher leads a number of activities in which the child can take part according to his enthusiasm. The environment is one that encourages curiosity and allows the child to explore individual interests.

The Center is also careful to construct activities that will promote independence and pride in the children's Akha identity. Going to the forest to find food that the children then cook for their lunch is a common activity, one which teaches them skills for future self-sufficiency while reinforcing traditional Akha customs. The pride the children have in their traditional skills is evident when they take volunteer teachers, both foreign and lowland Thai, out to the woods to show them how it's done.

Funding for the Center comes only from the profits of the Voice of Earth Clay Workshop and donations. The monthly food bill for all thirty-six pre-school children is $145 US (about $4/day). Other expenses include basic materials such as paints and pens for the children's art activities. As Ban Huay Kom is not the only village that faces the need for such a center, the Mirror Foundation has plans to open a series of these centers through Mae Yao.

    • A happy ending!

      Two young hilltribe girls, aged 14 and 16, have been returned to their homes after spending nearly three years in Malaysia.   The girls, whose names are protected for their safety, were lured into...

    • Ex-intern blogs about the Thai citizenship issue

      Marielle Ali, who interned with our Thai Citizenship project, has passed on the link below to her blog. The blogs relates to part of the work she was engaged in during her time with our team in...

    • Flooding in Chiang Rai

      Earthquakes, hailstorms, and floods. It's been quite a year for disasters here. The most recent event was flash flooding throughout the region, which came about from days of heavy rain. The Mirror...

    < 1 >

Local employment

    • Handicraft artisans

      The eBannok Handicrafts project has been running for over a decade, employing local Akha women to make whistles in the design of local birds. The chance of employment gives the women an independent...

    • Outdoor programme

      Our Outdoor Volunteer Programme employs members of the Akha, Lahu, and Karen tribes, all of whom have an intimate knowledge of the local environment and cultures. The construction and renovation...

    • Trekking guides

      Our Ecotours project runs trekking and homestay programmes, visiting local hilltribe communities. The guides we employ are all local hilltribe members, who live in the villages we work with. This...

    < 1 >