There is a little school located between two hotels – one not so well groomed; our neighbors. Their sewage system is bordering the main class house. Every Friday we cook a lunch meal for the kids over there and bring it to 35+ school children. Most of them are between the age of 6 and 12. The first impression is that of arriving on a camp. Ironically, one has to pass through the Hotel residence to reach the school area nestled (or squeezed) into a corner of the Island. The sounds of happy screaming children dressed in their uniforms is welcoming at first but close-up I was slightly depressed to see that all of them wear cloth that needs attention. Two incredibly dedicated teachers follow their self-adopted duty and care for the six class rooms and manage the wild horde of foremost children that cannot afford or are not welcome in other schools. Yes, this is kinda the “last resort” school you would find your “difficult to manage” offspring, placed away from the modernized competitions where even in rural Thailand there seemingly is no room for slackers and ADD afflicted students. Their chances to make it back into the mainstream schools are limited and unfairly restricted. The two teachers have never voiced a negative comment to me and bound within the Thai tradition would never complain to me, although the facts are on hand; which is my reason for concern and outcry. Instead, the two teachers, married together, explain their love for each and one of them, especially the abandoned few they took on fulltime; After the Tsunami the parents had either vanished or simply left the Island and have never been heard of.
My instant admiration for this woman and man is clouded by a strangled feeling and I know we can help. I talked with a representative for the Thai government; he explains that this is by far not the worst he has seen and there is hope for this little place. The infrastructure is quite nice and the dedication of these two teachers guarantees a long commitment if only we have a few more resources attached, involved and actively assisting. There is a dire need for a bathroom facility (they have none) and a simple kitchen/shower area since most of the kids stay on the school property during the monsoon season and/or during the week. It is often too far for them to go home or too dangerous on the choppy sea. Keep in mind, there are no streets on Phi Phi. A solar panel is producing limited electricity for night lighting, but it needs a serious overhaul. I already bought new uniforms, schoolbooks and writing utensils but my Thailand salary is limited too. The Girls Scouts from Montana came here two month ago and helped building a library. Unfortunately they had to depart without finishing the project. Now we need school benches, tables a chalk board and first off the materials that make a kid’s library so wonderful…
Foremost there are three kids that urgently need reading glasses.
I will make an effort to write about my self-adopted mission to support this school and I need all your help.
I will create a website and hope you all get involved. Keep in mind, if everyone only sends twenty bucks and makes all his friends aware via e-mail one would think there is no trouble in 2006 to help a school with only 35 children. At least try. I need your input on this one! Please!!
Thank You in advanced for the support.