We're getting towards that time of year again - Children's Day!
The second Saturday of January, every year, is National Children's Day in Thailand. Events occur all over the country, and we are no exception. Each year, we host around 2,000+ children (not to mention parents, local villagers, guests, volunteers, interns, and staff).
Our work begins soon after the previous event has finished - we begin the process of organising sponsorships, donations, funding, and partnerships with companies, organisations, and individuals from around the country. In the lead up to the day, specifically in the week before, we are extremely busy with all sorts of work:
- Opening all the boxes of donations, and sorting the good from the bad
- Washing all the cuddly toys
- Making gift packs for every child who attends
- Making registration cards for each child
- Setting up activity booths and organising onstage entertainment
- Cooking lunch for 2,000+ children (usually this takes all of the Friday night)
The morning begins early, as we open the gates around 6am - a registration table is set up so that each child has a card, which they present for all the games and activities onsite. The card is also used in the lucky dip for the main gift, presented at the end of the event. The opening ceremony, officially opened by the local village headman, kicks off at 8.30am, along with a procession and then dances by local schoolchildren. What follows is a morning of singing, dancing, and all sorts of fun and games. After a break for lunch, the gifts are handed out to all children (even those who have lost their cards in the melee, or had to leave early, don't go without).
What is great to see, apart from the beaming smiles of all those involved in the day, is the cameraderie. Where else would you see hundreds of children picking up the litter, of their own accord, as a thank you to the organisers?
If you would like to donate financially, then please use the link to the left of this page. It is a Paypal payment, but you don't need to have an account - just a credit or debit card. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of money to put this event together, even with donations and support. We put aside around 100,000฿ (approx $3,000) each year, but appreciate any help we can get.
If you would prefer to pay by bank transfer, please contact us for details.
If you would like to donate by sending gifts, school stationery, or anything which needs to be posted:
- Please contact us for shipping details, and details of the items you would like to send.
- Please ensure that all postage costs and excise duties are covered, as we cannot pay for any shortfall in shipping fees.
- Please also leave enough time for the package to arrive - the postal service will be very busy up to Christmas and New Year, and backlogs will be shifted in early January.
- Ideally, we would like to receive parcels in early December, so that we have time to process them as well.
If you are going to be volunteering at this time, you are in for a special treat! Those of you who will end your programme on the Saturday (10th January), we heartily recommend that you make your departure plans to fit in with the event - we are usually finished by 3pm, and then have a party for all the staff and volunteers in the evening. If you wish to stay for an extra night, and leave on the Sunday, then please let us know.
A very warm welcome to The Mirror Foundation's 'Thailand Volunteer!' website.
If you are interested in joining one of our programmes as a volunteer, or have already registered, then this is the place to come - all the information you need is within these pages, whether you want to know what to bring, or what the programmes involve, our fees, or many other questions you may have. Registered volunteers, after logging in, can update their own information form, as well as check the progress of those who will volunteering on the same intake - the ability to communicate with those volunteers is also available, as we think it can be reassuring to talk to others also embarking on the adventure.
The Mirror Foundation runs a well-established, successful, and much loved volunteer programme, for individuals and groups who wish to work with the hilltribes of northern Thailand and other ethnic minorities in the region.
Volunteering is not for everyone, but those who put heart and soul into their time here, leave with an experience they will never forget.
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If you want to participate in enhancing Nahae’s quality of life, you can donate following this link:
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