New Program in Laos
Travel to Teach now works with an ecological farm in Laos.
T2T has recently partnered with the Vang Vieng Organic Farm.
Earlier this month Jessica traveled north to the rolling hills of Vang Vieng, Laos to meet with Mr. Thanongsi Solangkoun whom is the founder of the farm.
Mister T., as he is known, started the farm in 1996 with the goal of using organic farming methods in an area where the land was being ruined by deforestation and the use of chemicals in farming.
He also wanted to assist the local people through community projects supported by the profits from the farm. Thus, he has built a community center where English classes are held nightly, a community library, and has purchased 2 school buses for the children of the village to get to school.
We will be sending volunteers to help to teach English classes, computer classes, and help out in the community library.
We resumed our restoration camps this October.
Phase one was in the "Scorpion School" named after a big scorpion statue on the premises. Until we found the scorpion we called the school "Pastoral" because of it's location below a beautiful Wat and with cows grazing in the grounds.
We have been teaching English at the primary school and this October we restored the main hall, playground and school signs and repaired blackboards in the classrooms. When this was finished we returned to Michai School, location of 2 previous restoration camps, to restore 2 more classrooms. When we need to decorate something we always seem to find that we have artists among our volunteers, and this year also among our staff. Prig, our Thai cooking teacher, helped decorating the walls.
We made the camp together with students from Khon Khaen University, teaching English in the mornings and painting during the afternoons.
We believe that one of the best assets on our website is the volunteer stories page.
The volunteering experience can be very different from person to person and so the stories can be a great help to prospective volunteers when choosing a program. We also include mail addresses to the volunteers on the website so that they can be contacted by anyone wanting to hear more about their stories.
Anne Michellod, from Switzerland, took part in one of our "Home Stay" programs in Khum Pha Wapi, just south of Udon Thani.
“Nit noy, mai pen lai, reo reo” ... on the day I left, my Thai level was far too low to be of any use in saying goodbye and explaining how happy my days Na Klang had been. I hoped that the students of Khamsaenwittayasan School could make one more step in improving their English skills and learn as much as I did during these 3 weeks..."
Ahn Bhin Shelter
Travel to Teach has been sending volunteers to work in various schools and orphanages in Ho Chi Minh City for a little over a year.
This past September we also started working in a shelter for girls in the city named the An Binh Shelter.
The An Binh Shelter is a home for teenage girls and young women whom have been disabled from the effects of the Agent Orange dioxin. The shelter was started in April of 2004 by Sister Lich and the Men Thanh Gia Vinh-Nghe An Nunnery.
It initially housed 10 girls and now houses 25, ranging in age from 13-27 and coming mainly from the central area of Vietnam.
The purpose of the shelter is provide a place for these girls to live and study, eventually enabling them to find a job and live independently.
Volunteers at the shelter will help with all sorts of duties but mainly teaching English , Computers, and Vocational Studies.