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The Wat Santi School in Taling Ngam teaches around sixty five children from ages five to twelve years. The teachers at the school all come from the little community and are doing their best to provide an education for these beautiful, but underprivileged children.
For the children of Koh Samui being able to speak English is vital on an island where tourism is the predominant source of revenue and it is hard to find employment in the tourist industry without English language skills. Historically the children of the school were being taught basic written English by their Thai teachers but sadly they were missing out on vital conversational English lessons. However, today their outlook is a little more positive thanks to the Starfish Volunteer organization.
The Starfish story began in 2002 when volunteer, Dan Moore noticed that there were whole sections of Thai society not receiving any kind of support to improve their lives. Dan envisaged a volunteer network, which provided not just manpower but financial assistance for these communities that he hopes one day can become self sufficient.
Dan based his head office in Surin and started with just 12 volunteers, that number grew exponentially to 836 volunteers in 2010.
Daniel Trevor is one of those volunteers and we met with him to find out a little about the Wat Santi School and what we as a community can do to help.
Daniel told us that the school has a classroom for each year, it has a library, a cafeteria and even a small computer lab, but what is desperately missing is native Thai English teachers to volunteer to give these children the language skills they need to have a better future. He told us that the community school and the community in general is an amazing place to be, here you can immerse yourself in Thai culture that is virtually untouched by Western influences. The school is in a rural fishing community on one of the poorest parts of the island and Daniel feels sorry that while so much of the island has seen progress in terms of living conditions and education it seems to have passed this wonderful little community by.
Daniel loves teaching at the school and hopes that many more people will join him in such a wonderful and rewarding experience and give their time to help the kids. Obviously it would be ideal to have some English teaching volunteers with experience in teaching English as a foreign language but any native English speakers that have the time and the enthusiasm would be more than welcome. Even if you only have a couple of hours a week Daniel can find a place for you on the roster and you can be part of a better future for these kids that have huge smiles and huge hearts.
If teaching English is not your thing then perhaps you would like to volunteer as a Physical Education teacher, currently there is no Physical Education taking place at the school and the children would love to have the opportunity to keep fit and to burn off some steam. Of course if you don’t have time to do either but feel that perhaps you could make a small donation of cash, toys, educational materials or anything else you think the school could benefit from then it would be more than gratefully received.
If you would like to volunteer or have a tour of the school then give Daniel a call on 0922505173 the best time to get hold of him is around 2-30pm. You can find out more about the Star Fish Volunteers by clicking HERE or by visiting their Facebook page by clicking HERE