From the Field: Emily at Kamplafa School

Many of our volunteers spend time at Kamplaphanatawee School (or, Kamplafa). This is the school Mundo Exchange has supported and worked alongside for nearly 10 years now, and the focal point of our current campaign to help continue education for underprivileged kids with Teachers for Thailand.

Past volunteer and intern Emily spent time teaching at Kamplaphanatawee School and has allowed us to share a recent facebook post of hers. She provides a beautiful depiction of the community that Kittichai and the teachers have created and the need to keep this school alive for these village children. Thank you, Emily! 🙂

Emily is just one of the many people who have loved their time at this placement and have a desire to help Kittichai and keep the school up and running because they know how much these kids need it.

Hi everyone, so I really don’t do this very often at all, but I’m about to talk about something that’s very important to me, so if you have the time I would really appreciate you giving this a read.

After high school I spent about 5 months teaching English in Northeastern Thailand, in a region called Issan. I went with a nonprofit group called Mundo Exchange, which focuses exclusively on community-based change. Going with Mundo was the best decision I’ve made in my life. I taught at a school in a small village called Kamplaphanatawee and lived with a host family. It’s difficult to describe the impact the community has had on me, but more importantly, the important effect the teachers and school have for the students.

In rural Thailand, a school is never just a school for the students. Kamplaphanatawee is an amazing example of that. First, it gives children a safe place to come routinely, something which they lack so often at home. Many of their families earn less than a dollar a day. In addition, it gives them a community. The teachers at Kamplaphanatawee not only dedicate their time and energy to educating their students, much more than is asked of them, but they also give up portions of their own salary to take care of the students and school fees, due to lack of funds from the government. The principal, Kittichai, organizes and runs after-school, and summertime, groups where the students can improve their English. He even organizes language classes for adults. English is becoming more and more important for Thai people to learn, offering job opportunities and even the potential opportunity to attend a university.

When I taught at Kamplafa I began in the summer, and I was completely astonished at the number of students that attended the summer classes I ran. All they ever wanted to do was learn, which is something that so many of us take for granted here. Many of them even attended the adult-oriented class I taught in the evening. All of these extra classes, and the strong community that they created, were due to the hard work and money of Kittichai and the other teachers at Kamplafa.

Now, two of the teachers are retiring. Because of a lack of budget to replace them, it is likely that this school will have to shut down. It is beyond crushing to me that this amazing school that I worked with for so long may cease to exist. But much more importantly, the school will no longer be able to provide the vital service it offers to the students and the community. I’ve attached a link that will take you to a page where you can donate to hire two new teachers for the village of Kamplafanatawee. Just $6,500 will be able to cover the salary of two teachers for a full year (this should give you an idea of how little the teachers make).

I understand that sometimes it’s hard to donate money when we all have so much to pay for, but seriously, any amount you can give helps. I personally will be donating more money than I should to this amazing school, because it hurts my heart to think of how my bright, funny, smart, and kind students that I have taught may have never had the opportunity to learn because their government doesn’t think they are important enough to merit that privilege.

-Emily

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