“I’ve never imagined before how difficult it is for the students to come to school,” said Ms Nipha Thongnok, a teacher who has joined the journey called Trip Imjai, organized by World Vision Foundation of Thailand, to bring happiness to the children. This was her comment when we reached Ban Pu Khem School in Kaeng Krachan district, Phetburi province. Despite having joined many trips to various areas earlier, the teacher confirmed that these children’s school commuting is truly arduous as it takes them over 2 hours on the boat to receive education.
Ban Pu Khem School is among other 27 schools under the coverage of WVFT’s Kaeng Krachan Development Project. It is a small-sized school with 53 students from kindergarten to grade 6. The school personnel include 3 permanent teachers, 1 contract teacher, and 1 janitor, all of who serve as both teachers and parents of all children. Although the school is situated in the province that is considered a tourist destination close to Bangkok, it takes almost 4 hours from the provincial center to reach the school, due to its secluded location deep in Tenasserim Hills, right by Kaeng Krachan Dam. The school neither has water supply system nor electricity. Because the school is located right on the edge of the dam, the students must commute to school by boat.
Ban Pu Khem School has a shuttle boat service for students. The boat was provided by WVFT since 2013. It has faithfully served the school for all kinds of purposes for over 5 years, resulting in the worn-out boat engine accordingly, based on the years of usage. For safety of students during their daily school commuting, Trip Imjai, organized by WVFT, has brought 31 sponsors to the field to hand over a new boat engine and life jackets to the school, along with other school supplies and sanitary kits for children. The students also got to enjoy lunch provided by the sponsors.
“I feel so good having joined this trip and I’m happy to see that, against all odds, the children love coming to school despite the hardship in school commuting. They never let go of their educational opportunities. It is very nice that WVFT has supported such an impoverished school and underprivileged children,” said Ms Nipha with a smile on her face.
Thatsanai or Phum, an 11-year-old sponsored child, said “I live around Kaeng Krachan Dam. My family lives on working in plantations and orchards. When I have free time, I will go with my parents to find fish to eat. I would like to thank all sponsors for visiting our school and replacing the boat engine. It’s just like getting a brand-new boat!” Phum told us joyfully.
Trip Imjai is an activity organized by WVFT to bring sponsors to visit the implementation sites where we carry out our child, family and community development projects, as well as to do community volunteering activities. For further information about Trip Imjai, please follow our Facebook : Tripimjai.SPvisitday