The Ban-Tod-Ja-Roen School in the Aranyaprathet District is a small school in the Thai countryside, few hours drive from Bangkok. I visited the school with my Thai friends to bring donations to the school children.
We bought school requisites, a water cooler, toys and other items. The women from our group prepared Thai food for children. And we even had ice cream!
Follow the story in 13 photos!
The school has about 80 students, grade 1 to 4, including 20 kindergarten children.
The building is just one storey high, with a long open air hallway and classrooms on the side.
The children and the teachers wear uniforms. The uniform of the school director is quite impressive. Initially I thought he is an army officer.
Before entering the school building, we left our shoes at the entrance, alongside with tens of small pairs of children’s shoes.
Some children were preparing the tables for the lunch and donation festivity in the canteen.
Other children were studying in the classrooms, listening at courses broadcasted from Bangkok, working at various projects, or… having fun with the photographer!
The donation festivity consists of the display of the donated items, serving the food to the children and there are the speeches from the school director and a student thanking for the donations.
First group to come for lunch are the kindergarten children. They come in a row, like ducks, wearing some kind of orange apron on top of the uniform, making them very visible.
The food is served to them by the teachers. No one starts eating, until everyone receives their meal and a pray thanking for the food is said.
After the kindergarten children had finished their meal, they lined up for ice cream, served by my Thai friends.
The children always bow before receiving the food.
Next group are the school children. They line up to receive the food by themselves.
At the end everyone brings their plate to the kitchen and volunteers mop the floors and helps cleaning the dishes.
The children are very well behaved, not only on manners, but also in their respect for the Thai and Buddhist traditions. Most of the kids are wearing amulets for protection.
The school has its own geese farm, helping them to reduce the costs with the food.
A problem is the lack of affordable English teachers. Native speakers are too expensive. At the moment the English language is taught by a Filipino teacher paid by the mayor.
The donations help the school and the children who cannot afford requisites. And the children’s smiles and surprised looks tell more than the story.