Yaowawit School is a public-private welfare boarding school for children from underprivileged families, located remotely in the rain forest 135km northeast of Phuket in Phangnga Province. Founded by 'The Children's World Academy Foundation' in Germany and in Thailand.
We want to prepare our students to be able to support themselves and to become responsible and productive members of society. Learning about different occupations and work ethic is a part of the Thai curriculum, but we go one step further by providing our children with practical experience farming, hospitality, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and entrepreneurship.
Farming – Agriculture currently employs 40% of Thailand’s population, and according to the World Bank, that number is set to grow. Our children have class gardens where they learn about planting, plant growth and using organic products. It’s also a good opportunity for them to discuss healthy eating. The children take trips to our 192,000-square-metre farm as well where we have ducks and chickens to produce eggs (they are not killed), catfish and crops. The crops we grow include cucumber, bok choy, eggplant, long bean, lemongrass, morning glory, pineapple, palm, banana, chili, limes, ginger and tomato.
Hospitality – Hospitality services also employ a significant number of people in Thailand. To give our children training in hospitality, we have weekly lessons for children from Grade 4 onwards and work with Marriott Hotel to ensure that they are taught to high hospitality service standards. Our children are also involved with preparing guest rooms, preparing food and serving guests as practical experience. In addition to this, our partners sometimes invite our children to special training days where they can learn new skills and have some fun.
ICT – Technology’s role in society is growing and so we think it is important for our students to have computer skills for both future personal and professional use. We have 20 desktop computers (donated by Marriott) and 10 laptops (donated by Labdoo) available for our students to use. Our primary school students are taught to type, to research using the internet and basic skills in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). We build on this knowledge with our high school students and introduce them to Photoshop and Windows Movie Maker.
Entrepreneurship – As part of our entrepreneurship training, the children learn to make and sell herbal and souvenir products as well as food. The herbal products include balm, repellent lotion, massage oil and lemongrass tea and the souvenir products include bracelets, postcards, bookmarks and notepads. We take our products to the local markets and let the children explore. If they’re feeling brave enough, they can try selling their products themselves. Sometimes the children have the chance to visit and learn about local businesses too.