Sydney City Rotaract club with the support of Darling Harbour Rotary Club organised an international project and trip to Sing Buri on the 2-7th July 2014.
Sing Buri is a province north of Bangkok, Thailand (2.5 hours from the city centre). The Sri Udom orphanage there is connected to a monastery and has an integrated school. It is run by a monk and primarily funded by Thai community donations. The orphanage there houses approximately 239 children ranging from grades 1-6. Girls at the end of grade 6 are returned to their families, whereas boys have the option to stay and work with the monastery whilst attending middle school.
The children come from hill tribe or ethnic minority groups living in the mountains, people from the hill tribe generally only speak a local dialect, are not considered citizens of Thailand and have difficulty finding employment. AS a result of extreme poverty, many children are vulnerable to being exploited by predators who take and use the children for prostitution and sex trade in Bangkok.
Following a $5,000 donation from Doctor Suri, the project proposal was submitted to the District 9675 in 2014 for an international service project to working with the Rotary Club of Bangkok Klongtoey to help these children. The international service project was completed at Sri Udom Orphanage in Sing Buri, Thailand in July 2014 by the Rotary Club of Sydney Darling Harbour with volunteer Rotarians and Rotaractors from Sydney, Thailand, the UK, Poland, and France.
The project focused on five of the Rotary areas of focus. Including water and sanitation, child health, community development, disease prevention, and basic education;
1. Educate the children and staff about oral health and general hygiene, via Vida Zohrabi Kia MSc. Dental Practice Account Advisor. Provide interactive demonstrations, hygiene equipment (toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps, washing powder, etc), and educational tools.
2. Establish an ear, nose and throat (ENT) clinic to the orphanage July 2014. Each child will receive a check up by Dr. Chanida Kanchanalarp (leading Thai otolaryngology specialist from Ramathibodi hospital) and her team of ENT physicians.
3. Teach basic English skills to the children which can assist them with their future education. Provide classes in basic English expanding on children’s existing knowledge and providing them with conversational English experiences. Provide a printer for teachers to develop educational tools to assist with future lessons.
4. Establish a craft and sewing lessons to teach the young girls sewing skills which will empower in future employment opportunities. The girls leave the orphanage at age 12, therefore the sewing and craft skills will empower them to start small income producing activities for when they return to the village.
5. Provide a new toilet block specifically for girls. The current toilet block is unisex and there is a major plumbing issue in one of the toilet block sites. This is causing sewerage to regularly flood the toilet block site, which causes health problems and skin infections. The new toilet block will be moved to a new site that is on a different plumbing system.
Jaime Alden from Darling Harbour Rotary Club has reported on the trip here: http://www.rotarydarlingharbour.org.au/galleries/international-service-sri-udom-orphanage-sing-buri-thailand
For more information please contact the international director at [email protected]