The House of Hope after school programme
Kids Ark works with local schools to identify the most disadvantaged Thai and ethnic minority children and provide them with a clean and safe shelter after school through the House of Hope after school programme. Four Houses of Hope offer educationally-based activities designed to build life skills six days a week. During the holidays they operate 7 days a week. Activities include: homework help computer techniques; sewing lessons; handicrafts; self defense; gardening; sports; cooking lessons; health and hygiene; esteem-building games and activities; and development of language skills.
In addition children are able to shower and enjoy nutritious meals before returning home. Warm clothes, school supplies and, where needed, transportation is also provided. Activities are ongoing during school holidays when children may be taken on trips such as the popular outing to the sea. This support, enabled by the cooperative efforts of teaching staff and village committees, allows many children who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS and are living with extended family to avoid being sent to an orphanage.
House of Hope 1– established in 2006 in association with the JiratiwatUppatham School in the San Sai District of Chiang Mai.
House of Hope 2 – established in 2008 in the village of BanPhakwee on the Thai-Burmese (Myanmar) border near Thaton. Local authorities assumed responsibility in 2013.
House of Hope 3 – established in 2010 at the Maekaetnoi School in the San Sai District of Chiang Mai.
House of Hope 4 – established in 2014 in the village of Baan Pakawai in the Fang District it was moved to Baan Huay Poo village in 2015.
Early Childhood Education
Many of the Lahu ethnic minority are poor, cannot read or write, and do not have Thai citizenship. In an effort to combat this, Kids Ark worked with the Development Quality of Life Lahu Association to establish an early childhood education programme for pre-school children in the village of Baan Jalor and to provide transportation for older children to attend the local school, Baan Huay Poo. The local government assumed responsibility of the pre-school in April, 2015 and a new pre-school was started in May of 2015.
Day care centres
Good health, nutrition and a nurturing environment can help ensure a smooth transition to primary school, a better chance of completing basic education and a route out of poverty and disadvantage. Day-care centres provide early development support for children from poor households and facilitate the transition to primary school. Two of the day-care centres started by Kids Ark are now operated by local authorities.
Government schools often lack the resources needed to give ethnic minority children an opportunity to receive a quality education. Kids Ark provides one-off help to schools as needed such as rice donations and help with school transport. It may provide funding to cover salaries for extra teachers.