As many of you know, I am currently a kindergarten teacher in Phrae, Thailand. I am lucky enough to be a part of a wonderful program, the Mini English Program (MEP) at my school. The kiddos are super smart, kind, and full of energy! They brighten my day everyday, although sometimes they also make it a little chaotic.
After my first few weeks in Thailand, I noticed something that made my heart hurt. There are two parts to kindergarten, regular and MEP. The MEP students have such nice amenities, such as AC units in the classroom, a back patio where they can enjoy their milk during snack time and lunch, and even their own bathrooms. The regular kiddos do not have any of that, and they are the next classroom over. They get to watch my class have a ball on their little patio and often peer through the fence. This breaks my heart. Not only that, but the kindergarten classes are the only ones in the entire school who have different uniforms between the MEP students and regular students.
I know what its like to live on both sides of this story. Some of you may know that I was adopted from Russia, and was at one point in my life, an orphan. While I was in Russia, I did not have many amenities and sometimes didn't have the proper textbooks or things that the other kids had. After my adoption, my new parents did a wonderful job of providing for me, but I never forgot the feeling of not having something someone else does, or being different because of it. Especially as a child, it gets to you more than you realize. I know that if someone had come to my school and leveled the field between me and the more privileged kids, I would have never forgotten it. So, I want to do something for the regular classroom at my school. During assembly and swim time (when the regular and MEP classrooms are together), I make it a point to interact with everyone equally. To me, their background makes no difference. They are all such lovely kiddos, and they all want attention from the foreign teacher. But I want to do more, I want to be able to leave knowing that a difference has been made. Hence, the fundraising page.
This page allows people from all over the world to help. My aim is to raise money in order to better the regular kindergarten classroom. Get them some toys, and if i can raise enough money, maybe something even more fantastic (like AC unit and covering the electricity bill for it, or maybe extending the patio from their classroom) and take care of whatever other needs they may have. On top of that, a dollar will go a lot longer in Thailand than it would in America. Meaning that a $20 donation would approximately equal 660 baht, this could easily purchase two or three sets of toys (such as a kitchen toy set, or something similar to it).
If you are local to Indiana, and wish to help with a more hands-on approach, please send me a private message on FaceBook, and we can discuss that further! With every item purchased, I will send updates through my FB page and my mom, so that you can see the change you are helping to make.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!