Humans of RDF
As we want our helpers and supporters to get to know our scholars, our volunteers Milena Magerl and Lukas Popp worked on a project with the students based on the idea of the famous website of Humans of New York.
Frontal teaching has a very strong impact on the Thai school system. That is why Thai students are always focusing very strong on what is told in school. This time we wanted it to be a little bit different. As we are trying to help the students to improve not only their English skills but also to develop further in their lives, we were asking them for some stories about themselves, about their families, about their lives.
We wanted the students to focus on memory making experiences they had and tell us stories of importance of their lives. Our idea was to teach the students not what to write and what to think about their lives but to work on forming their own thoughts and creating their own stories.
We asked the students about their wishes for the future or what their biggest dream might be. We were expecting great wishes, cause we told them to think in a bigger frame and see the world with no limits. But still, most of the students told us very modest and selfless wishes and ideas. We were really impressed by their stories.
Fan is a wonderful person. He is polite and friendly and very diligent. He is very nice with everyone. Fan is coming from a very poor family. He has three brothers and sisters and they all live together in a very small hut in the mountains. He is very thankful for the opportunity the Foundation gave him and is showing that everyday.
"I am a scholarship student of RDF. I came here to stay at the dormitory. When I am at the dormitory I feel happiness. It is amazing for me. For me, it is not only a dormitory but it is our home. We are a big family. We unite together. We help each other and we love everyone like our brothers and sisters. We all come from different villages. Some students come from villages that are far away, sometimes 100 kilometers. We stay at the dormitory and we all dream. I want to say thank you very much to RDF for the good opportunity you give us. We all promise to concentrate in school and study and become good people. Thank you!"
Sak is a very open minded young boy. Over a long holiday term he invited us to visit his hometown together and be guests of his family. He is very sportive and a good football player.
“The first time I come to the dorm, it is the first time I live with other people from a variety. At the beginning I was very excited and I was afraid I cannot live with other people. I feel very uncomfortable and I was scared, too. But when I was living here I get to learn about other students. I learn how to be friends and take care of each other. I have seen the smile of the others. It makes me feel that life is not tough here. I also feel I am very lucky that I am living here. It is very impressive for me. Up to now I really like living here. It is like home.”
Ruchi welcomes us with her warm smile every time. She is very thankful and works really hard.
“I would like to change the world to be a peace and bright place. I would like to change the world and the people to be good. I want to make everything natural and good for earth.”
That is Suksan Anakotdee. In English his Thai name means “happy”. But that is not the only reason why his friends and family gave him the nickname Happy. He is a very thoughtful and friendly person, always willing to learn. He is the only child of seven who got the opportunity to study. Therefore he is really thankful and you can feel that he wants his family to be proud of him everyday.
“I come from a very small village in the mountains. It is very far from the school and the city. To get to my village I have to take a local car. I pay the driver 100 THB, because I can go with him. That is very nice, but the road is very bumpy. If I cannot go by car I have to walk to my village. In my village there live only people from the Karen hill tribe. I am Karen, too. My mother and my father work on a farm. At home we don´t have light or electricity, we only use open fire and candles. My parents sent me to school and to live in the dormitory. I am very thankful for that. Everyday I think about my future. I want to become a teacher. I want to teach children in my village in the mountains and take care of my parents. After I earned a lot of money I want to help the poor students, because I was a very poor student before the Foundation supported me and give me the chance to study and live in the dormitory. I think I am lucky. I wish I could travel around the world. I really want to see New York City. Thank you!”
That is Wilailaf Puttipakdee. Her friends call her Nok. We were really touched by her story. What may sound like a simple idea is a very strong wish she is hoping to become true.
“I am dreaming of going to the sea one time. Because I´ve never been to the sea before. I really wish to see the ocean. I would like to go swimming with my friends and than play on the beach. Before I go back home I would like to buy something to bring back home and show everyone. I will remember my travel time forever.
Orapan Piyakan (Kan) is living in the dormitory three years already. She comes from a small village, where she used to live together with her parents and her brothers and sisters in a small house.
“When I was young I liked to play many different local games at my village. Such as hide and seek or jumping with the robe and other games from my village. I learned a lot about unity and what it means to be part of a team. I enjoyed playing games with my friends very much.”
Danial is very caring. When we visited the families of our scholars in the mountain villages, he was always on our side, offering help anytime. As we were not used to the bad conditions of the roads, we felt much more comfortable on our motorbike, knowing that he is always behind us and taking good care of us.
“I come from Ban La Oop village, it is a small village in the mountains. I am glad to be born in the village. People in my hometown are very nice. I am so happy I live in here. I want to develop my village to be more beautiful and help the people.”
Namprik is one of the best students in the dormitory. She is very open minded, talkative and brings a lot of wonderful energy with her.
“My biggest wish is to save the environment. I want to see people work together and preserve nature. I want to do something good in my life. It is very important to lower pollution. I would like to visit another country and see how people live in other countries and learn something about the history and culture of the country.”
Smile – her nickname says everything about her. It seems like she is smiling 24 hours, seven days a week. She is very friendly and polite and studies English very hard.
“After school I want to go back to my village and build a house for my family. I love to see them smile and be happy. I want to help poor children in my village. This is my dream.“
Choke is one of our new students at the dormitory. He is always very helpful, polite and friendly. He has a lot of thoughts and studies English very hard. We were really impressed by his creative story.
“I have a person in my heart. He is my idol. He is my superhero. Every morning he makes me breakfast, he usually help me change the cloths and dress my uniform. He catch my hand and takes me go to school. He takes me to travel in the forest and play water in the Salawin river. He teached me about knowledge and the bible. He was it who hugged me and told me “I love you” before sleep everyday. He makes everything for me since I was a child. He is my dad, he is my superhero.”
Warawut Chaikulpong (Than) is a very positive and friendly young boy. He has always a smile on his face.
“If I win one Million Thai Baht I will give money to the people in the mountain, because I like to see children smile and everybody in the mountains is very nice and friendly. I think I will get very happy. And I think I will give money to my family and everybody who loves me. They will be happy too. I want to buy a new house because my house is very small. I will travel with my friends around the world. Thank you!”
Jeerapa Krongchaichana (Jeera) When we asked Jeera what she thinks is a perfect day for her, she told us the following story. It is showing her beautiful and modest character.
“My village is not small, but also not big, but it has very good weather and a waterfall. I don´t like the street to my village, because it is very hard to go. But I like the waterfall, it is so beautiful. In my holidays me and my friends are going to swim and take photos there together. Everyday is a perfect day.”
Piboon Kayanpoomjaiying (Kiw) is coming from a small village, about 50km from Mae Sariang. In his village he is living together with three older brothers, two older sisters and one younger brother.
“Hi, my name is Piboon, but my friends call me Kiw. I am a children of the mountains. But I am very lucky to live in the dormitory of RDF. When I go home to visit my mother, my father and my grandma I am very excited. The way to go home is hard to go and the roads are very bumpy, but I am very happy. It is a very special time for me to spend time with my family.”
Soso is very open minded and talkative. She is trying to improve her English everyday. When we asked her, which story she wanted to write down we had a talk for over an hour where she told us about herself and her family and some really interesting and private stories about her life. Soso is the only child of her father. Her mother passed away. She is calling her father once a week and tells him everything she has done. He is very proud of her.
“Hello, I´m Soso. I have many names, Soso is my nickname. My Thai name is Ladda, but my Karen name is Hta tha Hsoe and my Burmese name is Hsoe Hsoe. My friends and people in my hometown call me So Bi. I am born in Thailand, but I don´t have a Thai nationality, because I come from the Karen hill tribe. I can study in Thai school and go on school trips but I am not allowed to go alone, where I want to go. My father and my mother aren´t Thai people, too. Before they lived in another village and than they came to Thailand. I can speak four different languages: Thai, Karen, Burmese and I also study English. I like to sing so much. I´ve started singing when I was only two years old my mum told me. Today I like to sing because my mother loved to listen to my songs.”
That is Pruchaya Pitakwaranukul. His nick name is Joe. He is a very sprightly young boy. He is always with friends and brings a lot of positive energy to the group. He is trying to improve his English skills when talking to us every time.
“If I win a lot of money I want to follow my biggest dream. I want to go to space, because I want to see the earth from outer space.”
Kung´s family is Karen. If you get the chance to meet him, you will feel his caring and modest nature from the very fist beginning. He is polite and friendly and very open minded. He is trying very hard to improve his English skills and it is always very nice to talk to him, as he is a very interested young man.
“I have thought about my biggest dream. And I am not sure what about my dream. However I think maybe I just want to have a great job. I want to become an Almoner and work for the UN because I like to help people who are suffering and I want to see the smiles of the people.”
Pattraradee Damkansin (Pat) lives in the dormitory for three years already. When we asked her, if she still enjoys living all together with the other students, she said, that she enjoys it everyday, because it is very harmonious.
“My biggest dream is to become a teacher. My teacher in school is a very nice person, all the students like her. In the future I also want to be a good teacher. It is not about the salary or not only about the fact that I like teaching. For me, being a teacher does not only mean to share knowledge but also to help the students grow into young adults and be good persons in life.”
Nam Laddawan (Nam) is a very cute and friendly young girl. Her story shows her strong will to work diligent in school and improve her English.
“In summer I want to go back home. My hometown is near Myanmar. There is a big bridge connecting Thailand and Myanmar. One time my brother and I went to Myanmar. There are a lot of people. It was very crowded. I didn´t feel comfortable because it was very crowded and I didn´t understand the Burmese language. But I was very surprised. In Myanmar everybody can speak English very good. I will do my best to speak English as good as the people from Myanmar.”